Bag Lady

I make this trip multiple times a week. This is my main grocery shopping routine, walking across Dexter schlepping an old backpack the parents got on a trip to Toronto many moons ago. It’s a great pack, lightweight and zips closed and if it gets ucky because I forgot to put my tub of fresh mozzarella in a plastic bag, I can throw it in the washing musheen. (Well, usually I can. When the dern thing works.) I buy just enough stuff to fit in the pack. If I need terlet paper or something like that, I make a run out to the Jackson Rd. Meijer or wherever. I don’t usually have any company like I did yesterday and I don’t usually push a shopping cart. But yesterday I found a Plum Market cart on my way over there, so I grabbed it. To the great hilarity of the beach urchins, who had to take a picture. That’s Mouse scurrying along on the right in the purple tights.

So, today is so-called Black Friday or I guess it’s White Friday at the ski ranch, where they actually got enough snow to stick to the ground a bit. It just spat at us today. I have very mixed feelings about Black Friday. Back in the Jurassic Age, when almost everything in Sault Ste. Siberia shut down for Thanksgiving day, I often went shopping with my friend Helen and her parents. We shopped across the river on the Canadian side for shoes for her because our small town did not carry shoes in her size. Thanksgiving was one of the few days her family could go to Canada because her dad worked six days a week at his television shop and her mother did not drive. I’m sure they were thankful that Canada was a hop, skip, and a jump away and open on our Thanksgiving and I was always thankful that they invited me along because I loved going to Canada and was dead bored with hanging around home on a holiday. That was back before passports were required and the border was friendly and we weren’t interrogated as if we were bringing in bombs or pot or cow poop or whatever they think baggy old American citizens might be smuggling.

As a young adult, I participated in Black Friday (I don’t remember it being called that then) plenty of times but in those days, it meant going downtown and shopping at John Leidy and Jacobson’s and Peaceable Kingdom and Borders and all the other local businesses. And yes, Border’s *was* a local business here on The Planet Ann Arbor in those days. Nowadays Black Friday pretty much leaves me cold. Woldemort makes me dizzy whenever I go there and crowded stores in general give me the willies. And I cannot feature heading out to shop at eight PM on Thanksgiving evening. Here at The Landfill, we were hacking into the GG’s gargantuan mothership iMac to download Downton Abbey episodes from Netflix while he gabbled away on the telly-phone for at least an hour. I cannot imagine waiting in line overnight to pick up a big-ass flat-screen TV or some random electronic device. If and when I need such a thing, I go out and buy it. I bet most of the folks waiting in those lines can probably do that too. Are you really saving all that much money, when you think about all the time you have lost? Unless you are having fun! In that case, whatever floats your boat and you have my enthusiastic blessings.

I am really not all that concerned about those who have to work on the holiday besides the fact that I think most retail workers get paid crap and should get more. I worked a few holidays back when I ran a cash register and I actually volunteered to be scheduled on them. Not only was it fun, we got paid what they called double-time-and-a-half, which amounted to three times our regular pay. I had to do that for a couple years but I certainly haven’t had to work every holiday my whole life. And not everyone is missing some big fancy family celebration where people are starting food fights over polly-ticks or whatever (not that *we* would ever do that [grin]).

I am disgruntled about the fact that the xmas season seems to start at Halloween or even before. One year I didn’t get around to buying Halloween candy until the morning *of* October 31st. When I got to the Westgate Kroger, I was horrified to see that it had all been pulled off the shelves and they were putting out xmas candy. Sheesh! I hope they weren’t planning to throw out the Halloween candy just because it had the wrong color wrappers for the season.

I don’t like the consumerism surrounding xmas and I hate crowded stores and I am FLINGING (hello!), so I did not shop today. Anywhere. Well, I did online research about silver cloth but that was hardly exciting and I didn’t even buy any of that. Actually, I worked today. I mean I worked on my *job*. From home. Until sometime in the afternoon when the VPN got all wonky and I couldn’t keep connected to the server. Okay, I was done. I did put a few dollars into the local economy. $40 or so for breakfast for four at the Village Kitchen, where Barack Obama called up to ask about the line cook job they had posted. I am not even kidding. The owner took the call and showed me his name on the caller ID. And I fergit what I paid for dinner at the Oscar Tango tonight. All I know is that it was colder than blue blazes walking down there and back and our fav-o-rite waitress had my number because there were a whole bunch of napkins in front of me when I sat down and darned if I didn’t spill a quarter glass of whine in The Beautiful Diane’s direction at the end of the evening so those napkins came in handy.

What did you do on Black Friday? Whatever it was, I hope you had fun!

Good night,
Kayak Woman

3 Responses to “Bag Lady”

  1. Tonya Watkins Says:

    I avoid Black Friday at all costs! *shudder* My best friend from Oregon was up to see her mom this weekend and she came to our house and we spent the afternoon well into the evening chatting our lips off, drinking excellent from-scratch Lemon Drops, and making soap! It was an awesome day! (So much better than our Thanksgiving ended up being…)

  2. Jay Says:

    We did some shopping – from the computer. And it was for household items that were on sale. (New sheets and towels the next time anybody comes to visit.) Oh – and the Brandi Carlile show with the Seattle Symphony.

  3. Margaret Says:

    I’ve never done BF and never intend to. I do most of my shopping on-line or for gift cards, so I avoid stores at all costs. However, I did get the oil changed in the car Alison drives.