Monday, October 09, 2006

This, The Second Monday in October

Living in the shadow of the United States for most of my life I, like millions of other Canadians, have developed a healthy case of inadequacy in regards to our southern neighbours. For example, today (the 2nd Monday in October) is Thanksgiving in Canada and I have yet to be wished a 'Happy Thanksgiving' by any of my American colleagues. To be fair, this is a case of ignorance rather than arrogance on their part: it would just never ever occur to most Americans that Canadians would celebrate an "American" holiday on any other day than theirs. After all, they invented it, no?

Well, no.

In 1758 - a full 44 years before the first American thanksgiving - English navigator Martin Frobisher held a like-celebration in sub-zero temperatures on a windswept wasteland (in what would become the province of Newfoundland) by his near-mutinous crew. In the following century, Samuel de Champlain and the French settlers established the "Order of Good Cheer" which held, among other events, harvest celebrations sharing their food with the indigenous population. The modern Canadian Thanksgiving bears little resemblance to its colonialist predecessors and pays mere lip service to its American counterpart (a 4-day eating, shopping & football marathon at the end of November); like everything else in Canada, ours is relatively low-key.

This year, there is neither a Tofurky roasting in my oven nor cranberry sauce bubbling on the stove but I am still able to pause and give thanks for ...
  • the fact that Mr. Cat in Rabat possesses questionable taste in women, zero common sense & no long-term vision, effectively demonstrated when he asked me to marry him,
  • cats, camels & donkeys (don't ask),
  • the Mediterranean Sea. Just knowing it's there makes living in Morocco do-able.
  • alcohol in all of its glorious manifestations (dry countries just suck),
  • reruns of Seinfeld,
  • palm trees,
  • basmati rice,
  • Canadian troops aren't in Iraq (Afghanistan is enough horror),
  • 2-ply toilet paper,
  • Hallowe'en,
  • cartoons don't offend me unless they're not funny
  • the parents that the gods gave me. I had both feet firmly planted in adulthood before I realised how exceptionally fortunate I was,
  • high-speed internet,
  • I have 2 kidneys (you never know),
  • Peter Gabriel
  • cambozolla cheese,
  • generic Tylenol with codeine,
  • roach spray,
  • always having a good book in hand,
  • the kindness of strangers,
  • no one made me a monkey sock doll when I was a child,
  • pomegranates,
  • a Canadian passport,
  • 18/10 stainless steel flatware,
  • ripple potato chips & french onion dip,
  • Madonna's movie career is effectively over,
  • soap in public washrooms,
  • Sharpie pens,
  • all of the shitheads I've met along my journey who have honoured me with their contempt & disdain,
  • all of the wonderfully neurotic, slightly insane & remarkable people I've met along my journey who have honoured me with their friendship and support, and lastly ...
  • Elias Howe who in 1846 invented the sewing machine (that was for Knarf).
Thanks. And Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back home & a belated birthday to Knarf in the City (who has much to be thankful for this year).

11 Comments:

Anonymous Cath said...

I'm no math whiz, but I believe this is the second Monday in October.
If I'm grumpy, it's because I endured 48 hours trapped in a house with my inlaws, for our appalling and pointless "Christmas at Thanksgiving" tradition. By hour 15, I was beginning to envy the turkey.

2:48 AM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

crap.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Christmas at Thanksgiving Cath? Arghhhhh!! Isn't that like combining a hanging with an electrocution? I have humbly amended the blog - having come off a double weekend work load (and a slight Friday night bender), my brain was less than cooperative, even by Monday morning.

10:28 AM  
Blogger General Bird said...

Um, belated Happy Thanksgiving from an American. I think you're missing out on the football, though. Diverts attention from the hanging -- or is it the electrocution? -- and goes well with various of the many forms of alcohol.

1:58 PM  
Blogger knarf said...

C in R,

"Go,

to,

the WINDOW."

:-0

You're right, this past year (the second 1/2, anyway) has been great, so I do have much to be thankful for (which one wouldn't know from my rather laconic Blog this morning).

Hope you had a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving abroad.

And, Cath, ~Christmas at Thanksgiving~? With the in-laws? I cringe at the thought. ;-)

2:10 PM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Ahhhh, General, Canadian Thanksgiving coincides with the beginning of hockey season!

Knarf - I knew you'd get the reference

2:27 PM  
Blogger cog said...

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving in Morocco, from another American.

Plus, I'll have to tell you my "trip to Spain" story some time.

2:55 AM  
Blogger Cat in Rabat ( كات في الرباط) said...

Cog ~ do tell.

10:46 PM  
Blogger cog said...

will do, Cat. watch my blog for it

1:27 AM  
Blogger Sean Carter said...

Seems you've a lot of things to be thankful about...well don't we all. Thanksgiving is meant for merriment and being thankful for that we have. Happy Thanksgiving....Check out this incredible Thanksgiving Blog for many more info and facts.

9:46 AM  
Blogger cog said...

okay, Cat, long as we're spamming your comments, here's a link to my Spain post:

http://www.drivingtheflies.com/?p=29

enjoy,

cog

6:10 PM  

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