The Thanksgiving Malfunction

I am rarely on Filipino time, aka late. I like to go to my destination early, get good parking, and leave early whenever possible. This is particularly important when I have to keep R’s anxiety in mind.

This Thanksgiving we drove to my aunt’s house and arrived an hour before everyone. R was able to stake out a good spot to rest, aka nap. My family and friends know that when we need to go WE NEED TO GO.

This year was no exception. Delicious food, a missing turkey that I was allegedly supposed to bring, and lots of little cousins for the kids to play with.

It was a great day.

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With the exception of my two older cousins, all of the little ones that aren’t my kids are my second cousins. Their grandmother or grandfather was my father’s sibling. Isn’t it amazing how different they look?

When they all get together, it is as if no time has passed. Cousins indeed.

The Tryptophan Triangulation

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

And now I feel a darkness upon us. For those of you not in the States, I’m talking about Black Friday. America’s craziest shopping day of the year.

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I remember when I was a kid my mom would wake up at 7 in the morning and go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. As a mom myself, I’ve been to quite a few BF sales to get great deals on basics for the kids like pajamas and long-sleeved shirts for a few bucks, not to mention huge discounts on gifts for our growing extended families.

I had no idea how crazy this tradition had become until someone actually died during a Black Friday sale. And then tonight I saw a glimpse of how awful some people can be. I saw a news clip of a dad saying to someone else, “I swear to God if you push my kid I will put a f@cking bullet in you!”

It was caught on tape!

It was not enough to have thousands of retail employees leave Thanksgiving with their loved ones early but now we need hundreds (thousands?) of media people reporting this?

Um, also why are you bringing your kid out in the cold at this late of an hour to go shopping? And why are you modeling this behavior? (Okay, no kid deserves any rough treatment but hello? Why are you bringing your kid? Why? Why? WHY???)

Not the recent presidential election. Not the earthquakes that have rocked the planet. Not Hurricane Sandy. Not closing the achievement gap in schools or even how to fix public schools.

Nope. Shopping.

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After someone died in a trample I started to think, “Okay, if I can’t walk away from my cart at any moment during my shopping, then I am taking this WAY TOO SERIOUSLY.”

And so became my mantra. I went for sport. I went to people watch. Sometimes I’d find a friend to go with and we would just hang out and talk to others in line. Others who weren’t taking it quite so seriously. Most of the people who just grunted in line looked like they would kill you for a good deal on a TV.

Last year a friend and I brought some wine coolers to keep us warm in line. Don’t worry. We weren’t obnoxious or rowdy. We just thought it was more funny than anything.

This year I type from my living room. I have broken a tradition of nearly a decade. I don’t have a sitter but eh, I think I’m over it. Don’t get it twisted. Not judging here. Maybe I’d be out there if my husband were home to watch the kids or if we had some play money.

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I talk a big game about wanting to see and help the world become a better place. Maybe the trio closest to me need to see me put my words into actions, not valuing stuff over everything else, not worrying about whether my friends and family will think their Christmas gifts are “good enough”. Maybe taking this year off from the day’s hustle and bustle will give me the perspective I need. Maybe, just maybe, skipping this year will give us more time for this.

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11/26 = 50K

In less than eight hours we will be driving my husband back to the airport. Bittersweet doesn’t taste so great if you can’t remember what sweet tastes like.

But no matter. R will be back in three weeks and we will spend another two weeks for Christmas.

Fortunately we did A LOT this week…
1. I worked on my word count for NaNoWriMo
2. We went out to dinner and a movie
3. The kids baked and cooked with Daddy everyday including this lemon meringue pie:

and this chocolate pudding pie:

4. We spent time with family for Thanksgiving. This is a cake that my cousin baked:

5. And last but not least, I ran my first 5K ever!

Yes, there are WAY more than 5 things that happened this week but I gotta go. My word count is at 44,816! I gotta get to 50K by November 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm. Think I’ll make it? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!