The 1 Reason I Just Say No To Black Friday!
Don’t Bah Humbug Me! I love this season, the season of thankfulness and hope and giving! I think the first Commercial for Christmas I saw this year came from one of the “Marts” and it was in September. A gingerbread man is trying to sneak up on an office worker and the announcer says “Don’t let it sneak up on you, the Holidays.”
His tone brought me back to my Post Black Friday Fiasco. I want to pause here and tell you I do not consume alcoholic beverages. Not that I would never, I just find it difficult enough to get around sober so I leave alcohol alone. Especially if I am going to leave the house. It just never seems to work out for me, Drinking and walking become dangerous things. I only note this here because it will become important later in my story.
Bryer, My son, had decided that he was going to move out and to move back to the city of his birth, Chattanooga. He had talked about it for months. He was so excited about his decision that he gave his work supervisor an eight month notice. He would be moving the following summer. He had been excitedly making his plans and gathering the things he thought he would need to strike out on his own and I had begun to help him.
At the same time I was also on a mission to lose one hundred pounds and I was down 78 pounds when my blender broke. Every day I would replace at least 1 meal and 1 snack with a high protein smoothie and was altering my richly southern diet of fried everything to baked, broiled, grilled and…… (You get it) when my blender broke. Knowing I needed a blender I searched the ads to find the best deal.
It was the Saturday after Black Friday and I spied an add for a blender at a nearby Mart store so I decided to brave the Black Friday Weekend craziness to snatch a blender.
Upon arriving at the mart I was amazed at how quiet it was, except for the blaring Christmas music the store appeared to be having a slow session. I thought it odd that the music was so loud but I dismissed it as an oversight on someone’s part to turn it down once the crowd thinned out. I wondered on back to housewares and began my search, finding the blenders was the easy part, choosing from the dozens upon dozens of various kinds took a little while. I finally picked one that had ninja skills in the smoothie department and started to head out. Then I realized “WOW” they were having some really great deals on other house ware and home items!
I found dishes I thought Bryer would like and put them in the buggy, dish towels and utensils and glass ware, pots and pans ,I was really getting excited until I started to think about my home without Bryer in it. No more house full of boys on the weekends laughing and playing games. Traipsing through the woods, chasing dinosaurs, swords in hand whacking down evil trees and beating up bad bushes and no more looking out my kitchen window to see them in my robe and best long coat/sweater playing Star Wars, swishing the tails of my clothing back and forth in grass and mud as their light sabers hummed and clashed in their make-believe battle. (Don’t worry Bryer I didn’t mention Scott, Neyland or Chris’s name.)
Saddened I looked around a little more until I managed to work up some self-righteous indignation that this child I grew inside of me and nursed from my body and raised from a tiny squalling thing to this hulking young man of 6’3 was going to just toss me aside like yesterdays news and move and hour and a half away, live on his own and become a conTRIBUTING MEMBER OF SOCIETY! Hupff! HE COULD BUY HIS OWN HOUswares and I put everything back but my blender.
Just as I made it to the check out I felt my lip wobble. Don’t you hate your lip sometimes? I came out in a perfectly normal state and now I was going home struggling to keep my composure. I chose the self checkout because I seriously did not want to talk to anyone. I was not sure I was capable of speech at that moment anyway.
I swiped the bar code on the blender and (*big sigh) that’s when it happened. They played Elvis, I’ll Have A Blue Christmas Without You” ~ “I’ll Be So Blue Thinkin About You…” Jim and Bryer would always call me at work and sing this to me. Bryer would be “Channeling” Elvis and Jim would be the dying critter in the background (You Know~ WAOOOWAOOOAH) They would make me laugh so hard!
Except now my vision blurred and my lip wobbled and I began to weep. Silently. Shoulders shaking, Sniffing and trying to swipe my card to pay for my blender. But the little person inside the machine kept telling me to swipe it again. It would beep and I would swipe and the machine would complain and the tears were increasing in my tear ducts but I had managed to avoid the spill over…..(*bigger Sigh) until the little ole lady at the checkout station came over to help me and she rubbed my arm.
WHY? Why is it when someone rubs your arm you cry, harder. Spillage, Snot, Hiccuping. Not the pretty crying with little sniffles you see on t.v. No this was your best friend stole your husband, your dog and your favorite Designer Dress, shoes and handbag weeping. Every time I would try to stop she would ask me another question:
“Did someone hurt you?” I could only shake my head no, I tried to gain control but she kept patting my back and rubbing my arm.
“Was someone mean to you?” Again I shook my head no, I took deep shaky breaths and could still hear Elvis crooning “Decorations of red on a green Christmas Tree, won’t mean the same…..”
“Do you want me to get the manager?” Rubbing harder she begins to sound as if she might cry too, I shook my head no and tried to rub her arm as well. But I could not stop crying. Hard as I tried. I tried holding my breath but then I must have turned blue because she asked “Are you choking? Do you need a Doctor?” I still could only shake my head no and sniff and snot and hiccup.
She was speaking louder now over my sobbing ” DID SOMEONE DIE?” I shook my head vigorously no, I gulped air and began to realize I was gathering a small crowd. She flipped my card over and swiped it for me and helped me enter my pin. The poor clerk was bagging my blender and wringing her hands she hugged me to her and then backed up and looked me in the face arms outstretched still embracing me, still rubbing my arms she paused and squeezed “Please?” her kind gentle voice begging me “Please just tell me whats wrong so I can at least be praying for you.”
How do you tell someone what your feeling and why? How do you explain that the child you raised to be a man is trying to become one but your not ready yet? How do you tell someone that your almost adult child is planning on leaving home and you already miss him? How do you say I know who I raised him to be but I’m not finished growing him yet and he wants to leave me? How do you say any of it when you can barely breathe because someone (yes GOD, I am aware of your wicked sense of humor) decided to play the one song, that one song that could completely wreck your little world at the checkout? (*Biggest sigh yet) so with a deep breath I opened my mouth and uttered the only sentence I could think of in that moment.
Into the silence that had now been created by the end of Elvis Crooning, random tired shoppers shushng their children and checkout clerks pausing to watch my mini drama unfold, the silence that would have enabled you to hear a pin drop, the silence when someone finally realized the music was to loud and turned it off, I shouted “MY (hiccup, Sniff, sniff) MY, MY (I could feel the sob returning so I rushed the words out as best I could) “MY Buh, (Gasp) Buh (Sniff) Buh (returning Sob) BLENDER BROKE!” And I literally just sobbed the words out, tears and snot flying, shoulders heaving as I gasped for air.
And this gentle kind, sweet , sweet soul who had stood there offering me all kinds of comfort did what any sane, normal person would do in that exact situation, She leaned forward and smelled my breath.
Everyday I thank God that my episode has yet to show up on a people of the mart Video. So, now you know why ~ the 1 reason I just say no to black Friday, they won’t let me in.
With Love, Shonta