Diversity, dialogue and multiculturalism in America

I really want to write about how every Thanksgiving I ruin everyone’s fun by reminding them that this day marks the beginning of one of the worst and most prolonged genocides in the recent history of the world.

But, not today.

Luck for you, today, I’m going to forgo talk of genocide and focus on something decidedly more awful: having to spend four days in the same house with my entire family.

I’m already warning you, this post is going to read like an essay penned by a fifth grader.  Albeit a highly gifted and very cynical fifth grader, but my apologies, anyway.

My family and I have been blessed with great abundance, more than most, and for that I’m very thankful.

Last year, I was asked to say the blessing at dinner.

I’m ashamed to admit that I just said the usual trite thanks to our Maker.  “Thanks for allowing us to be together, for our prosperity, for this food, blah blah blah.”  For the record, I’m still upset that my brother and Tariq snickered like six year olds the whole time.

If anyone asks me to say the blessing again, I’m going a different route this time.

Something like this…

“Thank you, Most Merciful Creator, for blessing this family with so much abundance.

Thank you for the abundance of competition that my parents have created within my younger brother and I.  We have made many an impression on others in our dismissal of the concept of “winning.”  Thank you, God, for illuminating our minds with the spiritual truth that winning is for losers.  Thanks to you, we both know that real winners don’t stop until their opponents experience the depths of utter and severe humiliation.  And the only real win is the one you experience at your sibling’s expense.

And, dear God, I also thank you for the abundance of politicking in my family which has led to the intermittent absences of several uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends over the past thirty years.  Each year, the number of people at our gathering dwindles, which is very good because that reduces the likelihood that someone at the gathering will make me feel homicidal.

I am also thankful for the unparalleled abundance of guilt trips in our family.  You have been so very bountiful with this one.  I know, dear God, if guilt were a religion, I’m positive that my mother would have been your appointed messenger, prophetess, and patron saint.

And, dear God, I would be remiss to offer my gratitude for my father’s lasting admonishment of me about wasting my life and talents as a petty housewife.  I am particularly grateful for the inner glee that my husband refuses to admit that he feels when my father repeatedly says he feels sorry for my husband who has to work all day while I relax all day in my big house.

Most importantly, I’d like to thank You for blessing me with a family that is a constant reminder of how this beautiful world works.

I am forever and truly thankful to You for always reminding me that we are each and every one of us both good and bad, and that we are all important and irreplaceable to each other in our own special ways.

You’ve blessed me with a dad that may tell me I’m wasting my potential, but who also tells me that I am the most intelligent person he knows.

You’ve blessed me with a a brother who lives to decimate me in Monopoly, but who has always been my truest and most loyal friend.

You’ve blessed me with a mother who is the undisputed queen of the guilt trip, but you also gave her the power to hug me in such a way that all of my biggest problems seem trivial and stupid.

You’ve blessed me with a husband, sister-in-law and in laws that have always seen me in the most flattering and esteemed ways.  Sometimes, I think You’ve caused them to love me far more than I even love myself.

You’ve blessed me with the light and and you’ve blessed me with the dark.

And this is why I am thankful for You and for the infinite ways Your wisdom and grace appears in my life.”

I know.  Cop out.  But, it’s true.  It really is.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, too, the ones who take the time to read what I have to write on this blog.

I am more grateful for you than you will probably ever know.


31 Responses to Oh, Genocide, Schmenocide…

  1. RW says:

    I on the other hand have no problem eating a lot of food while sitting on the bones of all those hapless dead aborigines. It’s a time honored tradition on every continent on the planet down through the ages I think from the days of the wooly mammoth. No point in acting all surprised about something that’s pretty usual. Especially if I didn’t have anything to do with it.

    And on the third hand you know the song; ‘people are crazy and times have changed / I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range / I used to care but… things have changed.’

    Eat small portions! :-0

  2. Sarah says:

    My family doesn’t do holidays that well.

    Mainly because we all hate each other.

    I’m sure somewhere one of my cousins is on an episode of cops drunk and missing a tooth.

    But I’m excited to each pumpkin cheesecake.

    Oh and your family sounds wonderful, I mean they have YOU and you are so clearly awesome that I’m sure the rest of your family is too.

  3. Tami says:

    Miss you Faiqa! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Robin says:

    That pretty much describes my family holiday eat-downs of years past…

  5. RW says:

    of course the lyric should go “people are crazy and times have STRANGE”… but besides the blog owner nobody reads the comments anyhow so I’m safe!

  6. RW says:

    ARE strange… %$@#&%^$!

  7. Selma says:

    Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving from Australia. I have just started reading your blog and heard you first of all on Adam and Britt’s radio show. I am enjoying your writing very much!

  8. Miss Britt says:

    You should be really, truly proud of this.

    It’s perfection.

    I laughed out loud and blinked back tears.

    This is, by far, the best Thanksgiving post I’ve ever read.

  9. Avitable says:

    It’s amazing how similar you and I are in many of the ways we were raised.

    I don’t do Thanksgiving blessings. That’s an “honor” passed on to the youngest member of the family each year.

  10. Sahar says:

    What would I do without your blogs..

  11. great post….It’s kinda scary how much I can relate to it! I really enjoyed it though….it was funny *and* heart-warming. Truly you have a gift with words….thank you for posting and thanks to Miss Britt for sharing on twitter so I could read it!

  12. Stef Reed Edwards says:

    Couple observations:

    1) Not at all a 5th grade essay… truly Brilliant, not to mention, hillarious!
    2) 4 days with family is an abomination… our family HAD the rule of 3′s. Meaning: no human can stand spending more that 3 days or nights together. We have now reduced the “sentence” to the Rule of 2′s… although our cruise was an abomination ;)
    3) You rock!
    4) Spending time in your home, raising your daughter & tending to your duties of your home is a GREAT use of your talents and perhaps the most difficult job under the sun!
    5) The holidays although horrible in the realm of family dealings do only last for a short while, thankfully.

    Lots of Turkey Love, STEPH

  13. whall says:

    My family’s perfect. Nyah-nyah-di-boo-boo.

  14. Hilly says:

    This post is beautiful magic. I was nodding my head almost every step of the way and totally get what you’re thinking.

    I’m lucky in that we live 8 hours away from my family so driving there is not always feasible. We rotate between going to family events and doing our own thing. This year we are very much doing what we want by going to Disneyland and not stuffing ourselves. For that freedom, I am truly thankful.

  15. FANFUCKINGTASTIC POST! oh faiqa, i just love you. happy, happy thanksgiving.

  16. B.E. Earl says:

    Great post! But I like to limit myself to thinking about turkey and whiskey on Thanksgiving. That’s how I handle the whole genocide subject matter.

    (Seriously, though…great post – Earl)

  17. Finn says:

    Gee, my mother just continually apologizes to my husband because I’m such a pain in the ass (says she). Then she tells me I’m her favorite.

    Perfect post. Happy Thanksgiving, gorgeous.

  18. SJ says:

    Great post! I could relate all the way through.

    I wish I was less intoxicated so I could say something more meaningful, but we started celebrating early.

    I like your writing. Been reading awhile, but I think this is my first comment. So umm, thumbs up!

  19. Faiqa says:

    @RW: Realllly. You didn’t have anything to do with the genocide? You’re a lot younger than I thought. Heh.

    @Sarah: You’re so sweet… LOVE pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheescake, pumpkin upside down cake. I think pumpkin has phytochemicals in it that make the dysfunction go down easier. You should do a study on that! :)

    @Tami: Miss you too! You’re def. one of the people I’m most thankful for… awwww!

    @Robin: Because we live parallel lives, of course.

    @RW: Thank you for your mini post in my comment section today, it really meant a lot. :)

    @Selma: Awww, it’s so nice to meet you. I really want to go to Australia one day. Let’s become better friends so I can stay with you. ;)

    @Miss Britt: Would you please stop giving me reasons to hug you already?!

    @Avitable: You really think it’s amazing? It doesn’t surprise me much. We are a lot more alike than we are different. (Difference of course being that I was enormously cool in high school whereas… well, we’ve been through this…)

    @Sahar: What would *I* do without your friendship?

    @Marinka: Love your name. If that is your real name, it is enormously cool. If it’s not, it’s enormously cool.

    @Cissa Fireheart: Thanks for the compliment, and darn that Miss Britt for giving me YET *another* reason to worship her.

    @Stef Reed Edwards: Awww, thanks. I love the rule of “threes.” Unfortunately, in my family, parents STILL make the rules… :) I hope you had fun on the cruise… gotta catch up via Facebook!

    @whall: Of course they are. I mean, aren’t families that people buy off of e-bay SUPPOSED to be perfect? ;)

    @Hilly: The phrase “beautiful magic” is beautiful magic. Plus I feels good to know that you get me. I like you, a lot. So, I like that you get me.

    @hello haha narf: I love you, too. I really do.

    @B.E. Earl: HA! I should handle the whole “family matter” the way you handle genocide. Except we don’t drink whiskey. And I have to make the turkey…so… yeah.

    @Finn: I forgot to put in the part about how my mom apologizes for *me,* too! Aren’t mothers awesome? Actually, they sort of are.

    @Gatsby: I left out the part about how I’m thankful for the family that sticks around no matter what. I love you, Mr. Suave. ;)

    @SJ: Thanks for coming out of the shadows, and Happy Thanksgiving… which it sounds like you’re having already!!

  20. Oh, woman. You are too funny! Best Thanksgiving post evah!

  21. Faiqa says:

    @CMG: Thanks…and for the record..you’re *totally* a big deal on the Internet. To me, anyway. Awww. What a suck up, right? But it’s true.

  22. [...] a great post about Thanksgiving that I found through Britt (whom knowing is one of my many [...]

  23. Slyde says:

    that wasnt 5th grade at all. that was beautiful.

    p.s. why does your blog give my scrolling ability such a hard time? i thought it was just my work computer but it does it here at home for me too…

  24. Komal says:

    This year, like every year I was thankful for all thoose awesome summers with my favorite baji (and Zia bhi – but since this is YOUR blog this comment is directed at YOU). I’m glad I had a place to be just a kid-I wish all kids had a safe haven like that. Sometimes after a hard day I’ll sit by a pond or lake, pretending that its the east coast. (I know we didn’t go to the beach very much, but its still kind of a symbol to me-like the ocean of a family I missing out on). That’ll all change-all I can say is screw the politics of this family–thoose particular individuals are selfish and out of their mind. Although I am shaking off the concept of “everyone sucks”….so maybe I could be quick to judge?. I miss you. I know its wierd to imagine, but sometimes I find myself daydreaming of everyone being in Daytona again. Maybe it’ll happen one day, who knoes? – oh you should so ask tariq bhi about the “A” I slapped between thoose never again scantrons on my wall. ;) hotchachacha!

  25. Komal says:

    oh and shamyal I found you ! hehehehehe prepare for direct quotes and z mockery. ehehehehe figgit!

  26. Faiqa says:

    @Slyde: Thanks. As for the scroll thing, I’ve used my amazing programming abilities to configure my blog so that it perceives whether it’s you or not and, then, automatically slows scrolling if it detects Slydeness. Sarcasm aside, I’ll check it out, thanks for telling me.

    @Komal: It’s not weird, at all, to imagine us being in Daytona again. I do that all the time. You and your metrosexual sibling are always *my* missing piece at any family event. I miss you more than you can imagine. Congrats on your “A” scantron!! Oh, and you’re very welcome for the help in detecting your bro’s Internet presence. I was going to out him in the next few dyas, anyway.

  27. Traci says:

    Whatever! You had a totally awesome time at my house and you will soon be beside yourself with grief at having to live a life without me, your brother, and our crazy children A.K.A dogs. Seriously, I vote we ditch the people that refuse to get along with each other and have a drama-free Thanksgiving with the younger generation…because we are awesome!

    PS (On a more serious note)
    I do think the world of you. You are the greatest mother I know and the glue and caretaker of this family. You can be anything you want to be, but what you are is nothing short of phenomenal!

  28. Karl says:

    You should put that in a book. It’s perfect.

  29. karmi says:

    Nice post, Faiqa. You’re a talented writer, even if you are a bone-headed liberal. heh heh .. just joking. Uh … put that knife down, and step away from the turkey, Faiqa … do it now!

    Happy Holidays,


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