Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Remembering The First Thanksgiving

As we approach this 219th Official Thanksgiving Day I thought it would be appropriate to honor the very first Thanksgiving Day. Not the Thanksgiving ceremony that took place on September 8, 1565 when 600 Spanish settlers landed at what is now St. Augustine, Florida and immediately held a Mass of Thanksgiving for safe delivery to the new world and began the rush of illegal immigrants into this country. Nor will we be discussing the “day of thanksgiving” that was observed by 38 English settlers about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, Virginia, the first being on December 4th in the year of our Lord 1619. This was years before they fought against us in the Revolutionary War and made us take this country for ourselves. I also will make no further reference to the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1621 which date and celebration most of us associate with our modern day Thanksgiving and the rallying cry was “Can we please have some food?”. No, I’d like to go further back than that, like a few thousand years.

Back to Adam and Eve.

I feel that I can offer some insight into Adam and Eve for they had good and bad times for which we should all be thankful. Let’s reminisce shall we?

Picture Adam and Eve newly evicted from their previous home, or should I say garden? In the Garden of Eden things were right in the world. Not a care in the world and no one to care for other than each other. Simple instructions; go forth and tend the garden, multiply and replenish the earth. Eat anything that you want, just not from this one particular tree. But no, it’s from the one tree they did eat, I would have spent more time multiplying. Some say it was an apple that Eve first ate, I say banana. After all if you are going to have a great fall you have to slip on something and a banana seems obvious. I would imagine that the conversation was pretty short after Eve took that first bite, “Adam” Eve demanded, “eat this fruit or we won’t multiply anymore.” And Adam being a righteous, and strong man with convictions said, “Yes, dear”.

It can’t be easy moving from the ritzy neighborhood to the projects but that is exactly what Adam and Eve had to do. “By the sweat of his brow” Adam made his way on the earth.

Of course Adam had Eve to nag, I mean encourage him on. He faithfully tilled the soil and planted his crops. Then he went into his cave, laid down on his easy rock, stared at the wall and waited for the fruits of his labors to bloom.

“Adam?” said Eve.

“Yes Dear?” replied Adam.

“What are you staring at?” quizzed Eve.

“I’m starting at a picture that I drew on the cave wall.” said Adam. “I’m thinking that one day I can get the picture to move and then it can entertain me for hours.”

“I’m hungry Adam.” says Eve.

“What do you want me to do about it? I’m waiting for the stuff I planted to grow. You can eat then.”

“Adam”, demands Eve, “no more multiply unless you find me something to eat.”

“So,” says Adam, “do you want Mexican or Chinese?”

Eve gives Adam the look, the one most men get from their spouses. The look that proves that women are beautiful so that we’ll marry them, and dumb so that they’ll marry us. “I saw a lion the other day killing and then eating a lovely little lamb, get me a lamb and let’s see what the fuss is all about.” responds Eve.

So reluctantly he gets up from his easy rock and wanders off into the jungle.

Two days later Adam shows up all scraped and bruised. “What happened to you?” asks Eve.
“I was inventing track and field.” is Adam’s response.

Eve gives Adam the “do I have to ask you to explain look” and Adam obliges.

“I did as you said and went to get a little lamb.” He explained, “The lion didn’t appreciate me taking his meal and chased me. The chase involved running, jumping, climbing trees and throwing sticks at the lion. I’m calling it track and field. I think it will be very big when someone invents the Olympics.”

Not that everything Adam and Eve had to do was hard. Being the only people on earth solved the problem of choosing a mate. “Let’s see” thinks Adam, “I wonder who’s available tonight?” No problem, “Herrrrrrrrres Eve!” They didn’t need People magazine to tell them who the sexist man and woman alive were, it’s the only man and woman alive.

We all know that Adam invented hunting but he also invented hunting trips. Every 21 days Adam would grab his hunting stick and go off hunting for 7 days. He never killed anything on those trips but he also never missed one either.

Once Eve got the hang of fire she must have tried cooking everything within her reach. Adam of course was her tester. “Try this, just one bite, don’t like that do you, why are you doubling over, too much spice?” and “I haven’t seen the dog for awhile”, “you had him for lunch”.

Adam and Eve were the “first” in everything. The first fight, the first make up, the first birthday and anniversary, the first forgotten anniversary, inventing the first calendar so that you don’t forget the anniversary again, the first “you’ve overdrawn the checking account”, and of course the first “is that lipstick on your collar?” I have to imagine that Eve felt Adam spent too much time with his friends and not enough time with her. Since there were no other people on the earth Adam had only imaginary friends and had no idea what the issues were with his friends.

Receiving the commandment to multiply had to be both a blessing and a punishment. Adam, like most men, wanted to make sure that he kept that commandment. I acknowledge that his contribution was microscopic but it is still must have been an overwhelming responsibility. I would imagine that being the first man God man sure that all of his little swimmers were of Olympic quality. Knowing men, I’m sure that Adam was constantly in a state of “let’s multiply but not necessarily qualify.”

Eve of course contributed by inventing the headache. Somewhere between the first kid and the 50th she must have really been banging her head on some rock for eating that banana. First Planned Parenthood wasn’t around to give her “options” and since there were no kids on the earth she didn’t know what to expect. When the animals gave birth on the farm the whole idea of raising them looked easy. “Look Adam, that horse is giving birth to a new foal… it’s sooooo cute and, look, now it’s walking. Ahhh, Let’s have a baby!” Must have been a real surprise when it didn’t walk on day one.

Which lead to the invention of the diaper, also by Eve. Eve invented washing, ironing, cleaning, showers, baths and soap. She invented brooms, mops, dust pans, named dust “dust”, and started the first maid service. She was the first person to call her husband an idiot and most definitely introduced the silent treatment to mankind.

Adam invented showing up and patience.

Yes we should be thankful for our first mother and father. They did what they did without the benefit of modern conveniences such as telephones, electricity, and running water. They never ran to catch a bus, they were too busy running to catch dinner.

On this Thanksgiving Day we should take the time to honor the parents of all mankind. They had less than we did and still managed to get by happily.

Without Viagra.

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