I don't need a holiday or a feast to feel grateful for my children, the sun, the moon, the roof over my head, music and laughter. But I'd like to take this time to take the path of thanks less traveled.
Taking the long view, I'm thankful that we're no longer hunter-gatherers, which has certainly freed up some time.
I am grateful that the election is over, and we don't have to watch another debate. I tend to agree with the last person who spoke anyway, and the candidates were running out of debate formats. They had already done one standing up, sitting down and some kind of free-range chicken type thing. Only the Sleep Number bed format was left.
I'm thankful for the 3-ounce Ziploc bag, so that I have somewhere to put my savings.
I'm thankful that my memory is good because my vision is going.
I'm thankful for Sarah Palin's vice presidential bid, which taught us that Alaska is not in a box off the coast of California.
I'm thankful that no known harm can come to me if gays marry.
I'm thankful that I never trash-talked the American Men's Freestyle Relay Team before racing them.
I'm thankful that I've never eaten a sub-prime steak.
I'm thankful that I went broke before the stock market went bad.
I'm thankful for the election of Barack Obama and even more thankful that I wasn't standing in front of any talk-show hosts during his acceptance speech.
I'm thankful that I'm old enough not to be judged by my ring tone.
I'm thankful that I live in the country that caused the world economic crisis, so that I don't have to be just a victim,
I'm thankful that I've never talked to Dr. Phil.
I'm thankful that I'm not tech-savvy, so that if I get elected president, I don't have to wean myself from any electronic gadgets. When I first heard that Obama had to give up his BlackBerry, I couldn't understand how a little fruit could compromise our national security.
I'm thankful that I don't have to housebreak my puppy in the Blue Room of the White House.
I am thankful that I am not just plain stupid enough to fly in my private jet to a meeting with a congressional committee to ask for taxpayer money for my company, which is not doing well at all, though I am certain that it is no fault of mine. And I am grateful beyond measure that I don't work for such a boob.
I am thankful that President William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia after giving a lengthy inaugural speech, which inspired subsequent presidents to keep it tight.
I'm thankful that, when I dropped a tool bag, I wasn't in space.
And, yes, I am thankful for my children, and for the sun and the moon, but mostly, I am deeply grateful that we are not in charge of when or whether they shine, because if we were, surely they would need a bailout.
Paula Poundstone is a standup comic and writer. You can reach Paula at her Web site: www.paulapoundstone.com.