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Thanksgiving Thanks - What Was & Almost Was

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Another year - another turkey. Last year, on Thanksgiving weekend, my fiance and I were in the car with my brother and some dear friends, all dressed up to go do Patina "on the cheap" - apps and drinks only. (Still not cheap.) On our way there, a man screeched up in his car, rolled down the window, and started screaming at us. Screaming. Waving his arms and gesturing. He got out of his car, engine running, door wide open and came over to our driver's side, banging on the window. Telling us to roll it down. Or else. It was a scary moment - so full of confusion and loudness and who knows what the hell he's going to do to us worries. So strange to be thinking of champagne and fine-dining and does my outfit look okay, only to realize seconds after leaving the house that none of it matters. Not if you don't even make it to your destination.

We made it there just fine - after he followed us, for blocks, pulling alongside us and yelling every time we slowed down. Threatening to "get crazy." Turns out he didn't like how we stopped at the first light, thought we might not be on the sensor and he didn't feel like waiting. Didn't want to spend another moment waiting for the light to turn green at 4th and Alameda. I'll never forget that awful moment of wondering what was going to happen, of thinking it might be just fine or it might all go to hell quickly.

It's been a crazy year: I got engaged, I learned where not to buy a wedding cake, I got married and I went on a honeymoon. In between these high points, there were many lows. Family members who got sick. Very sick. Loved ones who left us for good. Friends who struggled with very difficult decisions, awful diagnoses.

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Because there is always an up no matter who's down, this year also brought great success to artist friends who toiled away in obscurity for years. Now they have their moment in the sun, and they deserve every second. Babies were born, more are on the way. Friends and loved ones, scattered all over, are learning how to become moms and dads even if they hadn't planned on it. They'll do just fine, I'm sure.

When I think of all that has happened in the year between last Thanksgiving and today, I could tell you I'm thankful for a few hundred things. And I am. But what I'd rather tell you, is that I'm thankful simply to be here. To have made it. To have experienced what I did this year. I'm a better person for it (I think) and it has made me appreciate every moment. Even this moment, right now, as I write this.

So, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. No matter how nutty your family is, how strange the cranberry dressing looks, how much you hate the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or how awkward it will be to have dinner with your ex's new flame, enjoy every moment of this food-filled weekend. You've made it this far and that, my friends, calls for a drink.

Photo of our wedding aisle - yes, in a parking lot - at KGB LA