Sunday, November 20, 2011

RE: (Humor) Thanksgiving is near which is also a fabulous place to keep our gratitude...

Gratitude Where Gratitude is the Near-sighted

I have now attained the age where my time is better spent plucking multiple bodily quadrants, developing my personality and making gratitude lists, than it is perfecting my “image” with the attendant hair styling, make-up applying, and accessorizing with purse dogs that would be needed.

Yes, as we slide into the retail double play that is Thanksgiving and Christmas — THANKS-GIVE-US — I feel it is only appropriate to initiate one of our family's child rearing requirements – the gratitude list.

(In fact, I still have a list my daughter drafted when she was about 6 years old and fretting over her young lot in life that was being born into a family devoid of heiresses. Her beatific listing of things to appreciate was so heart-meltingly sweet. She was “great full” to have a cat, sheets, a mommy, a daddy, and a sissy. I think she still feels the same way all these years later.)

Maybe it's because my red-letter day (actually, I prefer purple) often coincides with the Thanksgiving holiday that I'm more inclined toward throwing a festive, life-affirming birthday party than I am a depressing, poor-me-I'm-aging pity party. The former provides me with an undeniably rich opportunity to look at my Big Gulp serving-sized life glass that is full right up to the straw.

What am I grateful for? I am grateful to the near-sighted for it is you who have genuinely made my aging so much easier.My own near-sightedness is a fact that has forced me to compensate for the unrelenting march of time by implementing the Larger-than-life Letter Labeling System (LLLS) of which my favorite tool, the Sharpie, is an integral part.

Without the utilization of such a system, I am left to my own devices and the results are never pretty, occasionally hazardous. For instance, when showering it is essential that I correctly identify which of my many bottles of delightfully smelling girlie stuff I require for use on my hair. When I haven't taken the time to alter the ant-dropping-sized font to a larger proportion, my day gets out of whack immediately.

We are all familiar with launching the requisite shampoo sequence of lather, rinse, repeat. In the absence of my method I'm likely to implement a flawed system whereby I lather, condition, lather, lather, rinse, lather.

My gratitude to the near-sighted folks who have crossed my path extends to those who may be classified as such both by virtue of physical and emotional myopia.

After all, it's really all about how the people you adore, value, and respect view you. You allow them entrée into your personal bubble, they get “magnified one thousand times” close and, lo and behold; they like what they see. There is no better gift than this kind of unconditional love.

I don't have enough space for an all-inconclusive list, but 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 25 hours a day, I am grateful for:

— My husband who tells me I'm beautiful and that my appearance hasn't changed even a little bit over the years, (although one time I did catch him lusting over a photograph of the 24-year-old me standing next to my beloved Camaro).

— My mom who still views me as her baby.

— My Bob who looks at me like his new baby.

— My sassy daughters who tell me I'm a pretty mama and that I dress hip, but appropriately (although sometimes a little too matchy-matchy according to the youngest).

— My treasured friend since junior high school, Mady, who assures me we both haven't aged one iota and darned if she didn't produce a Facebook-worthy profile picture that almost proved her point.

— My photogenic, photographer confidante, Sharon, who always uses the word “gorgeous” when she talks to me.

— My beauteous friend, Sue, who promises me I'm still “hot” at this point in my life (flashing hot, baby!).

— My all-around, forever gal pals, Sandy, Julie, and Tami who tell me every time I see them that I look “Great!” and that my hair looks wonderful, even when I had that '80s, hairbrush-breaking perm and pregnancies that turned me into a female Humpty-Dumpty.

— My adopted “big sis” Bev for looking at my college dance pictures and saying, “You know, you really haven't changed at all.”

— That older gentleman I hope I see again really soon who said I look like a young Natalie Wood.

— All those folks out there who exclaim, “You don't look old enough to have a teenaged daughter,” when the aforementioned teenaged daughter is actually my youngest child.

— The multitudes of young people working at my favorite caffeinated beverage purveyors, grocery stores, and retail outlets who don't say “you remind me of my mom/grandmother/older maiden shut-in great aunt” AND stop themselves every time they start to call me “Ma'am” and refer to me as “Miss” instead.

That's my kind of “Miss” – as in miss the mark on my biological age.

I am grateful for not-corrected-to-20/20 vision!

Biography. Diane Dean-Epps is an author, teacher and comedienne. She can be reached at or for more writings, clips see:

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