So, perhaps St. Patrick's Day is not the day that one typically associates with gratitude and thankfulness. I would wager that's because one has never sat beside friends one has met at a Santa Monica pub -- your first, their thirty-second (the number 32 symbolically representing, of course, all the counties on the Emerald Isle, which I gather can only be wrestled to unity from British clutches if expatriated Irishmen and wannabes get sloppy, falling-down drunk once a year on March 17th).
All you have to do is sit beside one of these sweet drunkards, especially the one that usually has the most bitter, sarcastic sense of humor, and hear how grateful he is that he has his beautiful wife, and his gorgeous children, and such good friends (at which point, he turns and belches in your face as he squeezes your shoulders so tightly, he tears your rotator cuff), and a good, good life, to know that St. Patrick's Day is a day for giving thanks.
"Thanks for buying this round." "Thanks for (the Orange County Irish band) The Fenians." "Thanks for the corned beef and cabbage." "Thanks for Mr. Guinness and for Mr. Bass (or, if you're a purist, Mr. Harp's*)." But I'm thankful for a couple of other reasons.
I'm thankful that this is the last St. Patrick's Day spent at this desk, in this cubicle, at this job. It's been good to me, but I've spent 13 St. Patrick's Days here. Time to move on.
I'm thankful that I have friends who believe in my art enough to push me to pursue it.
I'm thankful I got a little bit of good, old-fashioned dosh that will allow me to pursue it.
I'm thankful that I have enough friends who are supporting themselves as artists that I can see with my own eyes that it can, in fact, be done.
I'm thankful that I limit myself to, at most, one Black 'n' Tan on St. Patty's Day (and rarely finish that one). (Actually, I'm usually more thankful for that on March 18th.)
I'm thankful that soon, what Owen Wilson makes a day in per diem, how many trailers Jennifer Aniston needs to ready herself for her long, arduous day in the "dog movie," who styles whose hair, who makes up whose face, and how much their assistants get paid will be someone else's problem, and not mine.
I'm thankful that I won't have to choose between writing OR going to the gym, but will be able to write AFTER I go to the gym.
Finally, I'm thankful for this new life that scares the bejeebers out of me, but probably not as much as it should.
Oh, yeah... and thanks to Mr. Albert Guinness and Mr. William Bass (cuz I'm no purist) for the Black 'n' Tan.
*I know, I know... there was no "Mr. Harp" behind Harp Lager, per se. Please don't write to school me on this. I was being funny. Comics' license. Did I mention I'm thankful I have readers who get humor without trying to muddy with facts? Well, I am, by golly.