The Minutiae That I’m Thankful For

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately with people announcing their seasonal thankfulness for all the big “Fs”: Family. Friends. Freedom. FOOD.

And I respect that. I’m right there with you! But tonight on my drive home, I saw something so unimportant but fantastic that it made me stop and think: most of the things that make me smile, shake me up, and keep me going are the tiny offshoots of the Big Fs. I’m grateful for food, of course, and for the whole complex arrangement that allows me to have enough of it. But honestly, day-to-day, I don’t think about all that. About once a week, when I’ve had a rough day and need a pick-me-up, I go to the Cook Out drive through and order a single corn dog with mustard, and that makes me exceedingly happy. Not Food generally, but Corn Dogs specifically. So this year, I’m devoting my Thanksgiving gratefulness to the minutiae of daily life that never fail to make me smile:

1. Tonight, it was a girl singing in the car behind me while we were stuck in traffic. She was wailing, I could tell. There were dramatic hand gestures and sweeps of her arms, and her eyes grew wide and then shut with intensity. I fell instantly in love with her. I have no idea what song she was belting, but I watched her in my rear view mirror for about three minutes, and was so grateful for her car being behind mine. My drive home is usually an hour of miserable stop-and-go, so this girl, and the times there’s a cute dog in the next car, or kids pulling faces from a back seat… it all brings a little humanity back to my commute.

2. Another thing: my friend Jess’ uncanny ability to match the perfect song and video to my mood at any point in time.Β  Have y’all heard/seen this? SYNCHRONIZED SLEEP DANCING.

3. Two words: Chewy caramels. Anytime, anywhere.

4. Having this fuzzy thing wake me up every morning by nosing my cheek and then looking soulfully into my eyes while wagging her tail furiously.

5. Catching my reflection in a random pane of glass and thinking “Damn, she’s cute,” for a whole half-second before realizing I’m looking at myself.

6. Hot drinks when it’s cold. Blankets when it’s cold. A fire when it’s cold. Really, anything that ever fought off my least favorite physical sensation.

7. Finding pants that fit. (Where are my girls with the bubble butts? Can we share some appreciation for finding jeans that avoid the waist gap? It’s a rare and beautiful thing.)

8. Secretly overhearing something amazingly inappropriate and hilarious, like my co-worker describing her horrific flatulence to her partner over the phone: “I don’t know, honey, but it smells half like apple cider vinegar and half like a deer that died in the woods…”

9. When my friends have strange fascinations I could never focus enough to reproduce… but I don’t have to, because they document everything about their obsessions and I get to live vicariously. Yes, Kate, I’m talking about you and your ridiculously fun nail art.

10. How easy it is to make my mom laugh. All I have to do is use this one goofy voice, and we’re off. For whole minutes. It’s marvelous.

So, that’s it. A simple post for simple things that make me glad to be part of the world. What about y’all? What minutiae are you thankful for?


42 responses to “The Minutiae That I’m Thankful For

  1. Brilliant!!! Loving the girl singing and the woman talking to her husband, just brilliant! As for my minutiae, sunsets, they are sending me into a spin recently. 25 minutes of my life spent watching one yesterday. I’m still wide eyed.

  2. I adore your items 4-8! I kept a daily journal of “three daily delights” for over a year – every day identifying 3 small-yet-delightefully-amazing things that brought be joy and smiles. If you want to check them out (yes, I blogged them), you can do so here:

    Enjoy your Thanksgiving! It looks like it is off to a fantastic start. πŸ™‚

  3. Ahh, the automobile rock star! I’ve been the one caught so many times, hehehe. it’s nice to know it could make someone grateful for life rather thank think me a silly fool. πŸ™‚

    Even though we had our Thanksgiving last month, I’m still thankful for microwave ovens and the accompanying popcorn. (we only caved and got a microwave about 7 months ago!)

    • That’s why I loved her so much – I AM her! I have to hope the same thing as you. πŸ™‚ Also, tomorrow I’m going to my first ever Black Friday sale (Has news of this madness reached you?) because our microwave died and I miss it. Right now it pretty much serves as a hugely over-sized clock. Enjoy some popcorn for me.

      • Oh yes, Black Friday has hit Canada with a vengeance…so much so, my husband asked the other day: “J.C., WTF is this Black Friday?!!” in that voice people get when they’re sick of hearing about something they don’t understand. LOL Like all our words, it’s spelled a little different:

        Black Frid – eh!?

  4. Laughter. When I am depressed, laughter is like the greatest drug. You just made me laugh with number 8, so I guess you’re my drug dealer. Patton Oswald’s description of dealing with depression also makes me howl so bad that I tear up and if I’m driving, I’d say it would be safe to say that my driving would be impaired.

    • I always wanted to have street cred! Dealing in laughter is totally bad-ass, right?? But yes. If I had to pick one thing to do daily, it would be a really good, overwhelming belly laugh. Which I half-killed myself doing silently in my office so the co-worker wouldn’t catch me listening.

  5. Oh my god, your dog DOES look like a hyena! πŸ˜› Super cute πŸ™‚ I’m thankful for the ability (and fun) to belt out songs in the car. It’s probably one of my favorite things ever. I am totally one of those people, and my rearview mirrors are vibrating from the speakers. Yup. πŸ˜›

    • Right?! I adopted her in Mexico and I say her breed is a Mexican Bat-Eared Dog. P.S. My speakers vibrate the rear view, too… and I have these lights that glow in rhythm with the beats. The whole thing is just the right amount of too much. I LOVE knowing that you toll this way, too.

  6. Hot drinks when it’s cold are the absolute best. Especially if chocolate is involved. I’m thankful for the people that hold the elevator for me when I was way on the other end of the hall. I’m thankful for Christmas window displays that give off interludes of cheery warmth when you walk past.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jennie!

    • Today I drank hot chocolate with bourbon at 11am. I was thoroughly pleased with myself. Oh, and I’m glad you appreciate the elevator-holders! I am one, but I always worry that I’m making people feel awkward by waiting for them, ’cause then they think they have to hustle. Anyway, there’s not hustling on Thanksgiving… hope you had a great one.

  7. I love number 5 – you are cute!

    And if we lived in the same city there would be a very high potential that the girl belting out songs and dancing in her car was me…

    • If we lived in the same city, we could meet up and do what my bestie and I do… wait for long stop lights and purposefully do our most ridiculous dancing in the hopes that people will be amused.

    • Urgh, I hear you! I should also live in a place where I can soak up the sun year round, like a lizard. I mean, NC is pretty temperate, and I still hatehatehate the winter. But fires help a lot.

  8. Jennie

    I’m thankful for beautiful, strong minded women like you with your delightful view of the world…you make it a better place. Write on, I say, write on!

    LLH&R REDdog

  9. Ah Jennie, this is so wonderful. For me this week it’s been the minutiae of finally welcoming Fall to the South (I’m a bit deeper-south than you). Lighting the first Autumn candles, pulling out the fluffy afghan and snuggling on the sofa with James, and finding the perfect white cyclamen to welcome the winter solstice. Happy Thanksgiving to you Jennie. Thanks for celebrating the little things. ~Terri

    • WHAT????????!!!!!!!!???????!!!!!!!!!

      I don’t think we can continue this conversation until I know why there’s this giant corn dog shaped hole in your life. And I really want to talk about how much I love that mug, so hurry up with the answer!

  10. Aw, this was amazing! I love LOVE when I see people jamming out to music in their cars– another blogger, Super Saiyan, calls this “Beast Mode Acapella” ( )and now I will forever do the same.
    Also: That music video is incredible, I was mesmerized the entire time. If I were to do that… it would not look so great. It would probably look like someone who forgot to refill their seizure medication.
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    • Beast Mode Acapella is an expression that needs to take the world by storm! I have also seen it occur in shower stalls.

      And yes, somehow those two beauteous hipsters make that video alluring and charming, whereas I would be right there with you on the, “Oh no! That poor girl is twitching!” train. Yet, still, I kind of want to try and film my own version anyway…

      I hope your Thanksgiving was delightful, Aussa!

      • Maybe that should be the next viral video… People trying to recreate that video. What a nightmare– just the site of people’s bedrooms would probably be all levels of horrifying.

        And thanks– yours too!

  11. Finding #7 (which has changed in the last ten years as my body has changed) is a wonderful thing! This is a great post. I hope you had a very lovely Thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! It was lovely. I was in the mountains, there was snow (which ruined my dog’s whole existence) and I found a pair of “#7” purple skinny jeans! (I love purple to the extent that I have to purposefully avoid looking like a grape and/or 5-year-old when I go out). I hope your favorite holiday was blissful as well.

  12. Pingback: Group Therapy: November’s Top Comments « HACKER. NINJA. HOOKER. SPY.·

    • The little things make the big things, as you know. What’s a relationship but a series of moments? What makes a good or bad day besides the strung-together minutes and how they went? Look… you’ve got me philosophizing. πŸ˜‰

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