Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Friday, November 26, 2010

What is it with Black Friday?

This was the first Thanksgiving during which we took an RV trip.  We pulled Homer from Ft. Worth to Houston on Wednesday and set up at the Lake View RV Park on South Main, a very nice park with modern facilities and friendly hosts.  The trip down here was uneventful, except when I turned on the rig’s running lights, I noticed the trailer lights worked only intermittently.  I checked the cannon plug in the bed of the pickup and didn’t notice any play, so I’m not sure what the problem might be.  Fortunately, we don’t find ourselves on the road that often after sunset, so the fix is not urgent.

On Thursday, Sandy and I met her sister, Brenda, and our daughter, Mindy, and son-in-law, Tyler, and our grandson, Mason, at Brenda’s new apartment in River Oaks.  This place is beautiful, with great views from floor-to- ceiling windows—high rise living at its best.  Brenda had gone all out in providing a Thanksgiving feast for us, all of which was acquired from gourmet venues in her local area.  We had smoked turkey with all the trimmings and scads of appetizers, imaginative sides and desserts that clearly showed the pride of the professional chefs who prepared them.  Frankly, this was a first for all of us; never before had we cooked, well, nothing, for Thanksgiving dinner.  However, this could signal an ominous trend, as the womenfolk all agreed this was an idea whose time had come.  The men looked at each other with worried faces, as if to say, “What have we done?” 

As much as we would like for our wives to be freed somewhat from kitchen chores, I think I can speak for the other guys in saying that we missed all the homemade goodies that  have become synonymous with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.   I allowed my good judgment to lapse for a moment and mentioned to Sandy how much I missed her homemade cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole and pecan pie and, without missing a single bite of smoked turkey, she pointed to a three ring binder, yellowed with age and stained from its proximity to hundreds of episodes of meal preparation, and said something like, “The recipes are in there.” 

It wasn’t clear why she had brought her personal recipe book with her on this trip; I suppose she would have cooked something if asked by our hostess.  I took this as an indication that a paradigm had shifted, at least for now.  I'll approach this minefield from another direction in the future.

After an obligatory nap, enabled because cleanup was such a breeze (we ate on paper plates) the ladies began planning a Black Friday frontal assault on certain of their favorite stores that was set for a zero hour of 9 p.m. this very evening!  Yes, Toys ‘R Us was planning to open for Black Friday sales at 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving day!  What’s up with that?  This is just not Biblical, at all!  Sure enough, they all piled into Brenda’s BMW SUV around 8:00 p.m. and roared off, waving purses, credit cards and singing some kind of shopper’s battle cry like a bunch of drunks.  These women had obviously done a mind-meld with the bargain flyers sent by the stores to lure them in for a shopping spree.  Never let it be said that advertising doesn’t work!

Around 11:30 p.m., there was a knock on Homer’s door, and there they were, having returned to unload into Homer the spoils of their crusade.  As I type this, I’m looking at a giant box containing a Little Tykes Prep ‘n Serve Kitchen that is occupying most of the area where guests normally sit.  The rest of the haul, hopefully, will fit into the cargo bays.  I still don’t know how they stuffed it all into the Beamer when they left Toys 'R Us.

This was not to be the last of the Black Friday battle plan, however.  Brenda found herself at a Gap store at 5:30 a.m. the next day, hopped up on a pot of coffee and eyes dilated by Red Bull energy drinks.  Sandy and Mindy didn’t join her, however, perhaps having had a moment of clarity.  Even so, that didn’t keep them from supplying Brenda with their credit cards and a list, so that they could engage in Black Friday by proxy!

I will confess that these ladies were able to get a good deal of their Christmas shopping done at big reductions in price, but I just know that guys would never put up with the hassle.  I haven’t seen the newspapers yet today, but I’m sure there is probably mention of some casualties from the melee.  This Black Friday thing has gotten completely out of hand, the womenfolk having left earth orbit and clearer heads (guys) behind.  These gals are headed into uncharted territory, and it’s a place none of us guys wishes to go.


  1. more power to those shopping gals!!!..better them than me!!

  2. Hi folks ... best of luck for retiring and making it out of the DFW area in an RV. We retired out of DFW too ... literally, DFW.

    Hope to see you on the road soon. Oh, by the way, loved your comparison.


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