On Not Being An Ungrateful Bastard

Photo: Christos Pathiakis/Getty Images

Even though it’s been a horrific week, we’ve tried to keep things here on the lighter side: guys stocking up on condoms before the hurricane, guys riding jet skis through the hurricane and a guy (me) forced to “shower” with baby wipes after the hurricane. Because we prefer to laugh. Not at tragedy itself, but at the ridiculousness that accompanies it.

Except that November has arrived, which means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And while we’re looking forward to pumpkin pie and our crazy political nut uncle–who will be extra crazy this year, thanks to the election–we should probably add an item to our “things to be thankful for” list. You know, somewhere between The Avengers and Kate Upton’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover shoot.

Twelve hours ago, as I walked block after powerless Manhattan block, I grumbled about how I can’t deal with the lack of electricity for one more day, how I can’t deal with the candlelit PB&J dinners for one more day (as much as I love PB&Js) and how I can’t deal with the Pampers moistened towelettes for one more day (as much as I’ve come to love those too). And then a funeral procession of black sedans drove by.

Oh s**t, I thought. At least I have one more day.

A hundred Americans were killed, including 40 New Yorkers. We don’t like to remember that part, as we complain about our spotty Wi-Fi access and shuttered bars/restaurants, because then we’d have to dwell on the utter randomness of our own survival. It could’ve been us standing beneath the wrong tree or the wrong power line at the exact wrong moment–but it wasn’t us, the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to be free from overcrowded crosstown buses, who must bravely sacrifice the ice cream melting in our room-temperature freezers. My God, will the almond milk keep? Nuts don’t go bad, right?

Seriously, it’s been frustrating. Nah, “frustrating” is too mild a word; it’s been an absolute, massive, unbearable pain in the ass. But ultimately, for most of us, it’s been a temporary inconvenience. And maybe it can be something more, something that guys tend to avoid, especially when football is on TV: a moment for thought.

I’m not saying that we should feel guilty for being alive when others no longer are–well, unless you’re Lindsay Lohan, anyway–but we should feel something for being alive, whether it’s gratitude or glee or humility or horniness. So hold your loved ones a little tighter, or stuff your face into a special someone’s cleavage a little deeper, because you’re here. And you’ve gotta appreciate that while you can.

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Marty Beckerman (@martybeckerman) is the Associate Editor of Guy Code Blog