I don’t have much of an idea what I’m buying for Christmas presents, and I make most of my purchases online, anyway,
Which is another way of saying I was nowhere near a mall Black Friday.
This is good, because I have no desire to go to a mall Black Friday.
I’ve experienced both sides of Black Friday, first as a retail manager and then as the husband of a Black Friday shopping aficionado. And I can attest that, yes, Black Friday is ridiculous. It’s stressful, chaotic, and can bring out the worst in people. But it’s also, in its own way, a lot of fun: a rite of passage for retail workers and a bonding opportunity for the shoppers who flock to the mall.
I get the points Ken Miyamoto makes in “In defense of Black Friday.” It’s just that, having once worked in a Dick’s Sporting Goods during the holiday season (although not Black Friday itself), the only “passage” I was interested in was the passage of time toward when I got to leave.
And as someone who, like the author, does not have the “shopping gene” but has someone in his life who does (his wife and mother-in-law, my mother), I cannot, do not and will never understand the appeal of driving around for a parking spot, squeezing through crowds of people and standing in lines in every store.
I’ll have my fun in other ways, thanks.
* * * * *
Like Wednesday, I was off today while my wife had to work. With no laundry to do (and since I wasn’t going shopping), I figured I’d go play pickleball, but then my old college roommate Mix texted me.
He wanted to know if my wife would be at the museum where she works, since he and his wife, daughter and mother were planning to go.
Mix lives about 20 minutes away, but we only see each other sporadically. Life does that. So since the museum is close, I bagged the pickleball plans and met up with them.
The five of us walked around the museum — Mix and his wife are both Revolutionary War re-enactors, so they were particularly interested in that display — and my wife joined us after she was done working.
They’re all great to hang out with, and at one point, Mix joked that he once considered a business opportunity to rent himself out to parties for people to goof on him — a “human pincushion,” if you will.
I replied that I had no interest in that sort of thing, since I’ve been doing that for free for … quickie math … quickie math … 25 years. (Insert feeling old here.)
But even though Mix has long been a target for abuse, he’s one of the best people I know. He and I are going to a hockey game in January, but we all need to get together more often.
My wife was upstairs and I was downstairs after we got home from the museum, but she knew I was headed toward the kitchen, where she had put the eggnog she had bought in a prominent place.
”Thank you,” I yelled upstairs as I grabbed a large cup from the cabinet.
I am pretty fervent about no Christmas before Thanksgiving, and in particular an absolutist about eggnog, which is hard, because I love eggnog.
So today was a big day, and my wife knew it. I’ll be spending the next month or so glugging down copious amounts of the stuff, until I finish a carton after Christmas.
And then it will end until next Thanksgiving.