Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

Thanksgiving 2007

Posted by Gerald on November 23, 2007

As I had mentioned in an earlier post I spent Thanksgiving this year with my friend Steve and his wife and some of their family and friends.  It was a great meal – they are quite into the cooking and baking and did not disappoint.  I enjoyed some nice dinner conversation with a couple of people and had a few glasses of wine.  It was quite pleasant.  As always, a few things struck me over the course of the evening.

Steve, having read my blog posting about Thanksgiving, asked me to give the blessing.  This was an interesting experience.  First, I’ve rarely ever done that.  Second, I didn’t know most of the people in the room and less than half had read my blog.  Third, I’ve had increasing doubts over the years about the significance or efficacy of any sort of prayer.  Still, social rituals are important, and I could be wrong about the whole prayer thing, so I had at it.  If I was going to be praying aloud I did not want it to be a set of platitudes and I didn’t want to mask what I really think of this annual American ritual of self-congratulation.  I also didn’t want to be a pontificating and posturing jerk (well, I may already BE a posturing and pontificating jerk but I didn’t want to SEEM like one – after all I had just met some of these people.)  I stumbled a bit, but I think it all came out okay.

I stayed a bit later than most of the guests.  After watching an episode of Monty Python, Steve and I started talking about teaching – which is not exactly unusual.  What got me thinking about it was that I have been awaiting this vacation for weeks.  I just wanted time away from the job!  Yet there I was, talking about it on Thanksgiving.  I think this is the real difference between having a job and having a profession.  I don’t think it has anything to do with education, or pay, or credentials – it is the difference between whether you do something or whether you are something.  I’m a teacher all the time.  I think I might be a teacher even if I weren’t employed teaching.  I think this is one of the reasons I blog as well.

I had a really nice time last night.  For the last few years I’ve spent Thanksgiving with another set of friends from college.  Like last night I was invited in past years to share in their celebration and was made to feel very welcome.  Still, I can’t help but feel a bit like an outsider.  As dear as these people are to me and as much love as they give me, I’m still joining THEIR families for the holidays.  I have relatives who live far from me, but I’ve barely seen them in my adult life.  My family was me and my parents, and they are both gone now.  I really miss them at this time of year.

Despite the last note, I had a wonderful time last night and am looking at a very active Thanksgiving weekend.  Tonight I am off to join other friends for leftovers and a movie (“Knocked Up”).  Saturday night I am going back over to Steve’s home for home-brewed beer and the premiere of the new Battlestar Galactica movie on his HDTV.

I’ve got good friends, a job I am content with, and a decent life.

Even more this year than in previous ones, I’m very thankful.


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