What the heck is wrong with us? How can we go from a day of giving thanks to a day of fighting for the last Barbie doll on the shelf? This Black Friday thing is just about the worst showing of who we are as a nation. Retailers have duped us into spending the day after Thanksgiving running around grabbing deals on stuff we don’t need at prices they tell us are only available today. Of course if today doesn’t go well for those retailers they will just advertise an even better deal tomorrow. I get it that we are a consumer based country, and without a good season for retailer many of them will have a really tough time the rest of the year, but it shouldn’t come down to a piranha style feeding frenzy. Lets agree to treat each other well today, and if someone beat us to the deal, we will behave as we believe others should treat us!
This week, I have heard complaints from some groups that we are forcing God into our government and government organizations. They say that the separation of Church and state is part of our laws and we have no right to even speak of God in these establishments. To that I say “Garbage”! First our constitution does not even mention this as some claim. This statement from a letter by Jefferson to a pastor was telling the pastor that the Government would not establish a national religion. Second, if you take most of our “National Holidays” they are rooted in Christian faith. Take Thanksgiving, all mention of God has been taken out of the official statements but just look at the original by Lincoln which I link here, you will see it was to be Thanksgiving with a purpose, A Christian Purpose! To deny we are a Nation with a Christian heritage is dumb, and to say we have to stop having that heritage is dumb. Just look at the facts of where we came from on sites like Wallbuilders. Equally, if you don’t want to celebrate or be a Christian you have every right to not partake, there should be no pressure put on anyone to do something they don’t want to, but don’t try and tell the 80% plus by the last poll I saw, that we have to remove God from our money, pledge, holidays or government. If you are un-happy with hearing all the thanks and praise you can always move to another country, perhaps an Islāmic state would be more accepting of your complaints.
When I was a kid I hated when the adults said the word “tradition”. To me it meant junk we had to do because we had always done it. We always had to follow what we had done for years, the same meal the same games, everything the same, Ugh! Whenever you suggested a change the answer was always the same “tradition”. (Right now fiddler on the roof is playing in my head) It always bugged me that they didn’t want anything to change, so year after year we did the same boring things. Now that I am older I can’t help but look at those traditions a little differently. Those traditions have gone from obligations to remembrances, not just memories of the things but of the people who lead those traditions and are no longer with us. The uncle who told me really bad puns and jokes every year, the cousin who led us in a game. The reason I like the traditions now is not the traditions themselves but the people who they remind me of, both those who are not with us anymore and those who I will not be able to be with.
With this being the year of NSA spying and outrage over our privacy, I find it funny how more and more people are putting their own stupidity on-line for all to see. I had a co-worker years ago who put a piece of tape over the camera on his laptop because he was afraid of someone spying on him, but now every new laptop, smart phone and gaming system has a camera on it. This has brought every stupid act to a YouTube channel near you. I just saw a story about the new PS4 being used to broadcast a naked drunk woman. While this was not of her doing, there are plenty of people sending or posting video and pictures of themselves for family, friends and potential employers to see. Because of the nature of the internet once those are out there they can never be taken back. This is one of the times I am glad to be older, there was no internet for my friends and I to post our antics to, so they stay only a memory. While all these cameras have made for good moments and news being captured in ways we could have never imagined. This generation is going to have a lot of awkward conversations with future children and grandchildren about their past.
In lots of companies Friday is casual day! This is the day that normally reserved well-dressed adults show off how poorly they can dress. Guy’s trade in polo’s for hoodies with writing on them that I wouldn’t want my kids to wear. I can’t remember who I first heard this from but, why would anyone pay to advertise for Coke or Nike? Somehow we have been duped into wearing giant corporation’s logos and the stupid part is we pay extra for the right to wear it. I can see wearing your favorite sports team, rock band or even an ad for a worthy cause. Coke Cola make millions selling what amounts to rust remover full of sugar for way more than it costs to make, and then sells millions more worth of merchandise to those who love the flavor of their intestinal rotting treat. And while I am on the subject, putting the word juice across your posterior is about as appealing as a popsicle after it is dropped in the mud! Have some respect, dressing trashy only works for the insane, homeless and possible artists who might be both. If you are living in a bad part of town and need your clothes to be intimidating to stay alive that is one thing, watching middle-aged upper-middle class people trying to be tough and young is just sad.
I am starting to be a little jealous of my friends who are observing the no-shave November. Several by the second week looked as if they had been in an Amish community for years; Only the straw hat was missing. Others looked like Grizzly Adams (Kids ask your parents on this one) I half expected them to be wearing flannel shirts with their business coat and tie. Others have the Marlboro man thing working, no matter how long they let it go they always look like they came straight from the barber’s chair. My face on the other hand will never reach any of those lofty goals. My face appears to others as if I was dragged behind a car on my face so as to let the pavement grind off large portions of possible coverage. Nothing happens in a way which would allow for a cool mustache or goatee. No, when I don’t shave the only usefulness is possibly old paint or soap scum removal, but only in small areas. It isn’t really a threat to my manhood, I just wish I had the option even if I would never do it. I really shouldn’t complain though, we all have our gifts, even if I will never be accepted by the Amish or the wilderness.
Except for maybe dentistry, there are few things I find more painful than trying to buy a car. These days with the internet and all the info I can get before I even walk into the dealership, you would think things would have changed. We walked in with a printout of a car they supposedly had on the lot, they didn’t. Even thou we printed it out right before we got there. They did have one awfully similar with twice the miles for the same price. When we showed the salesman the paper he took it inside the building only to return without it. His response, it must be at our other store, and I remember that car has a big scratch on the passenger side. Really? Then as if they had practiced this play a thousand times he showed us a more expensive one. Then my favorite part, his manager comes over and asks me the question I have been asked since I bought my first car thirty years ago. They may not use the exact words every time but it is all the same. “What would it take to get you into this car today?” My answer is always the same, said with all the sarcasm I can muster,” A Miracle!” On one occasion with a really persistent fellow I told him the car would have to be half the asking price, which made him as flustered as a male peacock trying to woo a mate. I go into these places as if I am walking into a boxing ring, so I at least have to get in one shot before I go down!
I have a confession; I am stubborn and hard-headed. To anyone who knows me this is no surprise, but I have to remind myself of this often because if I don’t I can make some dumb decisions. I will do dumb things like buying my wife pajamas for Christmas. After the fifth year in a row you would think I would remember not to, but I am like a moth to a bug light.
We as a people seem to have the same collective hard-headedness about asking our government to solve our problems. Time and time again it has been proven that our government can’t solve our problems, nor was it designed to. Yet we go back to the proverbial well expecting that this time it will be different! I am not saying that their intentions are not good, I will not say they are incompetent, I am saying they are not equipped or well suited for the task. It is like trying to train your cat to bring in the newspaper. They look like they should be able to, but it just isn’t going to happen.
I believe we have real problems in this country and I want to see what our Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King among other envisioned. I just think we need to stop bringing the wrong people to the table to create the solutions.
Self-Storage is a modern-day phenomena! I see these places popping up all over town and I am blown away by just how much storage is necessary? So let me get this straight, we buy bigger and bigger houses yet we don’t have room to store all our stuff? Of course the new house comes with a covenant which states we can’t store our stuff at our own house. Well maybe you can if it fits in the basement or behind the fence and can’t be seen from the street. So we buy a garage space so the three car garage at home maintains the approved parking spaces for the approved color cars and all the stuff that we are assembling to go over to the storage unit. If you are going camping don’t forget to go get the camper from storage, but not any earlier than 48 hours so the association doesn’t send you a letter stating you parked it at your house longer than the acceptable time. Yet with all these hassles and difficulties with all our stuff, the accumulation continues. I really need to buy one of these storage places, then I can charge others for their stuff and have room for mine.
When I was young there were only two kinds of socks. Dress socks, that dad’s and grandparents wore and tube socks. Tube socks always came up to your knees and could possibly have a stripe or two of color at the top, but they were always white. All socks were the same length as if there was an organization that monitored this and reported back to the government as to the compliance with sock regulations. I don’t know when the de-regulation of socks happened but today when I look at the two isles of socks at Walmart I can see it has become a free for all! Socks of various lengths from below the ankle to above the hip, socks that have pockets for each toe and each toe is a different color! Materials from gold toe to man-made non-flammable, touch screen compatible, non-slippable seasonally appropriate Christmas socks, complete with LED lights. I was unaware that my leg covering choices could light up brighter than my house during this season but apparently, it is possible. All of these choices work to confuse the morning ritual of what to wear and make my shopping experience take longer. All I wanted was a pair of socks to wear with my running shoes, which by the way, create another set of baffling choices.