Image courtesy of hockeyworldblog.com
It's that time of year again. The air is ripe with the artificial pumpkin-y scent of anticipation, and my family the Crows, is sharing in the annual celebration of Thanksgiving, all gathered together at Grandfather’s Sears Robuck Mansion, made from an original catalog kit. Grandfather likes to brag about how In the 1950’s the Sears catalogs sold unbuilt houses and he purchased his for half the price, as it was Black Friday. Grandfather’s wispy white feathers of hair decrease each year, as does his hunger, so he sits back and watches.The tofurkey, couponed of course, is glistening with the sentiments of consumerism, and we dig our little beaks in. We’ll need our strength for the upcoming night. As is the American custom, we go around the heavily compartmentalized table, various weapons sticking out of the sides, listing the things we are thankful for. “The new iPhone 6z!”, my little cousin Raven says, soaring around the dining room, grinning a fangy grin. Grandfather is next, saying only, “I am thankful for my family’s involvement in this important day, the most important of the year.” Around and around we go, various new products and gadgets are praised, new stores being added to the list, new things to conquer. Really only one thought is crossing our minds, has been crossing them all day.
Tomorrow, Friday, or really later tonight, is crucial. Tonight we will strap our safety packs of scissors, paper clips, and coupons, onto our measly backs and infiltrate the massive throngs of Black Friday imbeciles who don't know the first thing about buying. Grandfather says we have been engaged in this our whole ancestral lives, and it is up to us, the future generation, to pursue the purchasing. “Spread the love!”, he says in a rangy hippie voice. And to think that Grandfather used to own nothing, only living for love. Every year, with our swallowed coupons ready to be ejected from our bony little stomachs, our hearts pulsing for the thrill of the find, we will walk amongst the lines, then storm the doors at 12:00 am, letting out long shrieks of delight as we spot reduced price tags and tired, shrunken employees.
I have been groomed my whole life to be a tracker. At a very early age, I possessed a keen sense of the deal like no other. This skill comes in handy when the discounted tags run rampant, and it’s up to me to spot them. It’s as if the 50% offs are a red badge of pride standing out in a sea of blue, my eyes the only ones capable of locating them. Other family tricks include strength (whose talons will be able to lift so many bags?) and speed (the motto is “Go everywhere, even if it doesn’t have the deals. We will MAKE the deals.”) Raven uses her charm for bargaining methods. “I’m sorry, but if the new Xbox370 says 30% off, it stays 30% off, even with the Thankfulness Deal.”, a red eyed employee might say, ready for bed and a kind, dumb family content with outdated technology and Adele’s album from 3 years ago (honestly though, the new one sounds so much more sophisticated!). Raven, pink nose sniffing it all out like some sort of predatory vulture, will smile sweetly, fangs sparkling a pearly white (the newest Crest White, half off at CVS for the Turkey Time Sale), and shake her sleek black head. “What do you think of when you hear ‘Thanksgiving’?” The employee might sigh dramatically. Oh the spite of this luxury, the spite of this shopper, she might think. She might even say, “I think of being at home, cuddling with my kids on our burgundy couch, reading Harry Potter.” Raven would squawk at her, “What is the point? What is the point in all of that? The real memories lie here my darling, in the stuffed aisles overflowing with gifts. Gifts, tangible gifts that will improve my life in some existential capacity. What good are two children and a book that has long ago been replaced by The Hunger Games? Speaking of which, do you know what aisle the movie posters are located in? I heard they were marked down.” She will inevitably get the Xbox deal, and walk away with 4 posters for the price of 1.
Thanksgiving in all historical contexts is the expression of gratitude. I’d like to think our family follows this pre-destined path of thankfulness the most. We don’t take anything for granted, knowing our time on this spinning green planet is short. So, on this thanksgiving we should all count our blessings. We have wallets, for one, with deep pockets. Many don’t realize how much good can be done with deep-pocketed wallets. It’s all about the giving, and if that is our disposable income to mega corporations that often times are discrimenatory to their workers, abuse minimum wage rights, and play marketing tricks with the greater population of brainwashed America, so be it. It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it, Black Friday being named after the very 1869 crash that turned our economy so black? In the end though, the feeling after the purchase, that deep satisfaction that lodges itself just below your tofurkey filled gut, outweighs any doubt. Money after all is just a material object, and can be easily replaced.