Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Friday - Not - Shopping

I've been feeling guilty.

About not feeling guilty.

I do this a lot, sadly.  It's sort of a waste of time.

You see, I didn't go Black Friday Shopping.  Better yet, I wasn't up at the crack of dawn even considering it!  I didn't look at the ads either on the computer or newspaper (yes, the in-laws still get those).  I was sawing logs under a goose down comforter.

I didn't take my teenage daughter either.  (Reason #436 she will need therapy later - we have a notebook and are keeping track.)

That's where I think I should have taken my teenage daughter.  You know, waiting in line for the door to open, experiencing the rush and pandemonium and solid disrespect for fellow mankind.

For a 32" television.

That we have enough of already.  Really, I've run out of rooms to house the things in.

My teenager has experienced A LOT in her sixteen year life.  She was swimming at four months, skiing at three, soccer, basketball, music instruments (um, seven instruments ?? ), raising her own food, driving a tractor, helping out with elementary students at my school, travel across the world.  I mean, this kid has fed orphans in Haiti.

And I feel guilty because I didn't take her Black Friday Shopping?

Kindergarten curriculum
My family first got a taste of what consumerism had done to us when our daughter was eight.  We took her and a friend to Jamaica.  On the bus ride from the cruise ship to the horseback riding venue, we drove through part of the real Jamaica.  Not the all inclusive resort area, but the homes where the resort employees lived.   Her friend, who was nine, turned and asked my husband, "are these people poor?"

"Probably not to them, but to our standards, they would be," he replied.


We were driving past small three-room four-walled traditional island homes, that I'm sure had running water and electricity, yet to a nine year old's eyes, they looked like hovels.

When we went to the South Pacific in 2013, it was the same thing.  Again, we stayed in a nice resort, but we visited four schools on two of the islands.  While I was talking to an eight year old, I commented on his yellow Los Angeles Laker basketball jersey that had the name James on the back.  "Oh," I told the student, "you like Lebron?"

He just stared at me.

Turns out, a ship brings cargo full of hand-me-downs to the island and donates them to islanders.  This kid had no idea who Lebron James was; he just knew he had a yellow/gold tank top jersey to wear under his uniform.

Seriously?  And I can put my finger through the back of the
heel.  Trust me, I did!  Yikes!
Last spring, my then-fifteen year old went to Haiti.  Black Friday shopping?  Yeah, um, no.  Not even on a list of importance.

Since those travels, our entire family has begun to see belongings in a whole new way.  They just aren't important to us.  My daughter could care less that her three year old, $8 shoes from H&M are about a year past their prime.  I have tried to buy her new ones (Keds, just because).  She hides her shoes in her room so I don't throw them away! (My thinking is that, if I throw them away, she has to get new ones.  hmph).

This leads me to feeling guilty for not feeling guilty.  Ya get that?  I don't care that I didn't go Black Friday shopping.  I don't feel guilty about that.  So I sort of feel guilty because I don't feel guilty.

Instead we fed the birds suet cakes, cleaned out the chicken coop and got the chickens fresh shavings for this cold snap and watched House Hunters International.

And read on the internet about the mayhem at the mall.

Guilt, over.

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