Friday, November 25, 2005

Late Giving of Thanks, and Some Thoughts on Black-Friday

Happy Belated Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Sappy Stuff First
I am deeply thankful for:
1) My mother, who is always always encouraging, generous, and loving with me. She taught me by example and with words how very important it is for me to be the woman I need to be, rather than the woman others would have me be. Go multi-generational feminism! While I'm at it, I should thank her mother and grandmother for having had the courage to be formidable women in a time when women were meant to be perpetual girls, and thank her father and grandfather for being proud of their wives' accomplishments.
2) My sisters, amazing people that they are, who were willing to drive up to Microburg from a suburb that isn't ashamed to claim itself as such so that our family might celebrate Thanksgiving together.
3) My nieces and nephews (family midgets), who never fail to make me laugh, even when I'm in the full power of my end-of-semester writing neuroses coupled with standard-issue holiday-hostess neuroses.
Youngest Niece, upon seeing me write margin notes in a book Wednesday: "Oooooh, that's so rude. I'll bet you get in trouble for that. So disrespectful!" Friday: "Reading, reading, reading! It's like you don't know how to do anything else. There are snowmen trapped on the lawn, and they need us to get them out!"
Eldest Nephew, upon arriving (after work and a long drive) at an ungodly hour of Thanksgiving morning and seeing my apartment for the first time: "So, this isn't a disgusting collegiate place. Want me to bring some dirty socks to throw around next time, so we can do this place up RIGHT?"
Eldest Niece, arriving with Eldest Nephew: "I brought stuff to make my very first from-scratch-pie, but you have to show me how."
4) Being in graduate school. As much as I whine about the work-load, and I do, this is the first work I've ever done that I wouldn't run from if I won the lottery. Also, as the first child of my generation to earn a B.A., simply being welcome in a graduate program is a constant source of amazement to me.
5) Having long-time friends who accept that I disappear for four months at a time, encourage my ambition, but occasionally insist that I surface for much-needed socialization.

Black Friday
I do NOT shop on Black Friday. Never have. Frankly, I find the idea of a national shopping day rather distasteful. Today, as I spoke to friends who do shop on Black Friday, they told me about shout-fests and physical altercations they witnessed that boggled my mind. "I will provide the newest toy/clothing/electronic doodad for my child, regardless of the immoral, illegal, and unsafe actions I have to take in order to do so" is not my idea of good parenting, folks. I don't have children, and I don't pretend to understand the pressures of parenthood, but ... damn! Imagine if your children saw you BITING ANOTHER CHILD'S MOTHER because she was in line for the much-to-be-desired sale-price object before you were. I was not permitted to own all the artifacts of affluence I wished as a child (in the 80's, so there were many), and guess what? I'm OK. It's very possible that your children will grow up to be fine, productive citizens without owning the "right" toy/clothing/electronic doodad. They'd probably prefer the embarrassment of that lack to having a parent arrested for assault. Just sayin'


Void said...

I always found it fascinating that the month of Christmas started immediately after Thanksgiving, a mythically impecunious holiday full of vague mutterings of gratitude (and L-tryptophan). For the majority of people the compulsive shopping is most likely an annual force of habit, but on either side of the bell curve you have those who are paralyzed with fear to leave the house on one hand, and on the other you have the rabid sort who would slit your throat with a debit card rather than let the last pink iPod escape their grasp.

Let's be thankful for the idea that we can sometimes be happy with things that can't be bought.

HeoCwaeth said...

Let's be thankful for the idea that we can sometimes be happy with things that can't be bought.