Mom put too much ricotta in the lasagna, trying to please Dad. I didn’t particularly enjoy the lasagna. But I appreciated her desire to make Dad happy.
I stuck around New York City an extra 2-days. My college roommate, Vince, was going to be in the city with his wife. I certainly wasn’t part of their romantic getaway. But I appreciated her desire to make Vince happy by giving us the afternoon to fart around.
Over 21-years ago, Grandpa Bernie started Max’s Deli. He had no intention for me to give-up chasing the dream in exchange for peddling bagels. But I’m thankful for the opportunity to turn bagels into gold, even if it’s fool’s gold.
When you stop to give thanks, it’s corny. We don’t usually shower affection, unless it’s at a funeral, and the person we’re going on about is already in an urn.
This week, we’re supposed to give thanks. What a pain in the ass.
My brother says I’m a “regret guy.” Some people wrestle with addiction. Some people wrestle with ADD. Some people wrestle with a life dedicated to finding the short cut, even though, I’m sorry to say, the short cut, like God, doesn’t exist.
My brother says I wrestle with regret. Only it’s not true. I don’t wrestle with regret. I’m thoughtful, which gives me the appearance of wrestling with regret.
I don’t regret anything: all the kisses I mistook as genuine affection, all the years making atonal noise in bands destined to not even make the t-shirt rack in a trendy thrift store, all the improv comedy clubs where “support” was a myth and “stepping-up” was stepping on the neck of the nearest person you were “supporting,” all the friends in advertising who turned-out to be nothing more than intoxicating liars, the $96,000.00 dollars I spent being hustled by Newsweb Corporation only to be summarily cast-off the microphone, sued and hunted down by the FBI’s top-10 biggest investigative losers.
All of it was worth it. No regrets.
Having said that, I appreciate my brother’s observation. It’s hard to diagnose your blind spots. Even though, I’m not so naïve as to think he didn’t say it to push my buttons. Joey wrestles with button pushing. He thinks he’s funny. He is.
Joey is the most naturally funny person I’ve ever known. Even though, he’s never stopped long enough to diagnose the expression on the face of the person he’s button pushing. If he did, if he ever bothered, if he cut out the button pushing, and let his natural charm ring through, he’d mature into the kind of guy who’d make a pretty spectacular family man.
The problem with being thankful is it forces you to look back, while at the same time, forecasting your intentions. This process can be as fruitless as signing-up for Jenny Craig. It’s easy to want to lose weight. It’s hard to follow-through. If it was easy, Jenny Craig would go out of business.
Truth is, Jenny Craig counts on you not counting calories. Your weight loss intention, built upon the guarantee of zero follow-through, is the business model for turning empty calories into gold. You might call her a bitch. But I call Jenny Craig “entrepreneurial.”