These retailers may think that Black Friday is some new, big shopping day, but we have had Black Friday in our house ever since the kids started talking. Well, actually, ever since the kids started talking back.
Yes, in a short 24 hours, probably less, from the time that we have sat around the table saying how thankful we are for each, the mood will have taken a definite turn. The joy and good feelings of Thursday will have dissolved into the cranky darkness of our Black Friday.
Like participants of that other Black Friday, I will be up way too early. Unlike those participants, I will not be racing out the door to get my hands on some amazing bargains. (Okay, they won’t either – be getting amazing bargains, that is, but I don’t want to ruin their fun.) I will be up because Nic, who can never get out of bed in the morning for school, has decided that 5:30 a.m. is the exact time that he needs to know why Greg Heffley’s (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) Aunt Loretta showed up too early for Thanksgiving dinner. Did she ruin the whole day? Do we have an Aunt Loretta?
By the time I quiet Nic down, it is too late to go back to sleep. Aaron will have joined us downstairs. He will want to know why are we talking about Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He will admonish his brother for having brought up Thanksgiving because “that was soooooo yesterday.” I will tell both boys that they need to go back to bed.
When their whining that they are not tired and insisting that they could not possibly go back to sleep gets even louder than their father’s and grandmother’s snoring, I will fold. Like the Black Friday shopper who got caught in the automatic doors at Wal-Mart (okay, I made that up), I will be squished between my boys on the couch. Both of them vying for my attention. Aaron will literally be pulling my eyelids up to make sure I don’t fall asleep. Nic will be asking me if he can use the computer though he knows his grandmother is sleeping in that room.
By the time my husband and mother-in-law wake, long after the Early Bird Door-Busters have expired, my Thanksgiving gratefulness will be wearing thin. The first,”No coffee?” muttered by husband will be met with a murderous, though sleepy, stare. In the kitchen, I am greeted by all the dishes left from late-night turkey sandwiches and one-last-pieces of pie. I push them aside so I can fill the coffeepot with water. The black liquid will be my sanity today.
Before Kmart can even announce their next Blue Light Special (do they even still do that), Aaron will have announced that he is bored. We haven’t even had breakfast yet, I will say. But I have been up for hours already, he will retort. Yea, like I didn’t know that already.
After breakfast, while I clear the dishes and my mother-in-law watches the TV much too loudly, Ron will ask me what my plans are for the day. Knowing that “getting as far away from all of you as I can” is probably not my best answer, I shrug. “Haven’t decided yet.”
I tell the boys it is time to get dressed. “Why, so we can sit around the house and eat all day?” asks Aaron. “But, mom, I haven’t even used the computer yet!” complains Nic. Remember, I tell myself, these are the people I am THANKFUL for…and at least I am not at the mall with a thousand sneezing and coughing strangers all grabbing for the same Furby.
“Let’s go for a walk. It’s beautiful outside!” I will encourage them.
“Then can I use the computer?” Nic will ask.
“Yea. Like, I don’t think Dad is going to do that. If you really want to go for a walk, maybe that would be good alone time.” Aaron, suggests helpfully.
Like the shopper who arrived too late for the $49.99 portable DVD player, I feel my disappointment setting in. I’m always surprised how quickly things get back to “normal.” I am losing my Thanksgiving high – quickly.
Finally, everyone is dressed. It is already time for lunch. I suggest turkey sandwiches. “I’m sick of turkey,” Aaron will whine. “I still haven’t used the computer,” Nic will groan. “Whatever you want to make is fine,” my husband will add as he reclines on the couch. My mother-in-law will be staring out the window. “Does anyone ever drive down this street? It’s like no one else even lives here!” I will sigh, bite my tongue and make lunch.
After lunch, I will suggest we play a game. Only my mother-in-law will agree to join me. Realizing that he will now be in charge of the boys, my husband will quickly take a seat at the table. Within a few minutes, the boys will join us. They will not like the game, even though it is one of their’s.
“How much longer is this going to take?” Nic will ask. “Since I played the game can I use the computer.”
“I’m hungry,” Aaron will add. ”Can’t we stop playing to have a snack?”
Eventually, the frustration will be too great. The only one having fun will be my mother-in-law because she hasn’t heard even one of the boys annoying comments. And, because, much to Aaron’s dismay, she is winning.
Just as the evening round of Black Friday deals are starting and new shoppers flood the stores, my family will ask if we can order Chinese food for dinner. “But we have all these great leftovers!” I will say. “That’s Thanksgiving food, Mom,” Aaron will say. “And Thanksgiving, in case you haven’t noticed, is over.”
I agree to Chinese food. The leftovers will keep for a day. But, I am not ready for Thanksgiving to be over. I am not ready for it to be Black Friday. I start to realize that Black Friday is almost over. Soon, it will be Monday and, at least until Christmas vacation, things will get back to normal.
Yes, on Monday, I will be thankful, again.