Happy Black Friday. Normally I would be spending the holiday — this most American of holidays — standing in line at Best Buy with everybody else. But the checks have not been rolling in, and the IRS says I forgot to send all I owed in 2008, and so this holiday will be spent pondering the simple things in life — the kind of things a man appreciates only when he cannot afford the complex things, such as a new game console.
Reviewing the year between this Black Friday and the last one, I realize have much to be thankful for. Not that being thankful pertains to anything, but still. Unfortunately, I also have much to complain about. Black Friday is a time to make a list of all one’s blessings, and a companion list of all one’s annoyances, and see which list is longest. Here’s mine:
- I’m thankful I still have my health. I’m annoyed to have reached the age where I say things like “I still have my health.”
- I’m thankful not to be working over the holiday weekend, which I did for far too many years in the employ of morning newspapers. I’m annoyed that showing up to edit hastily-written copy appears to have been a condition of those paychecks I used to get.
- I’m thankful my cable bill is much less than it used to be. I’m annoyed that losing cable left me unable to mock Bristol Palin during an entire season of Dancing With the Stars.
- I’m thankful for my iPhone. I’m annoyed that it doesn’t really work inside my house. I’m thankful for the cat, annoyed that she wakes me up at 4 a.m. every day. I’m thankful for my great wife and dog, annoyed that they have decamped to Florida.
- I’m thankful for the roof over my head, annoyed that the gutters are about to collapse from the debris that has accumulated there. I should probably get up there and clean them, but then I run the risk of no longer having my health.
And so it goes. It’s a life filled with blessings, even if some of them seem a little tenuous. Best to forget about the lists and live in the present. Here’s wishing you and yours the best Black Friday ever. Now get out there and shop.