Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. I appreciate the simplicity of indulging in good food without any of the commercialism of giving gifts or reciting religious myths. (I gave up that Pilgrim myth decades ago.) Thanksgiving is .... or was .... one day set aside simply for giving thanks for the harvest and preparing for winter. Simple. Delicious.
Ya gotta wonder yhy the fuck people had to ruin such a pure and simple day of giving thanks.
I'm not talking about the obscenity that is Black Friday, and how it has shit all over the one holiday that wasn't riddled with commercialism. I've never participated in Black Friday shopping, and I can safely predict I never will. The issue of Black Friday has been talked and video-ed to death. I've got nothing new to say about that ugliness.
What I want to talk about is how people use Thanksgiving as an excuse to take 2 weekends and a work week off. When did it become Thanksgiving week?
An example. I intended to hire a contractor to do some work at my new house. A friend recommended a woman-owned company, so I called the owner, and she agreed to come out last Thursday evening, November 21, to take a look at the work I wanted her to do. She showed up with a guy who works for her, and I took them through the house and showed them what I wanted done.
No problem. They could do all of it, but wanted to get a second opinion on the floors. I asked if she could give me an estimate the next day or over the weekend and start work the next week.
She looked surprised and said, "Well, it is Thanksgiving week next week."
I said, "You take the entire week off for Thanksgiving?" I was thinking, I'll hire somebody who wants to work.
"No. No," she assured me, "we don't take off the entire week. We can get started ...."
"Good," I said, "because I need to have the work done by a certain date. You should have time, but not if you don't work at all next week."
"No problem," she said. "We can get the wood floor guy out here, and I'll get you an estimate for the other work."
She sent me the estimate on Monday. I said I'd be at the house Tuesday and could run over Wednesday any time to meet the floor guy. I said if I'm going to do the floors, I really have a slim window of time. Once I move my piano, I won't be doing anything to them. She said she'd get the rep out there ......
Uh huh. Still waiting. Lost an entire week. Thanksgiving week. Even if they show up Monday to look, it will be 10 days since the night we talked about doing the work. Ten fucking days.
Thanksgiving isn't a week. It's a day -- although I'll admit I cook for more than a day, and then there's the cleaning and setting up tables and ironing tablecloths ....
Nevertheless, it's a day. When did people start expecting to take off 2 weeks at Christmas, a 4-day weekend on Easter, a 4-day weekend for the 4th of July and now a 9-day week at Thanksgiving?
Do I sound frustrated? Fuck, yeah. Same thing happened with a carpet guy I called and left a message for Tuesday. He might not call me back at all. But I'll bet if he does call me back Monday, almost a week after I left him a message, he'll blame it on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving week.
Between the jackhammer-to-the-head advertising for Black Friday and now the practice that makes Thanksgiving a 9-day holiday that includes 2 weekends and a work week, I'm not enjoying Thanksgiving so much this year. What was once a simple day to give thanks for the harvest and celebrate a season of hard work bringing in that harvest is now a ridiculous display of greed, both of merchandise and time.
What happened to just appreciating a day of turkey and pie?
I don't want to sound ungrateful. I'm grateful for many things this week: I shared good food with great company yesterday; My future daughter-in-law came early to help me cook and set up tables (she also helped me paint last week); Drake and his friend J helped me paint today; my house is warm and my bed is soft; someone gave me flowers for my Thanksgiving table; I put 3 bags of turkey stock and meat into the freezer tonight; I did not need to shop for one single thing today ..... I could go on with blessings. My rant above does not indicate a lack of thanks-giving in my heart.
One more day and I will have posted every single day in November, without taking off even Thanksgiving week for the third year in a row. And on the 31st day, I will sleep....