October 12th, 2009

Gratitude

Ok, so on Friday I went on about the historical meaning of Thanksgiving being tied to food, the action on the day being centred around food, and the fact that the holiday is really about food, full stop. But of course its cultural relevance today is tied up in gratitude, that it is a day of blessing-counting, appreciation, hugs, and acknowledgement. And still food. I’m going to try to put my money where my mouth is (ha!) and make this year’s list of thanks as food-oriented as possible.

I am grateful for:

1) The ability to bite and chew. About six years ago, I went to the dentist with a pain in my jaw that I thought was stress-related and found out that the bones in my jaw were totally out of whack (that’s what you get for not seeing a dentist for three years, and, er, going to really loser one as a kid). After retainers to braces and finally very scary surgery and a long recovery period, I could eat whatever I wanted without pain, and food almost never falls out of my mouth while I do (unless someone makes me laugh). It was weird to be, as an adult, forbidden certain foods, and the experience certainly makes me appreciate walking down the street eating an apple, as I did this afternoon.

2) Dining companions. Food is often the social glue, the ostensible cause for a gathering, but really it’s the cooks’ presence, much more than the food they offer, that makes the meal special. In recent weeks, I’ve been invited into people’s homes for paella, chili, two Thanksgiving dinners and an ice-cream social. On all occasions, the food was delicious but far more so was the warmth with which it was offered, and the conversation with which it was enjoyed.

3) The infinite variety of breakfast cereals. No matter how many I try, there will always be more on the shelves, and new ones every day. The upside of capitalism.

4) The ability to feed myself. I like using the economic crisis as an excuse for my inability to get my laundry folded or show up at the movies on time, but the fact is, things are not excellent in the world of employment right now (the downside of capitalism). The fact that I still have a job that keeps me in breakfast cereal and veggie burgers is no small victory and I am grateful for it. I am also grateful for the fact that I get to eat my (brown-bag, natch) work lunch with awesome humans everyday, even if they make fun of me for my addiction to canned tuna.

5) Books. Sorry, I couldn’t make this one fit (though J. M. Coetzee did profoundly warp my relationship with meat, a testament to the power of prose if there ever was one) but writing, reading, and thinking about books fills up all the time that I have that isn’t taken up by the above (or grocery shopping), and I feel lucky indeed to have that.

6) Hey, while I’m already off the theme, thanks for reading Rose-coloured. I really appreciate it.

RR

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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