Many times over the years, I’ve taken advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to share in print the things for which I’m thankful.
I do this because I am thankful for many things, and also because, come on, it’s a holiday week. I’ve got travel plans to make, turkeys to brine, families to see. I just don’t have the time to come up with a coherent narrative.
Lately, however, my thanks have become rather repetitious. I’m thankful for my wife. Thankful for some of the kids. Thankful for the down-home goodness of a perfectly roasted turkey. Thankful for Big Papi and a Red Sox World Series title.
Blah blah blah.
Recently, though, I uncovered a treasure trove of junk in my mom’s attic, which included a bunch of old school papers: tests, report cards, essays, detention slips.
One of these is what I believe was my first written “what I am thankful for” list, compiled for my seventh-grade English class and receiving a slick B-minus.
Without further ado, things to be thankful for, circa 1977:
I am thankful that this essay only has to be 500 words long, not 750. Really, really, really, really, very, very thankful. Extremely, really, very thankful. How many words is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?
I am thankful that we didn’t have to type this essay. How can anyone use those stupid typewriters? I have to stop and fix every fourth letter. I will never be a writer.
I am thankful that Jimmy Carter has taken over as president from that guy who always trips and falls on “Saturday Night Live.”
I am thankful for Charles Nelson Reilly. Best “Match Game” celebrity ever.
I am thankful for Meat Loaf. The food and the musician.
I am thankful for Fred Lynn, who will be the greatest player in Red Sox history, maybe baseball history.
I am thankful for Steve Grogan. I don’t think the Patriots will ever have a better quarterback.
I am thankful that I did not grow up like Kunta Kinte.
I am thankful for cassette tapes. These are way better than 8-tracks. I can keep my music on them forever.
I am thankful for puberty. This is awesome. Look, there’s a hair on my upper lip. I am totally going to have a girlfriend before I’m a college junior.
I am thankful for Marcia Brady. I am thankful for Mary Ann but not so much Ginger. I am thankful for Cheryl Ladd. Sorry Farrah Fawcett.
I am thankful for a perfectly roasted turkey, served with lots of gravy. I am thankful for turkey sandwiches and all other turkey-related products.
I am thankful for my friends, because compared to them, I’m the Vinnie Barbarino.
I am thankful for Dungeons and Dragons. Also 20-sided dice, which are, like, three-and-a-third times better than regular dice.
I am thankful for my mom, who feeds me whenever I am hungry. I am thankful for my dad, who never hits me, no matter how much I might deserve it.
I am thankful that only one of my sisters is a hideous troglodyte (38 hit points, with bonuses against elves and paladins).
I am thankful for George R. Austin Middle School, which is providing me with this stellar education.
I am thankful for “Schoolhouse Rock,” without which I never would have been able to memorize the preamble.
I am thankful that I have the voice of Andy Gibb. More talent in his little finger than Shaun Cassidy has in his whole body.
I am thankful for cranberry sauce. The kind you slice from a can, not the lumpy kind.
I am thankful that we’re still the only house on the block with Pong. But maybe an Atari for Christmas or, dream of dreams, a Tandy computer?
I am thankful that the cat ran away. Don’t judge me.
I am thankful that grandpa gives me permission to watch both football games on Thanksgiving. Even if he falls asleep on the couch in the first quarter.
I’m thankful that grandpa falls asleep on the couch, because that’s the only time he and grandma aren’t yelling at each other.
I am thankful for Pop Rocks. All the nutrition a growing boy needs.
I am thankful that we’re going to Disney World this year. Just wish we we weren’t driving. Totally boring, except for the South of the Border signs, and I’ll be stuck next to my sister (see previous note) in the station wagon. Dad says it’s cheaper — I wish gas was ridiculously expensive, like a dollar a gallon, then maybe he’d let us fly.
I am thankful for the Force, though I have not mastered it quite yet.
I am thankful for that new set of encyclopedias. They make term papers a breeze.
I am thankful for our cool new phone. It has buttons instead of a dial.
I am thankful that mom doesn’t make me wear those light-blue toughskins anymore. Now I’m sure no one will make fun of me.
I am thankful for the Big Ragu. He should definitely marry Shirley.
I am thankful that we can now get 12 channels on the TV. UHF rules.
Good night, John Boy. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.
Email Steve Ouellette at:email@example.com