I promised last week to write a blog about my Black Friday experiences… But that fire in my belly has escaped like undercooked chicken.
To sum it up… The day after Thanksgiving was usually spent at my grandparents on my mother’s side. We would all dress warmly, arm ourselves with shotguns, and traipse around the very rural southeastern West Virginia countryside hunting for rabbits.
I was young and enjoyed this activity although I wouldn’t shoot anything. I didn’t mind tracking, watching the rabbits being cleaned, and eating them… But I disliked the idea of killing them. Like most of today’s population… I’ll eat meat without asking or caring how it got to my table. I try not to take the animal’s sacrifice for granted (the Native American in me), but I slip sometimes.
On one of these hunting expeditions, my Uncle Byrl was shot and peppered with shotgun pellets. I can’t remember who shot him, but I do remember him returning to the house with a big case of a lead measles outbreak… If you get my drift. He was all right and still traipsing around the areas surrounding King, NC.
That’s how I spent Black Friday until I was unfortunate enough to begin working for the man.
I started working in a grocery store and holidays meant extremely busy days filled with wall-to-wall angry people. When I moved my way over to retail sales at Peaches Music & Video… I was subjected to even more angry people with a vast amount of space between all the walls.
I witnessed physical altercations in the parking lot over parking spaces. Then that anger would waltz through our turnstile and into our aisles. I would get chewed out because John Denver’s ‘Rocky Mountain Christmas’ was out of print or that we were sold out of 120 count tape cases.
I also had to deal with the New Kids On The Block’s Christmas LP playing through the store constantly during their heydays. Even my former legible signature was forever changed with the repeated signing of Peaches Gift Certificates. Now my signature looks like something created with a Spirograph.
I dreaded the holidays. I was generally alone because the rest of my family and/or girlfriends were getting they party on with friends and family while I was working among the fuming Christmas shopping mobs. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the time alone. It gave me a generally undisturbed chance to decompress and relax before diving back into the madness.
For Thanksgiving, I would pick-up a Bill’s pepperoni pizza the night before and that was my turkey substitute. Christmas meant getting drunk and watching a movie if I were alone.
Although I’m not working in retail… I still dislike the holidays. The traffic is horrendous and the message of good tidings that everyone sings about with friends and family just aren’t radiating beyond them and spilling out onto the streets.
Call me a grinch… Call me whatever you will. I can’t wait for it all to be over.