About three weeks ago I “hit the slide” at work and gave my notice. I’ve been juggling 4 different jobs for some time now and the mental and physical toll it has taken has proven to be WAY. TOO. MUCH. When you find yourself standing at the front door of your house trying to get in using the remote door opener for your car – it’s time to step back. When you collapse in tears because it isn’t working and you can’t figure out how you will get inside your house….well, desperate times call for desperate measures. (PS I’ve still got a part-time bookkeeping job and I work at my husband’s store, so it’s not like I’m really free……)
I’m cashing in the 10 hours a week I spent on the road for some sleep and rest. I’ve had a few days at home to begin the process of uncoiling my tightly wrapped head and body and I have the following observations to make:
- I can still sleep for hours like a champ.
- There is an unbelievable amount of CRAP on TV.
- What the hell is going on with “Black Friday”?
I’ll say right up front: I think stores should be closed on Sundays. Period. With the extended hours and 24 hour openings of most drugstores, there really isn’t any urgent reason for stores to be open on Sundays. Seriously. With that in mind, you won’t be surprised to hear me bitch about store openings on Thanksgiving. When did it become a matter of life and death for stores to be open ON Thanksgiving Day? Or at 4am? or 6AM on Black Friday? Target I think you should be horsewhipped. Do you hate your employees that much? I’m boycotting you for the foreseeable future. WalMart? Oh hell, I stopped shopping at your stores years ago so I’m not wasting my breath acknowledging your existence and continued scorched-earth policies. I really don’t get the whole “thing” about getting up early to go shopping but then I’m not a recreational shopper. For me it’s a chore. Besides, I can’t think of a single thing that would move my tail out of bed at 4 AM on a cold, dark November morning. Not. A. Single. Thing.
Ever hear that expression, “Money is like manure – you’ve got to spread it around”? I choose to spread my fertilizer around where I live. Area shops have the most wonderful (and unique) gifts. There is a new toy store that has the coolest things I’ve ever seen. They also have an art supply store! I’d go nuts in there, but I’d be buying for myself. There are a couple of great locally owned, non-chain coffee shops for when you need to rest and refuel. I’m betting your town has the same kind of deal going but too often people overlook the local shops or take the time to go and see what is there to choose from. (Most of them haven’t set foot in downtown for years and have no accurate clue about what is or isn’t available.) To these people I say, “STUPID. STUPID.” You must have time and money to burn. Good for you. I don’t.
There is the argument that you’ll save money if you go to malls, but I’m concerned with more than that - I’m looking at the time and effort and the cost of gas it takes to get there. Spend $10 more for a sweater in town or save $10 and go to the mall…. let’s see, it is a 46 mile round trip, about 3 hours (including driving and shopping), working my way through the crows, waiting in line or ….. for $10 more I’m home in 5 minutes? Bonus – a local small business owner gets a little help? For me – that’s a no brainer. Win win.
There is a wonderful campaign called Small Business Saturday that encourages people to shop locally once a month. The impact would be absolutely life changing for your town, your community and your friends. Support local artists – buy handmade. Do it often, not just once a month. Change the world. Tell the big banks to suck it. OCCUPY MAIN STREET. Do the right thing, do it as often as you can. Everyone wins and for that we can all give thanks – hopefully from the peace and quiet of our own snug homes.