Like all Californians with a wedge of fine cheese and a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge, I can be a bit "entitled." There are certain things I expect from life and even take for granted: shelter, clean water, on-demand streaming video, a large array of commercial hair products from which to choose, and the ability to buy lunch at the Macy's cafe, because that is just -- as they say -- "chump change."
What problems I have fall squarely in the First World category. Most days, my biggest gripe is that "gas station robots" are not a thing, or that my kids somehow acquired a dog-shaped guitar that plays songs "sung" by barking dogs.
Though mostly oblivious to my good fortune, I have been feeling -- as Christmas nears -- a few stray pangs of gratitude. Before the moment passes, I will jot down the following:
Christmas Gratitude List (2015)
1. New Christmas tree stand. My old Christmas tree stand was forged by the Devil's minions in the foundries of Hell. It was so hard to use, it was -- for all practical purposes -- anti-Christmas. Just the sight of it, leering down at me from a high shelf in the garage, made me resolve to get a plastic tree this year. Long story short: I got a new stand, invented by people who don't loathe humankind, and a real tree after all.
2. Healthy children. At a recent pediatric visit, we discussed the fact that my daughter was not quite as tall as expected. Perhaps it was because she just turned seven and was being compared to seven-year-olds who were, on average, older. Perhaps it was because she was a "late bloomer" who would shoot up at thirteen, or perhaps it was because she was living on Twizzlers and Gatorade, with the occasional potato thrown in for fiber.* The luxury of this conversation, in the absence of anything else to talk about, was not lost on me. In gratitude, I will be doubling the kids' potato ration in 2016.
3. Lena Dunham. While I don't endorse everything Lena Dunham has said and done, I'm enjoying her show, Girls. To anyone wondering what I'm doing alternate Friday nights: I'm watching Lena Dunham plumb the mysteries of the human heart, like the time Adam took up with a new girl while still in love with the old girl, hospitalized at the time due to a self-inflicted injury to her ear. Thanks, Lena!**
[To be continued]*Just kidding.
** Thanks also to my sister, also named Lena.