Unthanksgiving by Evan Barragate


791 Angry Turkey Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock


Everyone I have spoken to agrees that this Thanksgiving break felt long. It usually feels like the shortest break of the year, but this time it was different. Having so many days off gave me a lot of time to think, which is something I typically avoid doing. I expect that most people spent time thinking. As stress fades with the absence of work and classes and families come together around a delightful meal, people can’t help but think about all the things they are grateful for. And as I said, this free-time does make me think. But the happiness and compassion in the air fill my brain with thoughts of everything I am unthankful for.

This Thanksgiving, I thought about how ungrateful I am for anything sentimental. When I scrolled through my phone, I saw countless posts telling me things like, “Even if I don’t know you, I am thankful for you. I am thankful that you are here.” All I could think to myself was, “Wow. I am so not thankful for whoever posted this. Why would I want to see it?” Though this does not only happen during the Turkey holiday. The sentimentality tortures me year-round when I see it in Instagram captions and posts, picture frames, and on posters in the school hallways. It’s more than just “live, love, laugh.” Any ounce of touchiness or drama fills me with fury. When I see comments on social media posts from people’s boyfriends or girlfriends talking about how good they look, how much they love them, how much they want to see them, or anything trying to be clever and cute, I throw up in my mouth. It isn’t that I don’t want people to have loving relationships; I just don’t want to see all the loveyness. This, probably, is what I am least thankful for.

The worst aspect of every holiday centered around family, whether Thanksgiving or Christmas, is the unfortunate need to celebrate them with relatives whose opinions conflict with our own. Eating stuffing next to the sexist uncle is something we dread each year. I am very ungrateful for this, and I’m not just referring to conflict between family members. Many people appreciate exposure to those who think differently than them. Many people are open-minded. I am neither open-minded nor appreciative. I never want to be surrounded by people who disagree with me, and not just politically. I would cut off any friend who I found out didn’t like pickles or olives. I don’t want to know why they don’t like these foods; I never want to see them again. I’m thankful for all of the people in my life who are close to me. Unless they disagree with me. Ever.

As humans, we are an incredibly progressive species because of our ability to communicate with one another. At this point, our communication skills have advanced so much that we are able to have inspirational and intellectual phrases and speeches. I would expect that people are thankful for the beauty of the spoken word and its ability to uplift us. By now, you can expect that I am not thankful for this. One of the speeches I have been forced to hear over and over again throughout my life is about how the actual definition of insanity is doing the same thing several times, consistently failing, and expecting different results. When people say this, they try to send me a message: I am the most clever, intelligent, unique person in the world — this definition is different than what you expected it to be, and that is because I am smarter than you — who else would have an idea this eccentric and bright? The phrase contradicts itself because it has been repeated to me millions of times with the intention of inspiring me, but it never does. I’ve never been less inspired by anything I’ve ever heard. First, the definition of insanity is being crazy; there is no other meaning. Second, I don’t know who this speech is trying to reach because nobody does the same thing over and over if they fail. When people fail, they just give up. I wish the world would revert to when everyone was stupid and everyone knew they were stupid. I will never be grateful for the enhancement of intelligence (or perceived intelligence) because it leads to dramatic sayings that irritate me.

Even though I just dedicated my Thanksgiving-themed blog to rant about the many things I am unthankful for, I still consider myself a relatively grateful person. If you think about it, maybe all the things I am ungrateful for make me grateful for the opposite. I am ungrateful for sentimental things because I am grateful for sarcasm. I am ungrateful for people who think differently than me because I am grateful for people who think just like me. I am ungrateful for inspirational, profound phrases because I am grateful for funny, stupid ones.

See. Look how grateful I am.

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