st_jelisa-castrodaleEvery year, my family sits down for our Thanksgiving meal in the middle of the afternoon, well after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons have been deflated and the undersized high school seniors have finished picking all of the confetti out of their tubas. But before my dad is allowed to slice into the turkey, my mother always makes us go around the table, naming at least one thing that we’re thankful for.

Most years, I’m grateful that no one seems to mind that my contribution to the meal is a plate of carefully arranged gummy worms, but this year, even that won’t cut it. Because 2016 has essentially been a dead raccoon, stuffed with discarded Arby’s bags, set on fire and thrown onto our collective front porch, I don’t have a lot that I’m feeling particularly appreciative about. I’ll try to come up with something before Thursday but, in the meantime, here are some things I’m decidedly not giving thanks for this year.

• The man with a faded “OBUMMER” bumper sticker and a Confederate flag decal who looked at my Hillary Clinton T-shirt and shouted at me to “Get over it.” Really, dude? I know you’re still angry about that time your elementary school was integrated, but you don’t seem like a real authority on How to Move On.

• Anyone who still has a Confederate flag T-shirt, sticker, decal or actual piece of fabric. You lost, 151 years ago. Now you’re just flying history’s most hateful participation trophy. And you want me to get over a two-week old loss.

• Pumpkin-spiced everything. Cheerios. Oatmeal. Twinkies. Visine. My corneas smell like faaaall!

• J. Crew Mercantile, which is opening in Winston-Salem’s Thruway Center this week. Mercantile is derived from the 17th Century Italian word for “factory outlet.”

• The woman who held up a ridiculously long checkout line at Whole Foods so she could run back to the produce section to get a different bundle of kale because the one she’d grabbed “didn’t look symmetrical.” Apparently she was taking it home to paint its formal portrait.

• People who think they’re somehow superior because they shop at Whole Foods. The only difference between the two of us is that you brought your own shopping bags and I shave my armpits.

• Making small talk with the super enthusiastic cashiers at Trader Joe’s. No, I didn’t know that it was Marvelous Mango Month. Yes, I have plans for the afternoon. No, I didn’t know that this steak was from Uruguay. Yes, I get hives when I’m uncomfortable. Paper bags are fine.

• The guy who stopped me at the gym and told me that I didn’t need to lift heavy weights because it’s not good for a woman’s body. I assume he knows that from all the time he spent as a woman. Guys. Guys. Stop telling women what they can, can’t, should and shouldn’t do with their own bodies. Also, there’s no way I’m taking any advice from somebody who only benches 105 pounds.

• Anyone who eats one Pop Tart and puts the other one back in the bag. When did you first realize that you were a serial killer?

• Anyone who eats yellow Starburst. When did you first realize that you were a serial killer?

• Serial killers. Do you even know how many podcasts you’re responsible for?

• My neighbor who cooks Brussels sprouts all the time. Thank you, our building smells like the Great Depression.

• The seasonal horse-drawn carriage rides that bring Saturday night traffic to a standstill in downtown Winston-Salem. The next time you want to spend your evening staring at a horse’s ass, just stay home and watch “The O’Reilly Factor.”

• Whatever factory outlet — I mean mercantile — that’s responsible for Donald Trump’s hair.

• Anyone who uses the word ‘coinkydink.’ It is not a coinkydink that we’re both in Trader Joe’s right now. It’s the week of Thanksgiving: Everyone is in Trader Joe’s right now. Also, I’ve heard that it’s Marvelous Mango Month.   

• Whoever decides the prep times for Blue Apron recipes. If the recipe card says that it’ll take 20 minutes to prepare, that means I’ll spend five minutes trying to figure out how to cut an acorn squash, five minutes bandaging my sliced finger and 10 minutes weeping in the Wendy’s drive-thru. (Honestly, this is not the only reason that I’ve quietly sobbed through a mouthful of Baconator Fries.)

• Acorn squash.

• That 15 minutes of deep regret after eating Baconator fries.

• The second order of Baconator fries.

• Anyone who tries to convince you that almond milk tastes just like regular milk. I do not want your dust water.

• Pumpkin spiced dust water.

• Allergy shots. My doctor says that if I take these surprisingly expensive injections twice a week for the next two years, I’ll be immune to pollen. That’ll come in handy when I apply for a job as a honeybee.

• 2016. Seriously, get bent.

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