There are a number of reasons that I don't care much for Thanksgiving. One of them is that I have a genetic resistance to being told to do anything, and I resent being told that Thanksgiving is the day when I have to be grateful. I'm grateful for many things, on many days, because I choose to be, not because the calendar tells me that I have to. So, on that contrarian note, I think that my post this weekend should be about some things for which I am NOT grateful. Chalk it up to my effort to achieve balance in the universe.
1. I am not grateful that that, possibly fifteen years ago, I arrived in New York one day about an hour early to hear Arthur Miller speak about playwriting, and so I went into a coffee shop next door to kill some time, and there, sitting alone at a table and doing absolutely nothing other than drinking his cup of coffee, was ARTHUR MILLER HIMSELF, and I was so paralyzed by shyness/fear/confusion that I went and sat by myself at another table for the entire time, and missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet him.
2. I am not grateful that, half an hour ago, I failed to win a KidLit Cares auction for a critique by Wendy Lamb of the first three chapters of a novel.
3. I am not grateful that the human race is well on its way to destroying its own environment and, for some reason, thinks that short-term financial gains are more important.
4. I am not grateful that Alan Turing, the genius who during World War II cracked the Germans' fiendishly difficult Enigma code, was later hounded by his own government into committing suicide at age 42 because of his homosexuality.
5. I am not grateful for the invention of chewing gum.
6. I am not grateful that my father died at a time when he and I were on bad terms, and that I never had the opportunity to try to reconcile with him.
That's it for now. Please feel free to leave comments about things, large and small, for which you are ungrateful. Let me know I'm not the only one! And then I'll do a gratitude post in, maybe, July.