Thanksgiving seems to be everyone's favorite holiday. In addition to the pleasures of the feast, millions of Americans enjoy sitting around the table expressing their gratitude for blessings large and small, including our national pastime -- the spectacle of scores of 300-pound men literally, we now know, beating each others' brains out.
That's all good. But personally, I'm grateful Thanksgiving is over. I try to remember to give thanks every day for my many blessings, but I resist the notion that I should be grateful on a particular day at a particular time.
My favorite late-November day is a different one, and I'm confident that, as John Lennon wrote, I'm not the only one. I love the Sunday after Thanksgiving, a day best known, a quick Google search reveals, as "The Sunday after Thanksgiving," or just "Sunday."
We who use that day to practice the art of non-thankfulness refer to it as "National Ingrates Day" or just "Ingrates Day." Simply put, it's a once-a-year 24-hour period when the pressure to be thankful (or, more important, to pretend to be thankful) ceases to exist.
There are as many ways to celebrate Ingrates Day as there are phony expressions of gratitude.
Say you're dining at pricey Sushi bar with a close friend who picks up the tab. You're so hung over from the night before you feel like your veins are filled with battery acid. Feel free to sulk, sans guilt.
Or say a frenemy blows smoke about how grateful she is to have you in her life. "You're welcome," "I'm grateful for you, too" and "Backatcha" are not in your vocabulary.
Don't give thanks for the mountains of stuff you've accumulated. Instead, revel in materialistic glee for the additional stuff you acquired -- at bargain rates -- on Small Business Saturday. Look forward to the financial damage to come during the galactic sale that calls itself Cyber Monday. Best of all, make plans to shop even more compulsively down the road to spend down the small fortune you've saved from your clever manipulation of all those discounts.
Forget all spiritual admonitions to have compassion for assholes. Despise delusional hypocrites like Michele "I hate to say I told you so" Bachmann. Scorn condescending gloaters like Jonah Goldberg for his unbounded joy at the rocky rollout of a health care law that will benefit tens of millions. Don't feel bad about not giving your social security number to the emailer claiming to be a beautiful woman who "very much your profilr (sic) picture I like to see."
Your temporarily non-compassionate self can indulge in schadenfruede unhindered by your own hypocrisy. Take pleasure in "Double Down," an awful book that nevertheless brings rich detail to the arrogant cluelessness of Mitt Romney and his key aides. Hope that for the Bachmanns, the Goldbergs and the rip-off artists, comeuppance is coming up.
Best of all, on this one day you needn't pretend to be happy that whatever shit you're going through could be even worse. Say you're recovering from your second rotator cuff surgery in three years. No need to say, "At least it's not my throwing arm," "The good news is that it's less hellish than the last time" or "I'm so lucky I didn't need open heart surgery."
Of course, National Ingrates Day is not for everyone. Narcissists, psychopaths and actual ingrates need not apply. But for most ordinary Americans, a day of unfettered ingratitude is surely something to be thankful for.