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A Lucky Life

My friend Tim asked why I don’t write happy blogs. Well, this is my best Hallmark card type blog, about being grateful, albeit a bit Tim Burtonish.

There are so many things I’m truly grateful for that I don’t have, including: Gout, yellow spotted fever, whopping cough, anal warts, elephantiasis, leprosy, large goiters, Planar fascitis, very bad poison ivy, various STDs, an infected big toe, tooth pain requiring multiple root canals, those little cracks in your fingers that you get in the winter, COVID 19, total amnesia, kidney stones, shingles, frozen shoulder, cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia better known as Fothergill’s disease, ulcers, sciatica, cracked ribs and lastly, a slipped disc.

And Tim, if that didn’t bring you up, how about the intense and unending gratitude that I feel for never having gone to these places: Any American city where driving while black and having possession of one joint can mean a long time in jail; a place in Turkey where possession of one joint can mean a long time in jail; a place in Saudi Arabia where possession of one joint can mean a long time in jail; the West Bank, where you can go to jail for a long time because you have a fourth cousin, twice removed who is suspected of writing graffiti on a wall that says it’s time for freedom; a tiny African country where there is no health care, at all; a Native American reservation where the alcoholism rate is sky high, the rate of COVID 19 is through the ceiling and one doctor has to treat way too many patients than he should; health care in any American city where the quality of care has a lot to do with the quantity of melanin in the skin.

Next up are the so many things I am grateful for not having had experienced: Being a girl in Pakistan and having to marry an old man who beats me; being a girl in Pakistan who has acid thrown in her face because she refuses to marry an old man who beats her; being a boy in Nepal whose job is cracking rocks on the side of the road; living in a crowded, dirty, gigantic tent in a refugee center in Syria where the worst things imaginable are not just imagined but are real; and being a Muslim, a Jew or an African American and being hated for no other reason than being a Muslim, a Jew or an African American.

Last on the Hallmark list are those people who I am grateful for never having met or been with at all, including: Anyone named Trump, anyone named McConnell, anyone named Pompeo, anyone named Pence, anyone named Kellyanne Conway, anyone named Stephen Miller, anyone named Steven Mnuchin, anyone named Betsy DeVos, and of course, all those people who aren’t with us anymore and who I am grateful for not having met and who are on a par with those who are still with us and who I mentioned as being grateful for not having met, incuding: Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mussolini, Vlad the Impaler, Heinrich Himmler, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin and Ivan the Terrible.

And the preceding is just a short list of the many wonderful people, places and things I have fortunately avoided, through no effort of my own but most likely because of fate.

So, Tim, you see there are so many wonderful things to be grateful for, from not having gout to not having met Vlad the Impaler. I hope that makes you feel better and understand that deep down I am the eternal optimist.

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