Giving Thanks in the Pandemic

Thanksgiving is nearly here and I’m counting my blessings. I know what you’re thinking: “It’s 2020 and it’s going to be a tough year to muster up some gratitude,” except you’re probably not some geek who uses the word ‘muster’ in a sentence.

But I have a lot of gratitude to go around – despite the pandemic.

Admittedly, I wanted to fill my list up with Netflix and Hulu shows that I’ve enjoyed.  While I have watched more television than I ever had before, I am grateful to Disney+ for airing “Hamilton.” I missed several opportunities to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical on stage. When it came to Pittsburgh, my friend Claire called me with a free ticket, but I had other plans that I didn’t cancel. Ironically, I had thrown away my shot. Since it aired on Disney+, I’ve watched it twice and I’ll watch it again.  

In March, I went to the store right when they were putting the Charmin on the shelves. Unlike most of you, I did not experience the pandemic potty panic. I was in the right place at the right time and I’m grateful.

I’m grateful that my life slowed down for a bit. I’ve completed several home projects. In early April, I arranged my closet by color, and I realized I have enough black clothing to become a mime. I sanded and painted a table – also black.

I’m grateful for the money I’ve saved. Before the coronavirus, I spent a lot of cash in theaters, bars and restaurants.

I’m grateful for those months I worked from home. I enjoyed rolling out of bed at 8:45 AM and being dressed and ready for Zoom calls at nine. At least, the top half of me was dressed and ready. Shh. That’ll be our little secret.

I am grateful for my friends in relationships because they made me realize I wouldn’t have survived COVID-19 with a boyfriend. Yes, it’s been lonely, but when my buddies call me up and unload a list of their petty arguments with one another, I reveled in the misfortunes of others, even though I really miss sex – a lot.

I’m grateful I haven’t had to shake anyone’s sweaty palm this year. I love touching people (mostly dudes), but I won’t miss the obligatory work handshake when I have to meet the new guy in the sales department.

I’m grateful for my socially-distanced vacation. I had the whole beach to myself. I didn’t have to listen to anyone else’s music. I didn’t have to listen to anyone’s crying children. It was glorious.

I’m grateful for my health, despite tendonitis in my left shoulder, a bout of hemorrhoids, a root canal and, for some reason, athlete’s foot – even though I haven’t been back to that petri dish lovingly known as the gym since the coronavirus began.

I’m mostly healthy. Okay. I’m alive. I’m counting that as a win.

I’m also very grateful that 2021 is around the corner, because I’m ready for the New Year.

Michael Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and sit-down author. As a comedian, he has performed all around the country, most notably, the Ice House, the Comedy Store and the Improv in Los Angeles. As a writer, Michael Buzzelli has been published in a variety of websites, magazines and newspapers. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant,’ Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine. He is also a Moth Grand Slam storyteller and actor. His books, "Below Average Genius," a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column in the Observer-Reporter, and his romantic comedy,  “All I Want for Christmas," are on sale at Amazon.com. He is working on a LGBTQ romantic comedy called, “Why I Hate My Friends.” You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. (He / Him / His)