I've been reading these wild newspaper stories about people spending all of Thanxgiving Day ... not with friends and family, but waiting in line, in a parking lot, so they can be first to get bargains when stores open on Black Friday. Like these two this week in the Capital: "Does Black Friday Threaten Thanksgiving Meal Tradition?" and "The Maw of Shopping Madness"
I look at these stories, and wonder about the circumstances of the people who find spending the day this way to be a good trade-off. My first response is to be scornful of the apparent materialism – are these the folks who were camped out overnight for 22 hours, some with only cold sandwiches for dinner (I wonder if they had sliced turkey in a nod to tradition?)...just to get a crockpot on sale or a new laptop??? More reflection makes me think this urban adventure *is* their tradition – an unconventional one, but a tradition nevertheless. There’s a sort of camaraderie among the fellow line-waiters, and, I’m sure, what my friend Karen calls “the thrill of the hunt.”
At the same time, I'm thinking of the many reasons I'm thankful to live on a boat. I used to think the greatest gift of our life afloat was how much the physical closeness has helped Dan & me get even better attuned to each others' moods. Now I think an equally valuable gift is the way the tiny space is a natural deterrent to the desire to accumulate material goods. Can't buy things if you have nowhere to keep them when you get them home, after all!