I Survived Black Friday

The nightmare and the reality of Black Friday all depends on where you choose to go if you choose to go out at all.  My family has always stayed home the day after Thanksgiving recovering from our turkey induced commas. As a result,  I have only braved the Black Friday madness twice in my lifetime.  Both times, I walked in the store found the item that I wanted and left.  The insanity of the biggest American shopping day leaving me blessedly untouched.

This morning at midnight, I departed one of my favorite hangouts and drove to Old Navy.  My goal was to replace a pair of jeans whose zipper had broken.  They were on sale for half of their normal price from midnight to four am. By the time I entered into the store there were already shoppers leaving.  I was walking out by the time a line formed at the registered. Ten minutes later, I was snuggling in bed with Luke.  Mission accomplished.

The madness of Black Friday has become somewhat of a national joke.  Many shoppers rejecting the tradition all together and more people making fun of those who stand in line for hours for precious bargains.  Our society’s materialistic tendencies have begun to embarrass us. Calls to shop local small businesses get louder every year as do the cries to put the Christ back into Christmas.

The two are related, but no one seems to want to put the blame where it belongs on the thousands who crowd the stores in search of the perfect Christmas present. That would be discrimination.  And we can’t do that.

So people make fun of the shoppers who have been programmed by society to make Christmas memorable by buying bigger and better presents every year. Program by the media and advertisers.  Maybe that is who we should blame or we could just accept the fact that the only person whose actions we can change are our own. 

I didn’t get trampled because I made a choice. A choice to walk away if the line was too long or the crowd too much to handle.  Another choice was made to not base the enjoyment of any holiday on material gain. 

Every year, my best friend and her mother hunt for bargains. They never get trampled or come home with bruises.  They made some choices as well. Theirs involved not fighting with people over a purchase, but  enjoying the hunt and finding gifts for family members and themselves.

It is all about choices and what is important to you. Not dying or stressing myself out over a TV is one of mine.

Prehensile Tailed Porcupine

A Day At the Zoo

Prehensile Tailed Porcupine
Prehensile Tailed Porcupine

I am exhausted… my feet ache, but I couldn’t be happier.

I spent the day at the zoo.

It was terrific, just what the doctor order.

Working four jobs and writing in every spare moment of brain power, I forget sometimes to recharge my batteries.  Okay, most of the time.

The day began with me saying the heck with it and buying some new duds.  Who needs to do laundry, when Old Navy is having a sale? Just kidding, well mostly, I don’t have a washer/dryer in the house and before this morning only owned one pair of jeans.  New duds were in order.  And besides, I wanted to look my best for the jungle kitties.

My own dear kitties thought it would be fun to lead their Momma on a chase through the neighborhood after having come home the night before in need of repair. (Jack had a puncture wound and Nu was covered in gray dirt and scratches.)  After they were all safely stowed away in the house, it was off to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, an easy forty minute drive from my house with one of my best friends, Zee-Mama

Sir Gus..

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The zoo is a hidden treasure of the Central Florida area.  Each time I return, I wonder why I stayed away so long.  My inner child loves watching the animals and spending the day not only with Zee-Mamma but some old friends as well made it even more delightful.

It is nothing like my hometown zoo, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., but it is a wonder nonetheless and to be honest I like far more. You can see everything in a hour or two if you want and there are plenty of different activities to keep children enthralled after touring the exhibits.  Small zoos aren’t bad zoos especially when they are filled with people who truly love the animals and the visitors.  One woman I met works there along side her eight-seven year old mother. She helped us in the gift shop and directed us to the kitty cat encounter.  A single mother who beamed with pride both for her job and her daughter, a senior, at the University of Central Florida. The zookeepers who facilitated the feline encounter were friendly and took their time to answer everyone’s questions.

A day at the zoo, a day with friends, a day just to enjoy being alive, that was what today was for me. A blessing.