I got sidetracked yesterday with weighty matters, but I'm back on course now.
Yesterday was Black Friday. In my experience, folks are either exhilarated by the day, up early and out the door to wait in line after line for the best deals imaginable with the occasional fist fight thrown just to keep things fresh, or they stay home and don't leave for love or money.
Guess which sort I am?
In a perfect world, I have purchased or made gifts throughout the year to save myself the stress and aggravation of shopping during The Silly Season - the stretch of days between Thanksgiving and New years when people are shopping, stressing, forgetting their manners, losing their grip, forgetting little things like compassion, love, and mercy in the ever-growing frenzy to find the hottest toy of the season for the lowest price and if that's the last one on the shelf I will beat you over the head with a brickbat because my kid deserves it way more than yours!
Ahem. This year, I was a slacker, and will now pay the price with long nights and time away from my precious Internet. Sigh.
The time between Christmas and New Years is included because of the dolor of returns - walk past a returns line in any big-box or mall store and you risk having the life sucked right out of you; you'll find yourself shuffling along behind people with too-small sweaters, fondue pots, and the Learn-About-Puberty-Chia pets that Uncle Sal thought it was OK to give to little Timmy (who is six), zombie like, until you reach the glorious front of the line...only to realize that you weren't there to return anything! The line got you.
Silly Season assaults people from their mailboxes (all those desperate sale circulars, pleading for your time, attention, and dollars) and e-mail - yesterday I started the day (admittedly a little later than usual) with twenty e-mails in the bow. Three of them were from actual people; the rest were advertisements that made it through the spam filter and had to be destroyed. Don't worry, I was merciful and granted them a swift oblivion - but sent to the bit-graveyard of the Blue Nowhere or not, they'll keep coming. They are marching through the streets of Blogopolis even as I type, wedging themselves into odd corners of blogs, clogging the arteries of communication, and nesting in e-mail boxes where they'll breed, brood, and hatch more of themselves in nan-seconds.
It's on television and radio, audio battery screaming forth, drilling into your brain through your ears and gluing itself to the unconscious mind where it filters into dreams and modifies behavior so that you find yourself wandering the aisles of the big-box at midnight, desperately searching for the one gadget or gizmo you're convinced will make life perfect for someone else, and possibly cure cancer, too.
Me? I'll be at the grocery store, shopping for ingredients, or at home baking, sewing, crocheting, possibly degrinching enough to decorate sooner than a week before Christmas (hereafter to be typed as Xmas on this blog because I'm lazy), and wrapping what few things I purchased and making the package look festive with bows I made myself because I am that person, the one who has to go one extra step and make things herself and make you feel like a schlub for having the store do it. Yeah, uh...you're not a schlub, I'm a freak. It's compulsive. Also, aside from raising, schooling, feeding, clothing, and entertaining the Evil Genius and the occasional burst of half-hearted housework, I don't have a job, so I have time (hah!) to do that crafty shi...umm...stuff.
If you must go out into Silly Season I wish you good luck and godspeed..and you're welcome to pop by Casa de Crazy for some cookies, tea, coffee, scotch (on or off the rocks) and a place to hide until February if it all gets to be too much.
*When I first composed this, I was unaware of the tragic deaths of two WalMart employees at the beginning of the day. One (in Queens, NYC) was trampled to death by people who couldn't wait the few minutes left until opening - they threw a newspaper vending machine through the doors an pressed their way in, desperate to be the first to buy...I don't know, cheap perfume? Crappy clothing with faulty stitching? Cheap plastic crap?? Whatever it was, apparently it was worth causing mayhem, damage to the store, and death. Some poor schmuck, who only wanted to wish people a good day and help them find what they were looking for, is dead now. Happy Christmas to his family...I'm sure they'll understand why he had to die. Four other patrons (including a pregnant woman) are hospitalized, rather seriously injured. Shame, shame, shame. The second (in Long Island, NYC) was killed after a fracas involving an XBox 360. No more details are available as I type this, and the stories may change after I post it - but if it's true, if people really found a game...a game, y'all...worth killing over...I despair for humanity and don't wonder that other nations view us with disgust and scorn. Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.