Tag Archives: gifts

Fabulous Fridays: A Grand Slam

It’s not often that I am really and truly surprised. I don’t know if I came equipped with some kind of super intuition or what, but I have a way of unintentionally tapping into things or guessing presents in such a way that it ruins the giver’s intended secret. While I willingly admit that I used to use this gift for evil, now that I am older, I really do try not to turn on this psychic power. I no longer guess at gifts under the tree. I do not shake them. When someone says “betcha you don’t know what I got you!” I will say “you’re right.” Because, people try hard…why should I use my Wonder Twin powers and ruin that?

Of course that means that when someone does really shock me, it’s even better! Such was the case yesterday when my youngest (let’s call him “Gleek”) handed me a present that was obviously a book. I mean, come on…I could feel the binding!) For weeks he had told me that he had gotten me something at work and had hinted that it was a small stuffed orangutan so I assumed that he’d had a last minute change of heart and went with a book he picked up somewhere. Fair enough.

to my surprise, it wasn’t just any book. It was the autobiography of Tennis icon Arthur Ashe and when I looked inside, I noticed that it was signed! Now, Arthur Ashe has been dead for quite a while, so Gleek pulling this one off was pretty miraculous by anyone’s standards!

According to him, he was helping out a dear friend and local bookseller who asked him if he had his mother’s Christmas present yet. Gleek said “no” to which this wonderful “Bookmama” said, “I’ve got you covered.” She handed him the book which prompted him to ask, “Who’s Arthur Ashe?” This question illicited  the rather shocked reponse, “You live in your mother’s house, and you DONT know who Arthur Ashe is?” Gleek thought about it for a minute and said, “Well, I’ve heard of Arhtur Ashe stadium…isn’t that at the U.S. Open?” Um….duh, Kid. To his credit, he realized that this must be a big deal and took the time to actually looked him up and put all of the pieces together. He even asked a few of his friends at the Zoo if they knew who Ashe was. (They did and assured him that I would be blown away by the gift!)

And I was. Not only because I have such dear friends who would look out for my kid like that, but also because my son took the time to research the gift so that he would have a better handle on what he had given me. I don’t think that even O.Henry could have come up with a better tale.

Of course this also means that the boy can look me in the eye and lie to me rather convincingly which causes me to rethink all of the cookies, crackers and snack foods that have gone missing overs her years and his constant insistence that he was not the culprit. He’s actually had me thinking that the “not me” ghost might be real! Guess the jig is up on that one son, and it’s time to shake the mothballs out of my spidey senses.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Fabulous Fridays: Reasons I no longer shop on “Black Friday”

BF1      About 5 p.m. last night, my neighborhood came alive with sounds of cars coming through the main drive of the subdivision like an advancing army. Now, I was not out there doing a security check, but I suspect that most of them were not holiday guests leaving in order to make it home in time for the football game but eager shoppers looking to get the best bargains on a day known to everyone as “Black Friday.”

As you all know, I used to do it too. I was all about being at whatever location at some ungodly hour of the morning…but I don’t anymore and the evidence suggests to me that I might have given it up just in the nick of time. I vaguely remember actually stopping by Kmart on Thanksgiving about 13 years ago to check out some doorbuster deal, but they were the only retailer crazy enough to be open all day on Turkey Day. Now they all open in the afternoon and because people want to save some cash, they will be there. Good luck to you…but I will be at home. I’m taking a stand on this. No CEO needs my money that badly.

I have grown to have monumental problems with the whole Black Friday shopping thing so I decided to list some of my issues for a fun Fabulous Fridays post:

1. It’s no longer Black FRIDAY: I seriously question the education of the geniuses who have decided that Black Friday actually begins on a Thursday. This is not rocket science people. In fact, if you were raised correctly and learned the days of the week in Kindergarten, then you know that if there is a sale going on the day BEFORE Black Friday. It is a Thanksgiving Day sale. Why is this? Because it is happening on Thanksgiving. I understand the doors will be open long into Friday, but what kind of example are you setting here? You don’t have an “After Christmas sale” BEFORE Christmas, do you? If you are a 24-hour emporium such as Wal-Mart or Meijer, and your sale circular starts on Thursday, you don’t honor those prices on Wednesday, do you? No…I didn’t think so and don’t try to tell me that there is something different about this. Friday is the day that comes after Thursday…don’t make it more complicated than it is, people. You are doing nothing for future generations by screwing up the days of the week like this!

BF2      2. Black Friday is not a holiday: I’m not sure when Black Friday became it’s own “thing” but once upon a time the day after Thanksgiving was simply known as the “biggest retail day of the year.” That’s pretty tasteful in my opinion. But somehow, over time it grew ominous, it became “Black Friday” and loomed like an approaching storm on the horizon. It had such a weird and almost gloomy connotation that now we have to try and make it festive in hopes that no one will notice that it is encroaching on the rest of the week and has become something akin to Mardi Gras, summer vacation and other multi-day events. It’s a sale, people! Let’s not loose perspective, here.

BF4     3. It’s not worth it: Oh sure, you can pick up some good deals, you will make the people on your holiday list happy, but seriously? I can’t help thinking that the real object of Black Friday may be to be the last man standing with as much stuff in their trunks and have the most money left over. I know for a fact that there are people who treat it like a game or a sport and I find that a little disconcerting. We try and tell each other that its the gifts we can’t buy that matter, but on Black Friday people will go crazy trying to purchase happiness. I’m not convinced we are sending the right message to future generations.


BF3     4. Service is no better on Black Friday: In fact, it’s usually worse though I will admit that stores seem to be a dab more organized than they are at any time of the year. I have been in stores where the associates have no idea what is on sale, who barely got any sleep the night before and whose nerves are frazzled trying to keep up with pushy and demanding shoppers in search of God only knows what that they think they can’t live without. Trust me, you can. If you have toilet paper and food in your home, you will get through the day just fine. No where is it written that you must have an LED HDTV (I have checked the Ten Commandments, the Constitution, the Magna Carte and my HOA rules just to make certain of that fact.)

5. It’s just not fair to the employees: Look, I get it. they have to work on this incredibly long weekend. That’s fine. But does it have to start on the Holiday itself? I have always felt sorry for movie theater employees who have to work on holidays but this is just ten times worse. The shear number of people who have to now work on Thanksgiving is insane. I can’t help missing the days when only the occasional grocery store was opened, we actually had a fair amount of time with our family and friends and CEOs knew how to put PEOPLE before the PROFITS and at least had the decency not to open their stores before 6 a.m. on Friday.

I can’t help wondering how long it will be before Thanksgiving is merely those few hours we spend fueling up for the shopping olympics and the meaning of the day is lost entirely. It’s slowly happening folks and while I can be tongue-in-cheek about it, I can’t ignore the facts. Black Friday is fine, but let’s not lose sight of what’s really important. Sales happen every week. Family, friends and memories are fleeting.

Until next time, Keep Rockin,



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