Friday, November 28, 2008

What Is It With Black Friday?

So this post isn't for a contest either, but a redhead has to process her confusion somewhere.

I come from a long line of bargain hunters. I remember getting up early one Friday after Thanksgiving to go with my grandma so we could nab all these great deals. Such a feeling of pride and accomplishment swelled up in me, and I knew that at last, I had made it into the hallowed halls of the women in my family who know how to get a discount on something that is already 90% off. So why am I suddenly filled with distaste and a bit of uncomfortable sadness as I read about all these moms who got up early today to go shopping at the crack of dawn? I mean, it's not like we're supposed to judge each other or say how someone else should live. So what is my problem?

I mean, really, I grew up with baby dolls and Fisherprice toys, and have nothing against them. And giving gifts is a blast. So what is my deal? Am I turning into Scrooge?

Maybe it's that the economy is crazy tight, and I see so much brokenness increasing daily around me. Maybe it's because I know that we could give the world clean water for just a few billion out of what was spent today. Maybe it's because the stories of people being killed or beaten up just so someone can get to the electronics section first or get that last "it" toy this year breaks my heart and makes me wonder if I belong to the human race or a race of animals. Maybe it's because I'd love for someone to make me something, for someone to spend their money on me by buying a ticket to come see me, or to just give me their time or attention. I don't know.

People keep asking me what I want for Christmas. Aside from some fun baby items and maybe something to clean my bare floors easily each day, I have no idea. I don't really need anything. I'm not in danger of going naked, though I may not be in fashion. My toes are warm, though Zappos may be missing me. I don't need any new nail polish until I can begin seeing my toes again, and I can't remember the last time I was able to use body spray since there are all these "thank you for not wearing perfume" signs everywhere I go. Our pantry and freezer are well-stocked with the fruits of my labors this summer and fall, and we've loaded up on other non-perishable items so I don't have to worry about a major grocery store run in between contractions. I have a personal library of books I can read over and again, a good collection of music, a warm house, a working computer and telephone to keep me connected to you, a car that goes most days, and one package of diapers waiting to clad a little bottom in a few weeks. What more could a girl want?

So while I could come up with something to "want", I can't say that I "need" anything. Oh, I'd like to turn my wants into needs, but when I think about folks getting their drinking water from the same place animals and people use to bathe, suddenly all of my needs vanish. And I'm left with no reason to think of today as any other day than just a regular Friday.

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