These Are a Few of My Least Favorite Things

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

This year, I have a lot to be thankful for. I so grateful to have all of you to share my blogging life with. I’m blessed with a great family, a job, and I’m surrounded by people I love that I get to minister to at church. My church has a great purpose in Africa, and my Dad is doing great after surgery. All in all, things are great.

You probably have a lot of similar things on your ‘gratitude’ list. Many of us will sit down with our families in the least dysfunctional manner possible, and get a little mushy about all the great things in our lives.

But you know, there’s a lot of stuff in my life that doesn’t get the attention and respect it deserves – the stuff I’m not thankful for, the things I’d rather say ‘No thanks’ to. So today, the day before Thanksgiving, I’m here to give a tribute to some of the things that make my life a little less cheery, the things I’d rather do without. I’m instituting a new holiday:

My No-Thanksgiving List

Bagels
That’s right. You heard me. Circular bread? How did this become the cornerstone of our society? Those of you who order the ‘everything’ bagels in coffeeshops, and then smear them with a pound of honey-almond-vanilla-pumpkin-cream-cheese, I’m not sure you even like bagels. You like seeds…with fat on top. Maybe you like circles. That’s like saying you like coffee because you go to Starbucks. No, you like coffee-flavored milkshakes.
No thanks!

Child Prodigies
Child prodigies are the worst. Thankfully, I don’t have any in the class I teach. Those ‘gifted’ kids are always playing at their piano recitals and winning their spelling bees and capturing everyone’s heart on American Idol, and making us adults realize we haven’t accomplished half as much in twice the time. Mark my words, young ones. I was once like you, so full of promise. Now look at me!
No thanks!

Audience participation
“Don’t come down here. No, just stay up on stage. No, I will not submit to your request for ‘audience cooperation.’ I’m going to shield my eyes and pretend to look at my cell phone as you trot off the stage. Really wish I hadn’t gotten an aisle seat right now. Seemed like a good idea at the time. No, no, I won’t tell you where I’m from. I paid to be entertained, not be part of the entertainment. Okay, I’ll tell you where I’m from, but I won’t lend you an ordinary handkerchief for the illusion you’re about to perform…Okay, I’ll loan you my handkerchief, but I won’t come up on stage with you…Okay, I’ll come up on stage with you, but I’m not getting in that box…”
No thanks!

Trying to figure out where the camera is at the ball game
Everyone knows professional baseball is an extremely boring sport. That’s why, in order to enjoy it, there has to be numerous diversions sprinkled throughout the game: the chanting, the kiss cam, the hot dog derby, complaining about the price of concessions, and leaving during the eighth inning.

For most people, the height of the game is attempting to get on the jumbo screen. Yet people always botch it whenever they get their 15 seconds of fame. Whenever the camera turns on the audience, no one can ever find the cameraman. They always turn toward the screen to wave at themselves, while to the rest of us, they look as if they’re watching an entirely different ball game just to the right of the stadium.
No thanks!

Knowing that reading, watching TV, talking on the phone or stuffing my face with snacks will be a virtual impossibility as long as I’m trapped under this uselessly archaic blanket that lacks convenient arm holes.
No thanks!

Pretending that I believe someone will call me
Now that everyone has cell phones, there’s this awkward rule when bumping into acquaintances. You pull out your cell phones, pretend to key in one another’s number, and tell the other person they should ‘definitely’ call you. There are two possible outcomes:
1.) The person does not call, because you are, after all, a mere acquaintance and in no way important to that person.
2.) The person actually does call to invite you out, whereby you try very politely to force awkward conversation all evening, all the while realizing why you never became more than acquaintances in the first place.

The real kicker with possibility #2 comes at the end of the evening when you both say to one another, “We should definitely do this again.”
No thanks!

Forgetting about snow
I live in the Midwest. It snows quite a bit here. Perhaps it snows where you live too. And yet, despite the annual ritual of the seasons changing, and the fact that it last snowed just nine months ago, people seem to forget how to drive in snow every single year. Last week we had one lousy inch of wet, slushy, not-even-real snow. The result? Eighty idiot drivers across the city crash their SUVs into one another like bumper cars.

I always love the weathermens’ reaction when it snows three feet in Colorado. “It is, quite literally, the end of the world! It is SNOWING in Colorado! Oh, the humanity!”
No thanks!

What about you? What are you thankful for? What things are you saying ‘No thanks’ to on this No-Thanksgiving Day?

I’ll be taking Friday off in honor of the real holiday, but I’ll see you back next Monday. Have a great Thanksgiving!