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Friday, November 29, 2013

Let's Ruin Thanksgiving: Consumerism Edition

Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!  (One day late...)

For some of you who read this blog and don't live in the grand ol' U. S. of A.,  you're probably off having a lovely time and being normal.  (And hello, by the way.  I do like to see all those places ya'll are coming from and I'm always like, "No way!  People in Ukraine are reading this?! (Ahov!)  Oh my wonderments, honey, honey, look!  It says people are reading from Japan! (konnichiwa!)"  So, all this to say that I notice and here is a special hello for you!)

So.  Where were we?  Oh yes.  My freakish country.  I am beyond bewildered at the level of consumerism that is going on at crack-smoking levels around here.  It is re-frickin-diculous.

You may be aware that Chrismas and other holiday shopping is kind of a big deal around here.  One year whilst in Costco (a gigantic box bulk retailer), I walked in to the blasting air conditioning in August, walked around the strawberries packaged at the front, made a turn and viola - what do we have here?  Yes, of course. Christmas trees.  Very logical.  We do need to start gearing up nearly half of a year ahead of time.  Perfectly logical.  False.

I used to joke because about ten years ago, stores would open at like 6:00 a.m. on what is called Black Friday (because all the retailers hope to get in the black for the season and make a fabulous profit) - and then a year or two passed and they started getting earlier.  It was something like 5:00 a.m.  Then 4:30 a.m.  I joked that soon people would be opening up their stores at midnight.

Guess what?  They did.

I rolled my eyes and gagged in disgust.  

But this.  This is the epitome of sickness.  This year, as I was humming happily around my mother-in-law's kitchen and heating up the green bean casserole (which, by the way, I have to tell you - I made the fried onions homemade this year, because you KNOW that all of those mass-produced ones have canola poison oil in them - and they were much so that I almost puked from the excessive quantity I ate while making them...), my mother-in-law said, "They're opening up the stores right now for shopping."  


Are you kidding me?

For some of you, you are wondering why I am surprised - and that is because it is the first I had heard of it since I watch an average of zero minutes of television per month and hadn't caught what was likely twenty zillion commercials announcing this fact previously.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It is the holiday that you do not have to buy presents for anyone,  it is the holiday where you get to cook up some warm, delicious, cozy food and sit around with your family, rejoicing together and pondering on how blessed you are.  It is refreshing to schedule time off and to take time out to make that special meal and to relax with each other and have lovely times.

I thought - how could they ruin this?  There isn't much consumerism able to be attached to it - it is a great time for families to spend time together and for people to work hard at making delicious food for each other.  I mean, I suppose you may see some people trying to take advantage of it by selling bibs with turkeys on them or t-shirts that promote the never ending saga of the Detroit Lions (mostly losing) playing on Thanksgiving day (although they won yesterday - it's a Festivus miracle!).

Apparently all they needed to ruin it was time.  Time to think about how they could creep in on it and desicrate it, time to figure out how to take it away from simplicity and make it into the horrifying monster it now is becoming - Thanks-fer-nuthin'-consumergiving.

Maybe you wouldn't even begin to fathom going shopping on Thanksgiving evening, but guess what?  The people who work retail are robbed of spending that holiday with their families so that the almighty dollar can rule and reign.  Their holiday is interrupted - not because they are on call and may be rung to save someone's life - but to serve the greedy companies whose brainchild it was to get the party starting in the middle of someone else's party.  It's sick.

This is not even touching the whole topic of people who used to sleep in tents and camp for days in front of Best Buy so that they could get the latest and greatest piece of technology on the cheap (borne on the backs of Asian manufacturers who pay their workers non-liveable wages and expose them to inhumane working conditions).  Their toy has long been passed over for the next and the next newest and greatest and the time that they ditched out on being with their family is something they can never get back.
So here we are.  Sold out.  It's a sick world - one that at least deserves some wide-eyed stares and head-slaps from time to time.

I know not everyone will  agree with me, but I had to get it out there.  My mother is one of them.  She can barely sleep for excitement for Black Friday.  She wakes up and is out the door by 6:30 a.m. and doesn't come back until 11:00 p.m.  This also inherently includes her going out to eat THREE meals in one day - and this year, I was told that her first stop was McDonald's for their pretend egg creations and a coffee (of course).  It is as if she is purposely trying to somehow vicariously torture me (since the word "McDonald's" is something like a vulgar curse word around here).  At least she did choose to sit down and eat dinner with her family though - and not "take advantage" of the "killer sales" that were going on around town.

As for me, I'll be happily cooking up turkey broth from the gigantic carcass I acquired from my very bewildered mother-in-law:

Me: Um, are you going to keep the turkey carcass?
M-i-l: What?!  No!  Keep it?
Me: I was just wondering if you were going to make broth or something.
M-i-l: Uh, no.
Me: So do you mind if I have it?
M-i-l: (Expressions occurring that begin somewhere near "my daughter-in-law is an alien" and logically follow with, "which is why I am not surprised that she is asking for this right now...")  No, go right ahead.  ("Go on wit yo bad self, weirdo!")
Me: (happy touchdown dance and thinking this is the Best Day Ever) Thanks!

Family time.  Precious, ain't it!

Peace, love and for everything there's Visa or MasterCard, 
Ms. Daisy (who prefers cash)

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