Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving and Sarah Palin

Or my pants don’t fit because of those greedy pilgrims.
Thanksgiving themes have been done and redone much like the week old remains of that gluttonous meal we like to call a holiday. Holiday from what I am not entirely sure but holiday none the less. Perhaps it is a holiday from all reasonable and sane behavior. How else can you explain so many deep fried turkey injuries on this one day alone? Not to mention the fact that in a single act of group think rivaling only that of Jones Town an entire country incapacitates itself with one of the most insidious weapon of mass destruction ever dreamed of by Saddam Hussein. Copious amounts of food. With a single innocuous and even heartwarming word, Thanksgiving, households across America will actively begin preparing their demise. They will spend hours slaving over hot stoves and ovens with a few random deep fryers thrown in for splashy special effects. They will play fast and loose with Sal and Monella, those two low life cousins from the wrong side of the lower intestinal track. They will throw caution to the wind leaving deviled eggs unattended in overheated rooms for long hours to be manhandled by the unwashed hands of Uncle Harry with the lingering cough and those wild savage animals someone calls their "little darlings."

On this day nearly an entire nation will forget the good sense they were born with and eat everything and anything laid before them and a good deal that's just lying around. It won’t matter one bit that they have never eaten gravy on green beans before. Nor will it matter that Aunt Ethel’s fruit cake originally served as a foot rest for General Ulysses S Grant in the Civil war, they won’t even bother with the politic of which side their great, great somebody fought on. Nope. They will just shove another bite in while Aunt Ethel flashes her lipstick stained smile and slyly tries to straighten her dentures…again. There will be enough food to feed an entire third world nation twice and yet someone will call out “Hey, where’s the cranberry sauce? Didn’t anybody bring cranberry sauce? You can’t call this a meal without cranberry sauce.” Followed by “Hellmann’s? I thought we all agreed last year that Miracle Whip was the best? You don’t expect me to eat this stuff do you?”

Then there is Uncle Larry who bears a striking resemblance to absolutely no one in the family but is never questioned because he always helps with the dishes. You can usually find him wearing some unexplainable kid concoction and being chased by a pack of vicious sugar crazed hooligans in what resembles an excerpt from the Lord of the Flies with the sounds of “After all we aren’t savages, really” echoing behind him. They will race past men sitting on overstuffed sofas whose eyes are fixed on a game they care little to nothing about. Too fat and full to even consider getting up to pour their own beer they are quite happy to yell at the fat lazy dumbass who missed the pass in a blinding blizzard of sub zero temperatures.
“Is that pumpkin pie ready yet? We’re starving in here!” The women will roll their eyes and pour themselves another glass of wine.

All across America in homes full of mini dramas, familial slights and exuberant acts of forgiveness. We will eat too much and moan about our good fortune. We will sit in the lap of luxury and ask for a softer pillow. And we will sit around our dining room tables basking in the glow of those we love and who love us back even when we both know better.

Not everyone however will have that special warm fuzzy holiday experience. Some will struggle under great adversity while others struggle simply to live life. Somewhere in between a great many of us will secretly wonder why we never quite seem to fit in. The media will sell us glowing images of golden roast turkey and picture perfect families who wouldn’t recognize a care or worry if it sat at the head of the table and carved the roast beast itself. And some of us will wonder. We will wonder why our lives don’t look quite like those airbrushed, glossy, color fantasies.

Last year right around this time, many of us were unwitting witnesses to a colossal collision as this picture perfect imagery slammed head-on into ugly reality. It occurred when
Sara Palin gave a television interview at a turkey processing plant. She stood outside in her fashionable Alaskan outdoor gear with a latte’ firmly gripped in one dainty gloved hand. The cameras were centered in on her while clearly visible in the background a ghastly scene stealing moment played out. It came in the form of a hard working employee of the turkey processing plant. Possibly a few drumsticks short of a full IQ test this fellow was not so easily distracted by the glamour of a live television interview though he looked on with rapt attention as the cameras rolled. He did not waver from his assigned task which apparently was feeding turkeys into the grinder. He never missed a beat. Sara too was clearly not distracted by the graphic scene that played out behind her. She never skipped a beat as well, continuing to answer questions and smiling for the cameras. While the shock of seeing this awkward moment on national television was nearly overwhelming in so many ways I did take away an invaluable lesson about Thanksgiving.

No matter what your opinion of the woman may be and everyone does seem to have a strong opinion about her, I have to give her this; she is entirely comfortable in her own skin. She was never once distracted nor did she look the least bit uncomfortable about what she fully knew to be going on directly behind her. All political commentary aside what finally dawned on me as the shock began to wear off was that she wasn’t making any apologies to anyone. Now I understand that it is a little hard to peal away the political emotions surrounding this woman but in that moment that is exactly what I did. I was filled with gratitude for the country that I live in. Not because of her or any other politician but rather for the fact that in this day and age of glossy coated dreams and techno color promises where everything is airbrushed and crafted for presentation there are still people with the chutzpah to thumb their nose at it all and say “This is who I am and I’m OK with that.”

I am grateful for the people who accept their imperfections and failings and lovingly accept them in others. I am grateful that my biggest concern on this day is how much rich food I will overeat and whether this outfit really does make my butt look fat. I am grateful for the phone book that props up the broken table leg or the scruffy uncle that snores on the couch and for all the messy families and friendships. I am grateful for knowing that somewhere out there is my opportunity to keep trying for that glossy coated dream. I am deeply grateful for all the people that have sacrificed and died so that I may have the luxury to fret and worry that my life isn’t picture perfect. Grateful that someone out there has provided me with the fortune to be thankful for how great life is while still imagining how much better it can be. I am grateful that I have the liberty to create an opportunity of my choosing. I am especially thankful for the people who love and support me. And I thank all of you for letting me be there for you while you reach for your glossy coated dreams and techno colored promises.
Happy Thanksgiving

Or Happy Thursday for those of you not doing the whole festive turkey thing.


  1. Lesan,
    Good read! I'm not a fan of Palin, but it amazes me how she can convince so many people she is on their side. I think if they really stepped back and looked at her and what she does their opinions might move away from her.

  2. Well said, LeSan! I hope you have a good holiday! I love your artwork, it is so full of life and color! Thanks for sharing it.

    I guess everybody has a strange Uncle or two.


  3. Wow LeSan ~ Fantastic post. We are having a quiet day, just the two of us. No turkey this year, a roaster chicken instead. Even though things have been a little tight this year, DH and I are thankful for what we have. This year has been like camping out, learning to live on less.

    We've been through many family 'saga' holidays, and frankly do not miss them. We all live many miles apart these days and everyone does their own thing with their immediate families.

    I am thankful for cyber friends, some of whom have become my family.

    I am thankful for the love, life and laughter DH and I share.

    May you and yours have a wonderful, happy, holiday whatever you do. I am looking forward to preparing a nice meal with love for my dearest and best friend, my DH.


  4. Thank you, LeSan, for sharing those things for which you are Thankful, for I am sure, most of us feel the same way. I know I do.

    We are going to have a good day tomorrow. DH is frying a turkey, in his new fryer that I just purchased for him (at his instruction), and which he has totally rebuilt, because he didn't like most of the way it was engineered. Not safe, he says. Not efficient, he says. Whatever, I say.

    We are also laying hardwood floors tomorrow. I have only been waiting for them for 12 years, I am Thankful that this day is here!

  5. LeSan,

    Wonderful post. I am amazed at the journey of your thoughts, from the "family" portrait that had me chuckling, to the shock of that turkey processing plant and, despite that, how Palin made you grateful.

    I, for one, am grateful for this imperfectly perfect life! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving, you and yours.
    We all have something to be grateful matter how small it might be.
    I,myself,am very blessed in my life.
    Have a good one and don't eat too much.

  7. What a great post! Funny you should mention Sara, she was the root of many an argument last year and so political discussions were banned between my husband and my conservative Dad during family holidays.
    Our life is nothing like the glossy images in the media, but I love it and am so thankful for the people in it.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. LeSan
    Happy Thanksgiving .... AND a very happy Thursday to you!
    (I admit, you had me hooked, wondering where you were going to go with the Sarah story :)
    Love your candor, and ability to put your thoughts and feelings out there, in the cyber-ether we share.
    Take care, xo Alice

  9. LeSan,

    First I have to know ... is that your painting in the beginning? Gorgeous colors! The fruit so sensual ... what a talent you are! You wittily weave a story that cracks us up while touching very deep issues. Your palette, vision and skill in painting is inspiring! Quite accomplished with words and pigments ... I would say.

    You had me laughing out loud with your first few words... and all the way to Sarah's intro. I so agree about the gluttony, irony and pure fantasy of this holiday. Those first settlers sure did not eat half the food on our T. menu. Then there is all the difficult silence regarding the indigenous folks... who sort of loved their world, lifestyles, with all its rituals and reverence for Nature. Gosh no they were not perfect either but it was HOME. I admire the truth and love in your words. When you bring Sarah into the essay, I get chills... comfortable in her skin or no... it frightens me to think of her as a leader. I am very thankful that she is not our VP!
    I am so happy and thankful that your creative spirit has entered my life. I am honored by your kind words and special mentions.(Someone else had used the word tagging for a similar honor... it is not a bad word. I do not think...;) Happy Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday and all the days that follow. I can tell you are not a once a year thankful kinda girl. Enjoy your loved ones and Thanksgiving. Carol

  10. Hi LeSan! Firstly,I laughed. At the end, I almost cried. I asked myself many times how can people be obsessed with, let's say, football and be crazily happy or extremly unhappy about a game's score and spend hours discussing it, while their countrymen are dieing in foreign countries. How can one TV channel show soldiers' coffins and other channel tries to sell us something at the same time. Your post tells me that I am not the only one who thinks about such things. And for that, I am grateful to you. Your post is a must to read. It needs to be on the first page of all newspapers. I hope all the families treasure an opportunity to be together more than an opportunity to get stuffed with turkey tomorrow. You are a wonderful person. Be happy!

  11. Hope you have a nice holiday from being sane and embrace your wild woman.
    And I've never had a deep fried turkey, but it sounds delicious!

  12. I just stumbled upon your blog and got some great laughs! Loved the visuals I was getting from daydreaming your story of a holiday of "eat too much today, but I'll be on a diet tomorrow" folks. Me, I'm home with the pets. Had a chicken salad sandwich. Husband is a doctor and working a 42 hour shift. But I kind of like it this way. I get to stroll about the garden with my various pets. And be thankful for the sound of the birds and otherwise, lovely silence. Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are!

  13. ROSEY~ I hope you had a wonderful time with your family too! Thank you very much for the compliment on the art.
    Sorry to hear about the strange uncle.

    FLOWERLADY~ Thank you Rainey, that was a lovely comment. One of the blessings in our modern world is that we can create the families we want and need. Not every family is worthy of the title. Sometimes we need a do it yourself kit instead. I hope you and DH had a wonderful holiday. It sure sounds wonderful.

    RANDY EMMITT~ I understand the strong emotions people have about polarizing figures. I just like to learn things from unexpected places. It isn’t about the who it is about the what. I am willing to learn from anyone. Sometimes the harder it is the better the lesson.

    JANIE~ OK. You have me beat. You are cooking Thanksgiving dinner and laying hardwood floors? Are you on crack? LOL
    I couldn’t help but think of Tim the Toolman Taylor when you said DH rebuilt the fryer. Heheh. You are too funny. Hope the floors go smoothly for you. Then you can have something else to be thankful for.

    JEWEL~ You have seen through me. Hehe. My thoughts do take a rather winding road don’t they? I guess I am always looking to learn something and making connections in the oddest places. I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family. I can only imagine that you did.

  14. LINDA –PATCHWORK~ Thank you Linda. I am glad you think your life is good. Just believing that is a wonderful blessing in itself. Oh, and too late. I ate like a SWINE. LOL

    CATHERINE~ I knew the Palin reference would draw some fire but the point was being able to put aside our differences long enough to learn something from one another. I think you must have a very lovely—normal family. Somewhere a person could feel welcome and comfortable. No politics. heheh

    ALICE-- BAY AREA TENDRILS~ Thanks for hanging with me on the Palin thing Alice. Sometimes I get an idea in my head that doesn’t seem at all connected but in my own addled way it is. At least that is what I keep telling those voices anyway.
    By the way, we had a really nice Thursday.

    CAROL~ Hi Carol. Yes that is my painting. I didn’t really have a Thanksgiving photo of my own so I used that painting. Thank you very much for the compliment. I thank you also for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and loving comment.
    I knew that the Palin portion would raise some eyebrows but I really did learn something while watching that interview. I think it is important to step outside of our comfort zones to learn wherever we can. There are a whole lot of things in this world I do not agree with but I try to understand why they exist in the first place. That in turn helps me understand those around me and hopefully even myself.
    Thank you again for your wonderful comment. I enjoyed reading it very much. Oh, and you’re right. I am not a once a year thankful kind of gal. More like minute by minute.

    TATYANA~ Your emotion and respect for human life came through so clearly in your comment. I was moved by reading your words. I too feel so strongly about these things. I can’t help but think of those families who are facing their first holiday without a loved one. Someone who gave their life so that we might fret over the game score. No matter what opinion a person may have of this war or that the fact remains that some one put their life on the line not for a politician but for all of us at home. Blood does not have a flag.
    Thank you Tatyana so much for saying this. You continue to amaze me.

    TERRY LYNN~ Terry because of you am learning to forgive my wild woman. She kind of scares me. The last time we met she had me schlepping boulders. LOL
    Thank you for adding that to my lexicon. I would have never thought of it and now it makes me smile every time.
    I have also never tasted a deep fried turkey. We also cook ours in the smoker. It’s amazing!

    BRENDA~ Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to write a comment. I am so happy you found me here in my little bloggy corner. I took a look around your blog and you have a wonderful place there. Your pets are just adorable and irresistible. I can see how you might not mind some quiet time with them. I would like to thank your husband for being a doctor. I know they have to go through so much to become one and I am so grateful that they do. Thank you also for being the kind of mate that supports him through these long hours while he does it.
    I hope you visit often. I will be glad to see you again. By the way, I am in Washington Sate.

  15. Loved this post: poignant, funny, and too true!Enjoying your posts,
    Christine B. in Alaska

  16. CHRISTINE B. Thank you very much for your comment. I am so pleased to hear that you are enjoying the blog so far. I hope you continue to drop in. ;-)