Here are my guidelines for a successful Thanksgiving gathering:
- Eat too much
- Don’t eat too much
- Try a bit of everything
- Ignore the nephew who eats with his mouth open
- When you go around the table sharing what you’re thankful for, don’t say “Prozac”
- Tolerate Uncle Ted’s stories about body parts you’d rather not hear about
- Smile nicely at the rabid vegan niece who wants to educate everyone about the realities of turkey farming
- If asked when you’ll write a real book, respond “When will you?”
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and for those who don’t celebrate the day, remember the weekend is almost upon us.
Sorry, you’ve been tricked. I am not the glorious and industrious Amanda McCabe, all ready with this totally awesome post about interesting historical figures. Nope.
By the time this posts, it will be the eve of the American holiday, Thanksgiving. Setting aside some of the painful ironies of the historical event, I’ve always thought Thanksgiving is one of the better holidays out there. It’s not a holiday based on a religious or pagan event. Instead, we Americans get to eat great food, cheer for the Cowboys to lose (Sorry, Niner fan here) and spend time with family.
What’s always fascinated me about Thanksgiving is how many of us take the Thanks seriously. I’ve always thought Samuel Pepys habit of taking account of his finances at the New Year was a great tradition. But I never do that. Because I don’t want to be depressed.
Figuring out things I am thankful for is way more fun.
Here’s my list. In no particular order. I swear.
- My writing friends. Thank goodness there are people out there who understand.
- My son. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
- My iPhone. come here, little iPhone. Let me pet you….
- European Sipping Chocolate at Viva Cocolat. It’s a wicked addiction. If you click through, you can see the black couch and chair where I often sit with my fellow writing-chocoholics and talk about books.
- Susan Boyle. I’ve watched her Britain’s Got Talent First Round performance a bazillion times and I’m ALWAYS blown away and thrilled. I have her CD now, and now I can listen all day. Which I did today. Thanks, Susan!
- My agent. Seriously.
- Alexander Skarsgard. I am profoundly grateful for the distraction.
- Creative people in general. You folks blow me away, from favorite writers, musicians, actors, directors, artists and on and on. You put beauty into my life, and for that am truly grateful.
- The men and women who came before me and ensured that I live in a world that is better for me than it was for them. Here’s a few:
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- John Stuart Mill
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Nelson Mandela
- Betty Freidan
- Gloria Steinam
- Rachel Carson
- Hannah Arendt
- Ellie Weisel
- Louis Pasteur
- Alexander Fleming
- Elizabeth Blackwell
- The men and women of our Armed Forces. I may not agree with how we got there, but thank you for serving our country.
- Pumpkin pie.
- Readers. Even if you don’t read my books. (Really? You don’t? sniff)
- Joe Montana. I was a San Francisco 49ers season ticket holder while Montana was the quarterback, and let me tell you, I have never ever seen anyone transform an event by just stepping on the field. Amazing. Thank you, Joe!
- Laura Kinsale
How about you?
So, our winners. It was tough. Maggie, bless her heart, wasted a lot of time and so the numbers were on her side (you’ll see more of her contributions below), but this one clearly spoke to me as a winning entry. That look on his face… all is made clear:
and our other winner is Gemma, who adds this helpful explanation for her entry: In case you’re wondering what she’s wearing…. ladies presented at court had a dress code to follow which included the (then outdated) panniers/hoops of the Georgian era. Instead of wearing a Georgian-style dress, however, they just combined it with the high Regency waist, resulting in maximum wtf-age.
Maggie and Gemma, send your snailmail addresses to jmullany AT comcast.net (you can decipher that, right?) and I’ll send out your prizes!
On the left: Edward V and Richard Duke of York Entering the Tower of London.
On the right: The Burning of the Savoy Palace: Eleanor Countess of March Confronts the Mob.
Little did the engraver suspect what our Keira would do to his work.
The lovely and talented Ms. Gaston, who claimed ignorance of LOL anything, showed a remarkable facility for the genre (obviously she was supposed to be writing):
Elena came through with this mind boggler of a piece of serious (?) art, hilariously representing Prinny’s uh, relationship with Brighton (I think). That poor artist… well, if His Highness represents the classical ideal of physical beauty no one will know who it is… A bit more tummy perhaps… a bit more …oops. And the expression of pained, exhausted indifference on the nymph’s face. Note he’s wearing his Order of the Garter too. (Don’t leave home without it.) Priceless.
Next, Anke (left) shows us a gentleman admiring a lady’s huge tracts o’ land, and Michelle sent the one on the right, with an apology for it maybe being too risque. Ha. She was blissfully unaware that Maggie was on the job.
Maggie clearly had time on her hands and a wandering imagination. I was very tempted by all of these, particularly her poignant yet sensitive comment on the inadequacy of Napoleonic birth control, but ultimately it was the tiara one that made me snort tea out of my nose.
Congrats all, and thanks for playing!