Three days and 5000 words left....oh my!
Today was Friday. Technically it was Black Friday. The first shopping day after American Thanksgiving when stores are supposedly finally in the black for the year. Two thoughts always bothered her. One that you would run a business in the red for almost eleven months hoping that the month before Christmas the sales would bail you out. Two, that it did.
The shopping frenzy, the Christmas buying, would start in earnest now. All the commercials and ads, and all the stores full of glitz and garbage. Buy me. Buy me.
She hated it.
She put on the radio, and listened to the report about border line-ups due to the myriad of frenzied shoppers. She also got the tail end of the report citing black ice on the road and the forecast of snow for later in the month.
She had a minor headache, thanks to the second glass of wine, and then, checking the calendar, realized she had an appointment to get her snow tires put on.
Well, that’s thinking ahead, she thought. Good for me.
She didn’t want to go out in the Black Friday madness, but there it was on the calendar. Tires. 11:30
She didn’t remember making the appointment. It didn’t even look like her handwriting, but the often happened – depending on her mood her handwriting could look like it was written by someone else. Sometimes it looked like her mother’s, or brother’s, or husband’s, and sometimes like no-one she had ever met.
She got dressed, looked in the mirror, and decided she could hide her messy hair under a toque. It was cold out so toque and mitts were the order of the day.
She grabbed her knitting. She would have to wait for the tires, and didn’t want to feel compelled to browse the shelves of the near-by box store just to pass the time.
Her tires were already loaded into the back of her car. Had she done that? Was she losing her mind?
As she drove out to her appointment she noticed all the huge signs for Black Friday events. Black Friday Sales. Black Friday Week.
She remembered a horrible incident a number of years back where shoppers had stampeded at the opening of the doors on a Black Friday sale event, and people had been killed. Killed! Just in order to be first to a door-crasher sale.
People would line up overnight for some of these sales. Forget Thanksgiving dinner, they would choose to pitch tents, crawl inside sleeping bags, and wait for the next day’s doors to open. She knew people that would do the same on Christmas night so they would be the first in line for Boxing Day sales.
So much for Christmas spirit.
As she always did, when it was cold like this, she thought of the homeless, and how they managed to stay warm on nights when the temperature dropped into the negative numbers. Of course, some didn’t, and the news was full of stories of overflowing shelters and the need for warm woolens.
Every year she would take socks and blankets and hats down to the mission to do the little that she could.
It was never enough.
She pulled into the parking lot, and was glad she had an appointment because the lot was full with Black Friday shoppers. She pulled into the bay, and spoke to the service manager. He poured her a coffee and showed her the waiting area.
The ubiquitous television was on – to a news channel, always to a news channel, and she tried to find a seat that wasn’t impacted by the noise. It wasn’t possible. The coffee tasted horrible so she just put it down, and left it untouched for the rest of her wait.
She had brought a lace shawl to work on, which was silly because it required focus and concentration which was difficult in a place where there was lots of comings and goings, and distractions.
Never-the-less, here she was, and here was her knitting, so she made the best of it.