Here it is - the post-Thanksgiving column. It goes without saying but I will again - I am blessed beyond imagination. My family, friends, jobs, home; goodness, I've so much for which to thank the good Lord and heaven knows, I do every day.
Something else I'm thankful for? The fact that I had to work on Black Friday. OK, truth be told, I volunteered for duty. Why? Many reasons but the driving one: to avoid any association with, connection to, or even remote involvement in the whole mad process of shopping on Black Friday.
Is it me or is standing in line at midnight in a freezing drizzle to slowly make your way into a jam-packed store to fight over four sweaters, a GPS device and three bottles of cologne and then waiting in another line, by the way - how shall I say this delicately - flipping crazy?
Just the thought of getting up at 2 a.m. after you've just been awake for a solid three days basting turkey, mashing potatoes, baking pies, frosting cakes, chopping vegetables, washing linens, scrubbing floors and washing windows is mystifying to me. And heck, I didn't even mention the 14 grocery store runs you've made in between. Either way, that's a little kooky.
Oops, I shouldn't talk about my sister like that.
I mean, even as I write this, she's setting her alarm for next weekend's one-day-only "best sale of the season" extravaganza.
And good thing she's doing that, too, since she won't have another opportunity like that one for at least ... um, about a day.
People, people, we go through this every year, so please, for the love of Pete, pay attention: Every weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas yields the sale of the season! Have I ever lied to you?
Honest, really, I swear. I know you're being told otherwise every single day by sly marketers trying to entice you into their stores by threatening you that this is your absolute last chance to save money on holiday shopping, period. Skip this sale, and you're paying a bazillion bucks for your purchases this year.
But guess what? Next week? Same deal.
Now, it's true that, the closer we get to Christmas and Hanukkah, the more depleted store stockpiles become, so there is at least some incentive to buy before, say, Dec. 24.
But getting up before the roosters to jump on the Ohio turnpike in a cold rain and head to the Grove City outlet mall to play chicken over a parking space before the whipped topping on the Thanksgiving pie is even squirted out of the can?
That's just poppycock.
"Listen Patty, you don't understand. I saved, like, $200 going to the Eastwood Mall on Black Friday. Seriously!" said my pal Sandy Miller of Liberty.
"But you didn't sleep for, like, two-and-a-half days. You lost brain cells you'll never get back," I said, reminding her that she opted for shopping over any sleep Thanksgiving night.
"Yeah, but I crayon face water bottle to the curtains," came her bleary-eyed reply.
That's what happens when you forego too much deep-stage sleep for too long.
And I ought to know, I burn the midnight oil working on my laptop far too often.
Oh, well, I guess it's all printer remote packed down to the straightaway furnace blower. Er, I mean, perhaps I've judged the Black Fridayers too harshly.
Over in Savingsville, my sister had a little more clarity as she put me in my place.
"Patty, how is this any crazier than you running 13.1 miles in a blinding snowstorm?" came her amazingly astute Black Friday observation.
One more hmpf.
Let's all have a nice big cup of coffee at the Mocha House and forget I ever said a word. I think they may be having a door-buster blowout on java!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.