Well, this has been a week of “Firsts” for me – I went grocery shopping on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and then I participated in Black Friday

27 Nov

Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year. What a stupid holiday. I am a thankful person every day, I don’t need a holiday. I don’t need my significant others to get out on the freeway, or swarm to an airport, to show their gratitude. Every year, watching the news footage of idiots sitting on their luggage at the airport, now sporting face diapers, is embarrassing. On Monday they’ll tell us how many people died on the highways. And, the most important detail – how much did the average family spend? (they never mention the debt load created at this time of year)

Cause that’s all it’s about. In my husband’s culture, they call it “Potlatch”. Psychologists have come up with a diagnosis – “conspicuous consumption”. And that’s what I’d call a little old grandma juggling a gi-normous tv on a shopping cart screaming “I got it! I GOT IT!

I won’t lie – I buy stuff, and I like to think of myself as a smart shopper. One rule I have is, don’t participate in mob behavior, because you never know when the mob will turn on you. I’ll never forget the Black Friday my family was in the Bay Area, so we went shopping at a huge mall. I had my hands on a pair of pants for my husband, standing shoulder to shoulder with women who didn’t even have the decency to acknowledge my presence as they nudged and squashed, when another woman reached out and literally stripped those pants out of my hands and took them.

What did I learn? Stay the fuck out of the Bay Area.

Even the grocery store is dicey after Tuesday. Hey, have you ever seen a flock of turkeys? Go to the grocery store on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. If you find yourself, as I did, staring into an empty fridge on Tuesday night, make your list and get out at the crack. By 11 am it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. Checkers get frazzled, it’s like working the front lines. So be early and be nice. And get the hell out.

I like to buy Christmas gifts – candy and Christmas ornaments (and underwear/socks for the family). This year I picked up some hand-made hum-dingers at a crafts fair, including this ginchee crocheted necklace for my friend, as well as some one-of-a-kind ornaments. And Monday I’ll probably hit Joy Lyn’s candies in Paradise – they have a very nice variety of candies that are safe to ship, and you don’t have to worry about parking or stepping in bum turds.

I’ll leave you with this trailer from one of my favorite movies – “What Would Jesus Buy?” Made by Morgan Spurlock, the guy who made “Super Size Me” – another movie about America’s fascination with over-consumption. WWJB is a light-hearted look at America’s addiction. Bill Talen is an “actor-activist”, he’s got a good sense of humor, trying to make a serious point – “America, you got a problem...”

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