What 20-Somethings Really Mean When Giving Thanks This Year


Thanksgiving is the official day to reflect on your life and realize everything for which you have to be thankful. Most of the time, that also involves revealing that one thing in front of a table of your closest family, friends and third cousins, twice removed.

If you’re a 20-something at a job you don’t love, in a city you can’t afford, with daring friends and questionable morals, your list of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving is probably slightly skewed. Though, you’d never admit it in front of Grandma.

So, you pull out a few of the classics making the table ooh and ahh with joy, as you mature from “I’m thankful for my Game Boy” to “I’m thankful for my job.”

Little do they know what it is you're really thinking:

“I’m thankful for my health.”

I’m thankful I stocked up on AirBorne because I only get three vacation days, and I have already used them up: the day I was too hungover to move, the day my landlord needed me there to tell me my faucet was broken and the day the second season of "House of Cards" came out.

I’m also thankful my coworkers know how to sneeze into the fold of their elbows, and that I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my bag to save me from all kinds of unknown subway diseases.

“I’m thankful for my family.”

I’m thankful that my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles manage to love me.

(Despite the fact that I simultaneously complain and rave about my job; I eat all the food and drink all the wine; I say inappropriate things about college to my cousins, and I have an uncanny ability to always curse around the 3-year-olds.)

“I’m thankful for this food.”

I’m thankful for warm food that doesn’t consist of pizza, McDonald's, Taco Bell, expired Campbell’s soup, undercooked Ramen or $1 hot dogs from stands on the street.

I’m also thankful I was not involved in the making or purchasing of said food. All I have to do is send my plate around the table, and it will come back to me full and delicious.

“I’m thankful for my friends.”

I’m thankful there are people who exist in this world who willingly join me in the following: inhaling pizza and garlic knots on my fire escape at 3 am; binge-watching movies on a Saturday in the dark, while ordering Chinese food and eating it for lunch and dinner; getting drunk off mimosas Sunday morning.

Let's also not forget stumbling around the city looking for interesting people to talk to, overanalyzing each and every text message, Facebook friend request and Instagram like from anyone of the opposite sex.

“I’m thankful for my boyfriend.”

Just kidding. I’m thankful I have yet to be asked about my relationship status today. Though, I’m sure it will happen multiple times throughout the night, especially after dinner when I unzip my skirt and am at my most attractive.

I’m thankful I have not lost my charm, self-confidence or unwavering beauty, despite the amount of times I’ve been drunkenly rejected in a bar.

I’m thankful all the men I have dated, though quite often jerks, we're not murderers, serial killers or secret hoarders.

“I’m thankful for the roof over my head.”

Though I am not thankful for my landlord, I am thankful he turns the heat on after many frozen-finger-induced complaints, and he fixes my faucet after three weeks of having to wash my dishes in the bathroom sink.

I am thankful for my queen-sized bed that can fit into my bedroom with three feet to spare, and for the “breakfast nook” my roommate and I converted into a second bedroom using three bookshelves and some poster board.

I’m also thankful the converted “breakfast nook” is my roommate’s bedroom.

“I’m thankful for my home.”

I’m thankful my parents have not converted my childhood bedroom into one of the following (all of which are options they have outwardly discussed, not caring I was in the room): a gym, a spa with an on-call masseuse, a home theater, a playroom for the nonexistent grandkids (I’m VERY thankful for that one), a guest room, a home office, a bowling alley, a batting cage, a wine cellar, the first-ever residential indoor beer garden (according to my dad), a walk-in closet, a room dedicated to my mom’s Bunco club, a ballroom (“because everyone needs a ballroom”), or a game room.

I’m also thankful they haven’t rented it out to a stranger or used it to host a backpacker.