Tuesday, November 24, 2015


There have been two times in my life when Thanksgiving taught me what I'm thankful for.

The first was in 1993.  My fellow gay waiter, and best friend, Nick suggested that all the family drama that I was coping with could easily be avoided by just not participating in the poultry based holiday. Nick, my best friend was a Buddhist at the time, and always suggest simple answers to complex problems. I simply said "no" to the holiday. This was truly the first time I felt like an adult. By shirking responsibilities and going my own way.  This choice led me to be in The Buddhist's 1990 Nissan Altima for a long drive around Denver as we searched for a Chinese restaurant that would be open for lunch on that Thanksgiving Day. We dined that afternoon on unexplainable Chinese delicacy.  That Thanksgiving found me enjoying pickled pig ear and chicken feet. I learned two valuable life lessons that day.... One: you create your own happiness. Two: never blindly accept food prepared by a one-hundred year old Chinese woman. It truly is one of my happiest Thanksgiving memories. The Buddhist and I, sitting in a Chinese restaurant, truly thankful for the gifts we had.

The second was in 2001. I had moved to Dallas, Texas. My best friend and roommate, Jamie had recently discovered the joys of Methamphetamine.  Slowly he had changed from a happy wonderful person into a creature on the night. Barely recognizable has human. In one of his on-going empty promises he promised we would spend Thanksgiving together. For some reason I felt this dinner would be my chance to rescue him from Meth. I would use the time to make him see the horrors he was creating. I passed up invites to return home, or spend time with friends in Dallas. Instead we would meet for Thanksgiving dinner at the only restaurant open Thanksgiving day on Cedar Springs. I sat in a booth. Alone. I would find out later that Jamie woke up in an abandoned house across town. As I ate pumpkin pie alone, I learned two valuable life lessons. One: you are truly in change of your own happiness in life. Two: there are things in this life you will not be able to change. 


Fearsome Beard said...

Very insightful post. Thank you for sharing it. Happy Thanksgiving.

anne marie in philly said...

happy TD, stevie! however YOU choose to celebrate will make it meaningful!

Michael Dodd said...

Two very important lessons! May your day be grand today.

Ur-spo said...

Happy thank full day from I as well.