Thursday, November 24, 2011


First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all! This was a different holiday, as the last few have been as the family has dwindled. In spite of there being only four of us (Chris and my brother and sister) we had a terrific meal at one of New Jersey's deservedly famous diners. In the course of things, several times today I've stopped and thought of all I have to be thankful for, including my friends, and Chris and sobriety and, of course, my health. It was a beautiful fall day here in South Jersey and tomorrow and the rest of the weekend promise to be as lovely. I have a good job where I work with terrific people and I have a raise to look forward to come the new year. I have more than enough.

That said, enough with Black Friday. E-f'ing-nuff! For weeks now we've been bombarded with those idiotic TV commercials about apparently psychotic women training like athletes for Black Friday shopping. Screaming and crying as they plot and plan their strategy to attack the local Macy's or Penney's or Sears. Or WalMart -- you know, that mythical WalMart where all the shoppers are cute-as-pie suburban moms and dads, all height-and-weight proportional, scrubbed clean and dressed real nice in outfits they haven't been stuffed into like kielbasa and that completely cover up their derrieres. Yeah, that WalMart. Stores have been trying to outdo each other in how early they're opening to offer their Doorbusters. (There's another word I wouldn't care if I never saw or heard again, Doorbusters!)

 Of course, this all makes great fodder for the evening news: nitwit news reporters interviewing people who've been camped out since two in the morning, their sale circulars marked up like top-secret D-Day maps.

Nitwit Reporter: So, what brings you out here so early?

Psychotic Shopper: Oh, the sales. You know, it's Black Fry-dee. 

Nitwit Reporter: So you're hoping to get some good deals?

Psychotic Shopper: Yeah, you know, 'cause it's Black Fry-dee...

The world is going to hell, but this is news.

This all begs the question, why do I get so exercised about all this? After all, in another day or two it'll just be the usual Christmas season saturation, but the Black Friday nonsense will have ended. I mean, apart from the fact that it really is annoying.

It's simple, really, I guess. I just don't have that big family any more and I don't need to worry about how I'll afford all the gifts I need to buy and what will I get So-and-So, she's so picky...? I think I miss it. And as the family grows smaller I'm reminded that I'm not that little kid who used to get to stay up until midnight on Christmas eve with my grandparents and my siblings and cousins, eating party food and watching "The Night Before Christmas" and "The Nativity" with the Mabel Beaton marionettes...

And of course it all seems to come so much faster now, whereas all those years ago it seemed like an eternity between the day school let out and Christmas eve. Now it's more like, "Christmas?! Again? Didn't we just have Christmas?"

Like most people I complain about it, but still manage to get a little joy out of it. And now that my own family has become smaller, maybe I can do something this year to make another family's holidays a bit brighter.

In which case I'd better get to bed: it's Black Friday tomorrow and I need my rest!

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