There’s nothing going on today, so read this

Today is Thanksgiving which means right now you’re probably reading this paper while waiting to eat. Or maybe you were scrolling endlessly on your phone to kill time, when you landed on this page. Hell, maybe it’s after the meal and you’re just drowsily reading this while nodding in and out of a food coma. In essence, what I’m saying is that there ain’t a damn thing going on today, so here we are, just you and me, hanging out like old Friends.

Thanksgiving is a special time of year. It marks the start of the holiday season. Now begins the process of mentally checking out for nearly a month and a half until we are fitfully dragged back into being productive members of society sometime in early January.

It doesn’t happen all at once of course, our slide into shrugging off responsibility is a gradual one that often doesn’t hit stride until a little before Christmas. But Thanksgiving acts as a gong, announcing the season where it becomes perfectly acceptable to say “Let’s revisit that in the new year.” Ahhh, what a glorious phrase.

Like so many of our holidays, most of what we’ve been taught about Thanksgiving is total BS. Yes, the pilgrims and the Native Americans did have a meal together, but that’s pretty much where the truthfulness ends. Maya Salam’s article in the New York Times last year named “Most Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving is Wrong” details how everything from the timeline to the reasons to the attendants of the first Thanksgiving were made up, and fed to us through crappy TV shows and text books. In fact there’s no evidence that anyone even ate turkey at that meal.

Holidays are what you make of them though, and in a country that has far less vacation time than any other developed nation in the world, we have to be excited for the ones we have (while also continuing to advocate for more time off, of course). And Thanksgiving is a wonderful excuse to spend time with your family members, even if you can’t stand them. I mean how often do you get to argue with a family member in person instead of on Facebook these days?

Surely not enough.

More than anything though Thanksgiving is a great time to actually give thanks. Who cares what lies were told in order for us to get this time off? Who cares if you’re exhausted from yelling red faced over sweet potatoes at your uncle who loves Trump? If
nothing else, Thanksgiving is a blatant, on-the-nose reminder that we should take time to ruminate on the blessings in our lives.

So here are some things I’m thankful for: I’m thankful for my girlfriend Kayla. I can’t think of a better partner with whom to navigate these insane times with. I’m thankful for my parents and brother who love me unconditionally. I’m thankful for my family and friends who support me in this weird profession I’ve found myself in. I’m thankful for Alex, Amiee, Illyanna, Joe, Nik, and all the other contributors who work hard to make the wonderful thing that it is. I’m thankful for all the people who help keep alive by supporting it financially through Patreon and Paypal because they see value in what we
do and believe in it.

I’m thankful for all the people who read this column, and visit my website and see the importance and value of local, independent journalism. I’m thankful for San Francisco. Even though this is no longer the city I fell in love with and even though it breaks my heart daily, I’m thankful that it has allowed me to make this weird and wonderful life where I get to create things for a living. I’m thankful for rent control because without it I wouldn’t be able to here in San Francisco making things.

I’m thankful for having really awesome roommates because, goddamn, there have there been some crappy ones over the years.

And I’m thankful for you dear reader. You could be anywhere else in the world, but you’re right here with me.

Now how about using the comment section for something lovely for once and tell me what you’re thankful for.

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at and join his awesome mailing list to stay up on the work he’s doing: Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in the Examiner.

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