Our little San Francisco-based family celebrates Thanksgiving every year with a nice walk and a yummy dinner with the help of Whole Foods. We’re not that into sappy stuff but Amy and I do talk about what we’re thankful for over dinner. I thought I would share with all of you what I plan to say this year, in no particular order except maybe the last few.
20) Everyone who reads my blog Man on Third. I appreciate you all taking the time to jump in my brain for a few minutes.
19) Noah’s Bagels in Redwood City. Thank you for another reminder of why I miss NYC.
18) People in line at Starbucks who actually know what they want to order BEFORE they get to the front of the line. Seriously, how can there be that many people in the world who have never been to a Starbucks?
17) Yoga pants. Do you really need me to explain?
16) Companies with great products but lousy morals. Yes, talking to you Chick Fil-A and Lululemon. I hate what you stand for, but not enough to avoid driving 30 minutes just to eat your chicken nuggets and waffle fries, and wearing your breathable long-sleeve shirts (yes, they make clothes for men too). Dial up the hate a bit more and maybe I’ll change my mind.
15) My man cave. I miss you so much. You gave me three years of incredible service. I’m so glad that I was able to convince Amy to allow me to convert the guest bedroom into the new and improved man cave. Dearest guests, I’m also thankful for the Best Western down the block, where you will be staying in the future.
14) The woman at Happy Donuts. Thank you for getting me through the pregnancy and saving me donuts every night. I love that if I came in early you said “off work so early” and when I came in late you said “wow, working late again today.” I’m sorry I didn’t have the heart to tell you that neither one of those things were true; I didn’t want to shatter your worldview.
13) My hidden storage unit. You’ve saved my marriage on more than one occasion. Thank you for being my garage away from home.
12) All of my local fast food drive-through employees who don’t badger me when I order only a coke. For those of you playing at home, best drive through coke is McDonald’s. Followed by Wendy’s, KFC with Burger King (and their weird, chemical tasting coke) bringing up the rear. If you get out of the car, I highly recommend coke from Chipotle.
11) This speech by Dave Grohl at SXSW. And also anything else he says or does.
10) The rollercoaster at Happy Hollow. There’s nothing more enjoyable in my world than riding the rollercoaster with Alex. Pure joy, not a care in the world. Sorry, kid, that we missed the Happy Hollow record for most rides in a day – I thought 15 times was a lot but we fell 113 rides short.
9) Cowboy hat guy who helped save a badly-injured 27-year old man during the Boston Marathon bombing.
8) Katy Perry. What’s not to like? She’s easy on the eyes, her songs are super catchy and optimistic, she reaches out and inspires less fortunate fans like this girl with autism. Ok, Ok, my name is Neil and I’m a KatyKat.
7) Derek Jeter, Buster Posey, and yes, even you Dustin Pedroia for always representing the game I love and playing it the right way.
6) Megan, Daisy and Britney at Petsmart. Thank you for turning our local Petsmart into Alex’s own personal zoo. I’m not sure I want to thank you for letting him pet the baby python, though.
5) The Padre Hotel in Bakersfield. If you ever have to be in Bakersfield in 110-degree weather in August to, say, pick up an ill-advised Labradoodle puppy when your wife is eight months pregnant, stay at The Padre. It will almost make the trip worth it.
4) Game of Thrones – thank you for being the one show this year I actually want to watch the day it airs.
3) My family: Eric for being one of the most thoughtful people I know, Alan for reminding me on a weekly basis that I still owe him $10 from a bet in 1980 or so for not knowing that Carlos May blew off his thumb but still played baseball, Helaine for reminding me that no matter how crazy our house is, hers is crazier, my dad for letting me know every time Matt Harvey pitches and my mom for being able to diagnose any malady from 3,000 miles away.
2) Our two miracles Alex and Ryan. Alex for being able to find a puddle in a desert and Ryan for having the will and strength to make it all the way home.
1) And finally Amy for being pregnant almost all of 2013 while working more than full time and being a mom and taking care of everyone – all with immeasurable grace, style and dignity. Thank you for putting up with my “talk first, think second” brain, for making me want to be a better man and letting me know every freakin time I fail to do so.