Thoughts on Ingratitude During Thanksgiving

At the risk of being too transparent, here goes:

Ever had a person you thought was your friend, but he/she wasn’t?

I cannot remember a time when I did not adore Thanksgiving. It is not just the time on the road in the car or truck, the traffic jams, the bathroom stops, the personalities, the strange uncle who shows up smelling of vodka and cheap aftershave, or the aunt who smells of basements, strange cigarettes, and her hair is of a color with an adjective ending in —esque. What’s not to love, right?

And there are other realities with which to contend. To (nearly) quote the Bard, “How sharper than a serpents’s tooth [i]t is to have a thankless [friend].” Nothing wounds quite like ingratitude.

To several people in my life who prefer texting to phone calls, I sent messages to this effect: “Happy Thanksgiving (a bit early) to you and your loved ones.” Many wrote back. Some called. For others, we had already talked this week. Others planned to link up down the road, etc. (I am away due to military obligations.)

But then there were those whom I thought were friends, but are not. I got back only platitudes: “You as well.” No sort of reciprocity. No genuineness. Platitudes, not friendship.

It is perhaps a character flaw in me. I am loyal. If I am friends with you, I am with you–through thick and thin. But I am learning–even at my age–that many are fickle. There are fair-weather folks in our lives … when it is convenient weather for them to fly. They want you when they want you, and then they are done. You are their napkin, their tissue, something to be flushed.

I do not get that, not when it comes to people. That is not healthy; that is cancer.

Then I texted some others (again, I have grown to understand many prefer texts to calls), and they were different; they encouraged me. “Hey, man; same to you, brother. Glad you’re here,” etc. Or, “Thankful for you and your precious family. See you Sunday.” Things like that. Commitment. Relationship. Endurance.

Many profess; few stick. Give me those who stick. Happy Thanksgiving. And yes, I am thankful. It’s helpful to admit the difference between words and deeds.

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