Holding Forth

Published on November 25th, 2016 | by Richard Black


Being Thankful: A Retrospective


Is it just me or does this remind everyone of a really awkward hook up in college?

It’s pushing midnight and I thought I should write a little something about Thanksgiving. I suppose that if I had a bit more forethought I would have written a piece a few days ago but, if we’ve learned anything over our journey together throughout the past three years, it’s that thinking ahead and isn’t one of my strong points.

And here we are. Just you and I. My wife and daughter are asleep. My extended family had the decency to leave the house after a few hours, my friends couldn’t be persuaded to stay longer and I’ve been marathon drinking since sometime around one in the afternoon.

I have a lot to be thankful for. My wife, whom is both beautiful, intelligent (incredibly tolerant) and the sole breadwinner for our family, comes first and foremost to mind. My six year old daughter is…well let’s just say that I’m thankful for my six year old daughter. She’s a piece of work, a chip off the old block and one whom decided to take her mother’s camera and narrate a video about her underwear today.

Both Laura, my wife, and I leapt into action after suffering a minor stroke. We reviewed the footage and discovered that the camera was pointed at Darcy’s head rather than her nether regions at which point we breathed a sigh of relief, deleted the video, and then had a stern talk about how to shoot a selfie.

It’s a time to be thankful and that’s all well and good. The name of the holiday is Thanksgiving after all and I’m not one to break with tradition. I hope that you and yours had a lovely holiday. I’m kidding of course. I hope it was miserable. It’s only through others suffering that I find some modicum of joy these days and particularly around this time of year. Without further ado here we go and, by the way, thanks for joining me on this ride.


Seriously. You’ll have to talk louder.

After spending a decade in my twenties standing next to massive speakers in shitty little venues I’m pretty sure that I’m going deaf and, for that, I am thankful. I never thought I would be but here we are, some twenty years later, and some asshole bought my daughter a recorder and a Dora the Explorer karaoke machine and I’ve never been more pleased that I can’t hear anything over a loud and shrill scream.

In the same vein I’m also thankful that the men in my family tend to lead long and uninteresting lives before succumbing quickly to an invasive brain tumor or some sort of dementia. I really can’t think of a better way to die sometime in my late nineties with no real memory of anything. I’ve spent a lot of effort and bourbon in an attempt to forget some fairly horrid experiences. The first time I had sex comes to mind. The second and third does as well. There’s a bit about square dancing too. The fourth and fifth time I had sex not to mention that time my mother told me that I had sexy feet.

I’m thankful for my body such as it is. It’s provided me with pages upon pages of content to write about as I head into the breach of middle age, gray hairs and bald spots and all. I’m thankful that I’m becoming homely. I’m lying now. I’m not. I’m incredibly vain and again aging is, to make a poor metaphor, a river that torrents and wears down the rock of ourselves and leaves nothing left in the end.

Jesus Christ that’s depressing unless you happen to be a Buddhist.

Moving on. I’m incredibly thankuf_px_monk_112516ful that I’ve married and fallen in love with a woman whom has incredibly poor taste in men.

I’m thankful for a bladder that still works most of the time and what I think might be a burgeoning case of IBS which has enabled me to lose twenty or so pounds over the past year.

I’m thankful that my dick didn’t fall off in college or in my twenties. I didn’t have a lot of sex but when I did it was mostly of the unprotected variety. As a side note if you’re reading this, have a mother with a lazy eye or a penchant for stabbing people and are between the ages of sixteen and twenty then send me a message. You may be a lucky winner.

Where was I?

I’m thankful that I’m good looking enough that I didn’t have to try that hard in bed back in the day. I’m not thankful that I’m losing my hair and feel compelled to try harder in bed now that I’m out of shape and in my early forties. I’m thankful that Viagra exists and that I don’t need to take it right now at least as far as you, my adoring, good natured and incredibly attractive public, are concerned.

I’m thankful for my liver which has proven to be amazingly resilient as well as the fact that I’ve found a grocery store that serves beer for two bucks a pint while I shop. On a completely unrelated note I’m thankful for the fact that I’ve been blessed with a mind that can handle five beers during an hour and a half session of shopping for groceries and still manage to cajole a good friend to drive me home.

I’m thankful that my daughter isn’t a tween yet who rolls her eyes at every fourth word I have to say. I’m thankful that, for now, Darcy is a sweet and honest little girl without guile or pretense or any tendency towards manipulation. I’m thankful that my wife busts her ass to allow one of us to be a stay at home parent. More often than not I’m thankful that the person is me.

Damn it I’m getting teary-eyed now that I’m on my…well let’s just call it my Schrodinger beer.

I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to know some of you over the past few years, aside from you Carl, seriously go fuck yourself. The rest of you have been delightful and I look forward to sharing our triumphs and disappointments together. Now if you’ll excuse me there are three or four beers in the fridge that need drinking and a turkey the size of a Buick that needs some tending to.

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