Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Finally Here ...

It is finally here. Of course, I’m talking about Black Friday.

Well, it’s not officially here yet, but Black Friday will be here this week, beginning officially at noon on Wednesday.

There will be long lines in front of many of the hottest retailers to get the hottest deals on the hottest gifts in the slowest economy since the Great Depression.

I read a story the other day on the Internet — The Source Of All Truth — talking about one Florida woman who decided to camp out in front of a Best Buy nine days early to make sure she was in line for the great bargains.

The woman coordinated with three other families so that everyone could take care of other business, you know, like going to school, the bathroom, work and shopping for Twinkies.

She said of the deals, “You can’t beat some of the deals they have on plasmas, flat screens and laptops,” the young woman told Tampa’s NBC affiliate. “We’re all students; you’ve got to pinch a penny; it’s affordable right now.”

That’s is so true.

When I was in college, penny pinching was an art form like no other. I remember pinching pennies for extravagant things like gas money, rent money, money for Hamburger Helper, sometimes including, lord willing, hamburger meat. I don’t remember pinching pennies for plasma televisions, but maybe I just wasn’t concerned because I could watch television for free at work from the time I got out of class until 3 a.m. each day. Looking back it was probably my job that kept me from getting the opportunity to camp out for great deals on televisions and laptops.

But Black Friday also means that for the very briefest of times, we will also, as a nation, get together with friends and family and say a few words of collective thanks.
I am very thankful this year, probably this year more than ever. It’s not that in the past I wasn’t thankful for what I had, it’s just each year I seem to grow more aware of and thankful for the small things in life.

Throughout November, I’ve been joking around on the Internet — The Source Of All Truth — about things I’m thankful for. I mentioned being thankful for “beautiful ear lobes,” “fine hair care products,” “flip flops and broken-in underwear,” and finally “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, and brown paper packages tied up with strings.”

Those, of course, are all things I’m thankful for, but they aren’t the real things I am thankful for this holiday season.

While not exhaustive, I am very thankful for these:

1. My wife for always supporting me and letting me watch football.

2. My kids. I’m so proud of them both for their success and the adult humans they have become. They take after their mother on all the good stuff and take after me on pretty much nothing at all, which makes me one lucky dude.

3. The rest of my family because they make me laugh, even if it is sometimes for the wrong reasons.

4. My friends because they help my wife and I get through life and spend time with us during the next chapter. 

5. My house because it’s warm in the winter and cool in the summer and my bed is nice and cozy — sometimes a little too much.

6. My job because I can do what I love to do — talk to people and write about crazy stuff — and because I have one.

7. My grandog, Lola, the Bullpup Princess because she is a Bullpup Princess and she rocks.

8. Beautiful things because they make life better.

9. Military personnel because they keep me safe at night and fight for my freedoms.

10. The United States of America because, while not perfect, it is still the best country in the world.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. And be sure to take a look at my beautiful ear lobes if you get the chance.

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