Today is Not Black Friday

Today is Thanksgiving and as usual I’m up at 5AM. I didn’t mean to get up this early. I meant to “sleep in” until six. But as unnatural as it seems to wake up when it’s this dark and cold, I did wake up naturally. The pull of the computer and a blog post I had spinning around in my head got me to push my cozy flannel comforter off of myself and get up instead of burrowing in and trying to go back to sleep. That and I may have been having a hot flash. (Not that I would ever admit to that.)

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the things I am always thankful for. My family most of all of course. Our health. My many wonderful friends who fill my life with laughter. My house and the town that it’s planted in that feels like a modern-day Mayberry to me despite its close proximity to Los Angeles. Wine. (Yeah, you knew that was coming!) I have a job that I like that is only twelve minutes away from my Mayberry house (in a town that is more like Beverly Hills West). I have a good life. We have a good life.

Thanksgiving veggie tray

Our kids are growing up way too fast. Really, if someone wants to become the richest person in the world, what they need to do is figure out how to slow it all down. My son will be graduating high school in a year and a half – his childhood over. I don’t want it to stop, but can’t someone figure out how to make it stop happening at warp speed? It’s so hard to slow down when life moves so fast.

One thing I am truly not thankful for this Thanksgiving is the terrible trend of Black Friday sales taking place today. On Thanksgiving. How is a sale that takes place on Thanksgiving, which if I know how to read a calendar is certainly a Thursday, called Black Friday?!

I find it ironic that we’ve turned this American holiday of giving thanks into a “holiday” of competitive shopping. Forget about being thankful for what you have, go buy more, More, MORE. (And don’t be afraid to push someone out of the way to get it.)

Look, I get that some businesses are open on Thanksgiving. Maybe I’m a hypocrite because I’m quite thankful that my gym is open today (for limited hours – only 6:00 – 1:00) so I can take a 90 minute kickboxing class this morning and don’t have to run.

And I know that movie theaters are open so when families have stuffed themselves fuller than the stuffed turkey they just inhaled they can sit together in a dark comfortable room and watch Katniss Everdeen reluctantly murder her peers instead of hearing Great Aunt June tell everyone about the time she was chosen as the county fair cornfield queen for the 27th time (today). I get it. As a former movie theater employee who had to work on Thanksgiving, I don’t like it, but I get it.

And yes, most markets are open because we all forget things. Celery for stuffing. Milk for the mashed potatoes. Asti Spumante for the uncouth relative who prefers the guilty pleasure of a sweet sparkling wine to a buttery Chardonnay with her turkey. (Who me?) But markets are open to help people with their holidays – not take away from it. And if you want my honest opinion I think markets are open too long. Take a cue from my gym and be open from 6:00 to 1:00 or maybe 8:00 to 3:00. Closing at 7:00 may seem early, but I’m sure it doesn’t seem early for the employees. If you haven’t bought your celery or cheap wine by 3:00 you should be out of luck. Can’t we make things a little bit inconvenient for Americans just a few precious days of the year? Perhaps that will help us to feel even more thankful for just how good we’ve got it.

So tonight I will not be shopping any Black Friday Black Thursday Thanksgiving sales. And look – I’m on a budget. If there’s anyone who needs to save money it’s me. But if you’re planning on shopping tonight, I want you to ask yourself this – who are you shopping for? Yourself or your family? If the answer is your family you might want to think twice about heading out for those sales tonight. Because in ten years they likely won’t remember what they got for Christmas this year, but they’ll certainly remember mom not being around on Thanksgiving after dinner when everyone is relaxing and playing Bananagrams because she had to go wait in line to save 50%. So I propose that this Thanksgiving we all slow down and take a look around at all that we have. The X-Box can wait (and will probably still be there at 5AM tomorrow when the kids are sleeping if you really need it). Slow down. Pull out the Monopoly board. Tell Great Aunt June you bet she was the prettiest county fair cornfield queen there ever was (for the 27th time today). Don’t let retailers steal your holiday. Life is already happening at warp speed.

Duct Tape, Bananagrams, The Whistle Song and other Random Things

Bananagrams
Fun with Bananagrams

Duct tape, Bananagrams and Whistle? Yes, welcome to the random inner workings of my brain. And even though my first Friday Random Things blog did not really get a lot of views or comments, I’ve never let a bad idea (or bad writing) stop me. Besides, I can’t really think about anything interesting enough to write about this week, so I’m going to continue on and write about 5 uninteresting, totally random things instead.

Random Things #1: Whistle. Marley and I were in the car the other day singing along to Whistle by Flo Rida. (I can’t help it, it’s catchy.) As we sang the words:

Can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby
Let me know
Girl I’m gonna show you how to do it
And we start real slow
You just put your lips together
And you come real close
Can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby
Here we go

I remembered that the other day Marley and I were talking about something and she said, “Mom, I know more than you think I do.” Ugh. I’m sure she does. But I really hope she doesn’t know what the words to Whistle mean. (It kind of makes you long for the days of Like A Virgin!)

Random Things #2 End of the World. The world is supposed to end today. If I were cool and had my act together I’d have some sort of End of the World Party. But I’m not (cool) and I don’t (have my act together) so I’ll probably do what I do most Friday nights – try to convince my family to play Bananagrams and end up watching episodes of 30 Rock from the DVR queue while playing Words with Friends as a consolation when they all say no instead. I know, I know, once again you are all jealous of my exciting rockstar suburban life.

Random Things #3 Kickboxing is my muse. My gym has an awesome kickboxing class. And for some reason, whenever I am in it I get brilliant ideas. I mean brilliant! And of course every writer knows that if you don’t write your brilliant idea down, you will lose it, no matter how inspiring. So I run out of the class and ask the people at the front desk for a pen and paper to jot my idea down quickly so I don’t drip sweat all over the counter. My friend who manages the gym told me that she’s going to get me Post-it notes for Christmas. You might be wondering where all these brilliant ideas are that I keep running out of class to write. Well, if you are wondering that, that’s just mean because isn’t it obvious? No?! Sigh…

Random Things #4 Duct Tape fixes everything! Every other year I get new slippers for Christmas. (Picked out by me, handed to Dave with a, “Here wrap these and give them to me for Christmas.”) Yeah, just like Friday nights at the Ross household is off-the-charts crazy fun, the gift giving at Christmas is equally enviable! My slippers that are soon to be retiring are dying. And I mean dying. One of them is cracked at the bottom and I keep tripping when I wear them because they bend and catch on things. Of course the solution to this duct tape. (Take that MacGyver!) The only problem is that after a few days the duct tape starts to scrunch up and the bottom of my slipper is sticky from the tape and starts collecting dog hair and whatever else is on my floor and I have to start over with brand new tape. I’m very happy Christmas is only a few days away. Mostly because I’m running out of duct tape.

Old slippers
Yeah, these are my classy house shoes

Random Things #5 Thank you. The world is supposed to end today. (Though I have a feeling that instead I’ll be getting new slippers for Christmas on Tuesday and writing more unbrilliant random things next Friday.) If it doesn’t, be thankful. Be a little kinder. Kiss someone and tell them that you love them. Hold the door open for someone. Play Banangrams with your mother when she asks you to. Be the best you, you can possibly be. I thank you all for reading my silly words. It means the world to me!