You might already know that I’m not really a fan of forced gratitude or mandatory counting of blessings.
Which is why I have my list of 77 things that don’t completely suck for my Thanksgiving-inspired not-having-to-be-grateful gratitude practice.
And yet … here I am. Making a list of things I’m really, truly, sincerely appreciating right now. And it’s surprising the hell out of me.
Things I’m really, truly sincerely appreciating right now … despite being stranded in Tennessee.
Or maybe even because of it.
These are numbered because I feel like numbering stuff (indulge me!), but the order is pretty irrelevant. The order: it’s like the final score on Whose Line Is It Anyway.
1. My sweet love … aka the iPhone.
Spending half the day in an absurdly tiny airport and then not even getting on a flight …
The waiting-without-knowing can be really challenging. For me, at least.
Having some internet-ness and the twittering (and being able to text/call my gentleman friend) all without worrying about power cords and such was pretty cool.
2. My other sweet love.
Even from a gazillion miles away, my gentleman friend is the best commiserator ever.
He always knows exactly what to say and never tries to cheer me up by telling me that actually things are really okay.
And he can do the co-grumbling and the gratifying symbolic fist-shaking-at-the-heavens like nobody’s business.
3. The older man who drove the shuttle to the hotel.
I don’t remember his name and to be honest, I couldn’t understand more than about half of what he was saying because of the accent — but boy was he ever sweet.
Which is good.
Because I was feeling pretty cranky, what with the waiting and the wondering and then the “we’re canceling the flight that was supposed to leave three hours ago and we can’t put you on another one, so here’s a voucher for a hotel, see you tomorrow, bye” part.
And the even more annoying part of how they absolutely will not apologize even though that would so clearly earn them back a few mensch points.
Anyway, this guy was awesome.
He talked my ear off about everything. The local area (born and raised). And about what food to eat (“there’s a Mexican place where I never understand what I’m eating but I always order the #6″).
And about how wonderful the hotel he works for is. Seriously. Never have I heard anyone wax so poetic about a barely run-of-the-mill chain before.
But he loves his job and you can totally tell.
“Oh, Miss Trish! That Miss Trish will take care of you! And there’s breakfast. And it’s good. It’s real good.”
4. Being cared for by Miss Trish.
Really, she’s that good.
And cheerful. The exact kind of cheer that I’m needing right now.
5. The niceness in general.
I don’t know if it’s just southerners doing the southern thing.
Is that a horrible stereotype? Are southerners really more easy going than everyone else in North America?
Because it could be that I just happened to bump into a bunch of especially cheerful people, but man. Cheerful in the face of ludicrous wrongness — but in an endearing, inspiring way instead of an annoying one.
It really seems as though everyone around me is so much more patient and kind than I am. And for some reason even that doesn’t annoy me today.
6. Not being poor anymore.
It helps with the not panicking when things go not according to plan.
This is not my last five dollars. I can buy something to eat. If I have to take a cab somewhere, it’s a thing I can do.
I am so very thankful for that.
7. Having three different people model for me what the right attitude is.
The right attitude? Meh. I don’t know. A useful attitude.
There was the woman who travels to and from St. Louis at least once a week. Sensible clothes, ponytail, earrings that did sparkly things.
She said, “I used to get so mad at this stuff. It would make me completely crazy. Until I realized that all that does is make you more crazy. Not worth it. Not worth the crazy.”
There was the guy with the long hair who had just come back from the Nascar race in Bristol and he turned to me and said, “Isn’t this fun?”
Me: “Mmmm … that’s one word for it.”
And he laughed like it was the funniest situation that anyone could possibly get himself into.
And there were the two hilarious women from Sioux Falls, obviously old friends, who regaled me with tales of the dozens of bizarre and awful things that had happened to them on their way here.
And how they’d just given up and gone to drink bourbon at the airport bar, and cackle about it. They were awesome.
8. People to laugh with.
Laughing alone just isn’t as much fun.
8.5. Not alone.
I have Selma. I have my thoughts. I have people I know (Tara the Blonde Chicken!) who care about me and can take care of me if things go weird.
In fact, because of the crazy magic of Twitter, I could get “stranded” pretty much anywhere and still know people there.
9. A forced vacation is a good thing too.
Special postscript in case you happen to be related to me:
You don’t have to worry. I’m fine. I got a lovely hotel room and another flight home … everything worked out perfectly.
Comment Zen for today:
- Disastrous travel stories of your own are welcome!
- Commiseration = also good.