Friday, November 24, 2006

Seeing Red And Green On Black Friday

We made it! It’s the day after Thanksgiving and while all of us are still stuffed from yesterday’s dinner, we are either taking advantage of the day off or working amid diehard holiday shoppers. Retailers call it Black Friday and I call it the beginning of the holiday madness. Radio stations start popping in a Christmas tune every few songs and our neighborhoods start to transform into festivals of light.

All throughout the land wives woke up early this morning to get a jump on their holiday shopping. They promised to be back by lunch but will probably not make it back by dinner. The muffled mumbles of men cussing as they try to untangle the mess they made when they put away the Christmas lights last year can be heard from every mountaintop. Thousands of turkey sandwiches have already been eaten today and if you want to go to a local shopping mall this evening, you’d better plan on being airlifted in.

I’ve never chosen to partake in the chaos of Black Friday, but I have participated in the holiday light shuffle. First I budget myself 2 hours to find the box I put them in last year. Once I find the box, which is always the last one you’d think to check, I spend another two hours untangling them. My violent light untangling usually results in a few broken bulbs. That’s ok, it just adds to the several I’ll need to replace once I plug the string in anyway. Then comes finding the ladder and breaking a few more bulbs as I try to string them up.

When all of that is finally done, I can step back from the house and into the street to admire my shining beacons of the holiday season. That self-adulation is of course quickly cut short when I notice that two more bulbs have gone out. But a-ha, that’s just part of the game. That’s why I won’t put my ladder away until after Christmas this year. Now the lights won’t be able to beat me into a deranged and mumbling lunatic every time another one burns out. Strangely enough, I look forward to my annual showdown with the lights.

This year I decided to copy almost everyone else around me and buy the red and green landing lights for Santa. I thought my girls would get a kick out if them, and of course I knew that I would enjoy them. My only fear now is that I have a lighted runway leading straight to my front door for errant drivers and very lousy private pilots. Hopefully the lighted candy canes and nutcracker soldiers will deter them.

By the time today is over, everyone who has shopped and decorated will be exhausted and slightly on edge. In each of their minds, every minute of the frustration was worth it. Especially for the ten people across the country who were lucky enough to find the last ten Tickle Me Elmo Extremes known to man. Now if you’ll excuse me, my turkey sandwich is ready and I have to figure out how to plug another 1,000 lights and a sleigh into a surge protector that is already full. You can plug one full surge protector into another, can’t you?


Le Nightowl said...

I think the BB (bulb business) is your way of satisfying your masochistic streak somehow :)

Odat said...

Looks like you have your work cut out for you...tread "lightly"....
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Hope your boo boo is feeling better.


Growing up my father would mess with the lights for hours and hours. (The older kind of lights used to all go out if one light on the string had a bad had to test each bulb until you found the one that was bad.) Inevitably there would be much cursing involved and spiked eggnog would ultimately be required to calm his nerves.