Aug 05, 2020
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Searching for Thanksgiving on Black Friday

Thanksgiving approaches; my most favorite holiday!

I recall the rapturous scent of pumpkin pie and roast Turkey. I delight at the sight of my father walking around the house lighting various orange, red and brown candles, while some not-too-Christmassy tunes played from the stereo. Maybe some Vince Guaraldi or Nat King Cole.  

On this most selfless of holidays, my favorite family members and family friends come over.

My parents get to showcase their lovely, well deserved home (even if that does mean my sister and I must do preemptive cleaning the days before).

And you know those supposedly typical family arguments? The ones where an uncle says something about the U.S. needing to drop bombs and your cousin majoring in Peace Resolution Studies at UC Santa Cruz throws a plate of vegan apple-chestnut stuffing at his head?

Well, those don’t happen at the Lambert’s Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not sure why. Maybe some Depression-era gene that compels us to appreciate what we have still has influence over us. So we just enjoy the day.

Unfortunately, there is one caveat for me. It began when I was about 10-years-old and learned about a new shopping experience called Black Friday.

I was going to stay the night at my cousin’s house after all the day’s festivities, until she told me she was waking up at 5 a.m. That undid the whole deal for me. I asked why she would wake up so early?

She replied she was going shopping with her mom and grandma.

I thought everyone had lost their damn mind.

Why rise before the dawn, just to shop? Couldn’t you just wait until noon like other people? I mean stuff will always be in stores. We aren’t in Stalinist Russia, after all.

Apparently, I was all wrong about this day.

Twelve years later, people aren’t even bothering to sleep.

Last year, some stores opened at midnight. This year, Walmart, Michael’s and Best Buy will be open from the evening of Thanksgiving until Friday evening.

This would all be fine and dandy, if it weren’t for the nauseating feeling I get that this has become the impetus for celebrating Turkey Day: getting to grasp a 65 percent off MEGA-UBER-SUPER-COOL gadget or TV or toy in soft, warm, manicured first-world hands!

The prize is savored for a few months (hopefully), until its lovely newness becomes forgotten in anticipation for next year’s sales Olympiad.

All hail the emporium! That giver of such temporary joy!

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