We have gotten through yet another fleeing vision of what used to be a holiday: Thanksgiving. This year I abdicated all pretense of feeding anyone and my family dined at a restaurant. My daughter declared this the best Thanksgiving she had ever had. No doubt this had something to do with the number of cocktails she’d imbibed. My children are grown, so they don’t need to have any more memories made for them. They typically go out with friends after they’ve visited each respective parent and step-parent combination. This is the new age combination and we strive to be new age.
However, I myself like to maintain the age-old tradition of Black Friday shopping. You know what I’m talking about. One of the crazies that gets up at Oh! dark thirty and sets off on the hunt for bargains galore. This year was no different.
I arose, sans alarm clock, wide-eyed and awake at 6:10 a.m. Not the typical roll over and hope for a few more minutes. No no, not this dedicated begetter of bargains. I was awake, walked and fed the dog, dressed, made-up and on my way. Comfort is the name of the game here. The things that sustain a middle-aged women in times like these are donning a comfy bra and sturdy underwear. In the thick of it, one doesn’t need surprises down below. If you’re looking for more salacious reading, there are other websites for that kind of thing. Here at the Smart Aleck Press, we like to maintain the inane.
The remainder of the uniform was typical: baggy jeans, sweatshirt, light jacket and gloves. Stock was taken of debit cards, car key storage, extra tea in the insulated mug and energy cookies. This last was yet another item lacking in this barista’s bid for mother of the year. I bought, didn’t make, the cookies. Gluten free, they were sustaining nonetheless. And away I went.
I don’t do this every year, but each time I wonder what are the rest of those people doing up at that hour? Are half-priced bath sets that enticing? Does a three foot salami log for $3.98 really make life better? Why isn’t there anything that you truly need on sale, like paper towels and toilet paper. I am still moderately supporting my adult children. They don’t need money, but they suck up paper products at an unbelievable rate. Convinced that I must still provide them with basic necessities, I prefer to purchase such things at a discount.
For the better part of the morning, I slogged on. I was feeling forlorn after realizing that I’d forgotten my coupons at home until I happened upon the change jar that counted the money as it went in. This would make someone happy for $7.98. My son works at a job where he gets tips. I could just imagine the gleeful countenance this gift would bring. However, I would settle for a “Gee, thanks” knowing that secretly this was the gift that truly counted.
I fought crowds, stood in line, worried over the location of items advertised earlier in the week. I went back and forth to the car, drove here, drove there and finally went home after 6 1/2 hours. This trip was not an unqualified success. There were still several people on the gift list who would need presents purchased to put under a tree. But it did serve to put one in mind of the season as one communed with the search of the harried and hurried.
Despite missing leftovers, I had a little extra energy from not having to put away turkey/dressing/potatoes/rolls/green bean casserole and/or portion it out to various relatives or friends who I know would never bring back those storage dishes. So I just relaxed at the end of the day and congratulated myself on a job well done. It was time to sit back and put my feet up. I thought it was best to save my strength for the upcoming shopping on the day after Christmas!