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If You're Going to Have a 'Tude, Make Sure it's Gratitude

If You're Going to Have a 'Tude, Make Sure it's Gratitude
Dear Luvdoc,
The missus hates going to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving. She hates going there for any other reason too, but she especially hates Thanksgiving because my family always sits around watching football and arguing about politics. Isn’t that what Thanksgiving’s for? What can I tell her to ease her troubled mind?
- Pete

Actually Pete, Thanksgiving is the little Dutch Boy with his finger in the dike innocently holding off the cataclysmic flood of Christmas time excess - at least metaphorically speaking. This is not to say that certain shameless greed leeches aren’t willing to drop their schmaltz bombs right after Halloween, but generally Turkey Day is considered a line in the sand to all but the most depraved. Really, Thanksgiving isn’t a particularly American notion in the first place. Pausing to reflect on how good we’ve got it isn’t exactly how we roll. Humility and gratitude don’t move 60 inch HDTVs off the shelves at Best Buy or compel people to take advantage of 0% financing on a new Lexus. To strap yourself into debt like that, you got to have the want. You need an undercurrent (or for that matter, raging torrent) of dissatisfaction. You have to be too fat, too skinny, too ugly, too old, too poor, too stupid, too … uh … unendowed (penis enlargement kit anyone?). There are legions of marketers out there who get paid to educate us about our inadequacies, but on the rare occasions when someone we actually know pays us a compliment, we find it suspect. Yeah, Thanksgiving … gratitude … whatever you want to call it … that’s some un-American shit. It’s the type of concept that Kung Fu’s master would have been pimping. It’s a yoga class meditation word. And yet, if you were a pilgrim back in the 1600s, you had nothing but gratitude: gratitude your boat didn’t sink, gratitude you didn’t die of pneumonia or scurvy, gratitude that a couple of ex-slave Native Americans found it in their hearts to extend an olive branch and a few turkeys and some popcorn so you didn’t starve during the winter. America, however, is a nation of ingrates – ingrates with a shitty memory. We believe that through strength and stubbornness and ingenuity we chiseled out this monolithic nation without the help of the occasional reach-around from our European neighbors. Yes, Obama, we BUILT that. Gratitude is for the weak and the inept. It’s not a part of this ass-kicking machine that is America. Therefore, Pete, what I would tell Mrs. Pete is to truly celebrate Thanksgiving - to show humility and gratitude for everything she has – including you and your insufferable family.

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