The Sharpest Knife in the Knife Block

It’s Thanksgiving, and you know what that means: a Facebook feed full of people waxing poetic about friends and family and blessings and family and jobs and friends and food and friends and family. And don’t get me wrong–all that stuff is really nice, and I’m sure it’s all completely heartfelt and yes, I too am grateful for friends and family and blessings and jobs and stuff.

But you know what I’m most thankful for today?

Today I am most thankful for all those boneheaded, dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks, foolish, ill-conceived, badly planned, poorly thought out, ultra-doofus choices that I’ve made since I hit the age when I was legally allowed to make all those herpaderp decisions and have to clean them up myself. Because sure, they usually made things exceedingly complicated and awful at the time; but today, when there’s bread rising in the kitchen and an amazing hubby sorting CDs in the dining room and a couple of dogs and a couple of cats snoozing in various sunbeams and life generally has that rosy glow about it, today I realize how easy and comfortable and  lovely my life has become as a result of those dunderheaded moments, and I have to honor them.

There was the day at the daycare center when I said “Ok, I’ll trust that the director submitted all the paperwork correctly for this employee, and I’ll process payroll for her without double-checking, because why would the director lie?”. That’s when I learned what it feels like to lose a job you love, and what it feels like to take a Job of Last Resort at the Call Center of Doom…which is what enabled me to arrange my schedule so that I could go back and finish the college program I’d quit halfway through.

And speaking of the college program, there was that day during my sophomore year of college when I met a guy and fell sooooo in looooove and moved him into my apartment six weeks later even though he had no job, no job prospects, and no money with which to support himself; so eventually I quit school to take a full-time minimum-wage job at a daycare center to support him–er, us–and learned that I loved teaching and met some awesome families but didn’t have a degree so I couldn’t advance very far, and then I lost that job anyway (see previous) and, because such is the way of things, the guy eventually ran off with a 19-year-old voice major, but that’s pretty ok because…

While we were together, he started spending an alarming amount of time with a gal he worked with (he did have some jobs, just not consistently or frequently), including ditching Thanksgiving with my family to spend it with her, and after several months of my being increasingly sure that he was cheating on me with her and wanting her head on a platter, I met her…and her boyfriend, whom my guy had just forgotten to mention all this time. I lost the guy (see previous), but she and I became BFFs, and she was the maid of honor at my wedding…

To a guy I met after having dated a string of progressively…um…well, I mean, I’m sure most of them are very nice people and will make someone else blissfully happy. However, that person was really, really, really not ever gonna be me, ’cause ohsweetbabyjesus were some of those relationships disastrous. Hoo boy. So one day I sat down on the sofa, said “Ok, Lord, I am sick of this malarkey. You want me to be in a relationship? You find the person and send ’em at me, because obviously I am not so whippy at finding ’em myself”…and the next day I got an email from Moon Man, via a dating website we were both on.

And he’d made his share of dunderheaded choices too–marrying That Woman comes to mind, but without that choice he would’ve ended up Chicago and we probably would never have met, so while she’s not really the first person I think of when I name folks who are invited to Thanksgiving dinner, I’m nonetheless grateful for her, because she brought him back to Kansas. And she made him buy this house which I don’t necessarily love, but lord lord is it ever a far sight better than the roach-infested apartment where I was living when we met, and it’s nice and roomy for hosting parties and we even have a guest room, which makes me feel terribly swanky and grown-up.

So there it is: this Thanksgiving I’m most grateful for all those moments when I was not, in fact, the sharpest knife in the knife block. The brightest crayon in the box. The quickest brown fox in a room full of lazy dogs. Because when you think about it, those slow, dull, drab fox moments are the ones that dragged me inevitably toward a life that I’m actually really proud of. They’re the choices that got me to a place where I’m safe, happy, stable, sane, and (honestly) rather too well-fed. They brought me my dearest friends (Moon Man introduced me to about 150 of the people on my friends list), my lovable heathen critters, my home, my college degree, and my husband. And I wouldn’t change ’em for…

Yeah, no, that’s a lie. There are some that I’d totally undo if I had half a chance. ‘Cause seriously now, let’s not be hasty. But I’d keep most of ’em…

And I’d totally keep all of you. Happy Thanksgiving, ‘Tracters. I love you each, and I love you all. Even when you’re not being the shiniest jewel in the crown.



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