November 24, 2015

Ranting When I Should Be Baking

Just had a friend of a friend inform me that her family is eating early on Thanksgiving Day because she needs to get to one of the Big-Box stores by 2 p.m.

Do you find it hard to swallow words sometimes, especially when your gut keeps tossing them up the old esophagus?

I wanted to scream, "NO, you.....(well, one can only imagine what I wanted to scream)."

I didn't. I just nodded my head but now I'm mad. Mad at me, mad at her, mad at the Big-Box stores and ultimately mad at the almighty dollar.

My husband is in retail, has been ever since we met. The first five years or so of our relationship, he managed a Thrifty's Drugs. Remember them? Open every frickin' day of the year! Guess who worked every single holiday for the first five years or so of our relationship?

Easter. Work.
July 4. Work.
Thanksgiving. Work.
Christmas. Work.

No three day weekends to celebrate Labor Day, Memorial Day or Veterans Day either. Three day weekends are for the big sales. What is a big sale without the manager there to coordinate, merchandise and, well, manage? 

Our home was in the country; a couple of acres, a view of Mt. Lassen out the front windows. Our daughter had a horse, we had 4 dogs and 5 cats but Thrifty's kept trying to get hubby to take on a store in the San Francisco Bay area. Last offer came with a stipulation that if he didn't take it (Vallejo? Really?) that he could kiss goodbye moving up in the company.

He kissed Thrifty's off and became the General Manager for a locally owned photo and camera shop. Retail.

In case you don't know anyone in retail, let me fill you in on Life In Retail. Maybe, more realistically, it should be Life In Between Retail!

Big Weekends are not about family drives to the coast. Dads (or moms) don't go camping with the family on spring break. Christmas Eve is not about sitting around the fire place with friends and family. From November 1st through December 31st the only days off are Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is no, absolutely NO going out-of-town for Thanksgiving to be with family because you need to be at the store way past closing on Wednesday evening to take care of those people who forgot to get batteries or chips for their cameras and you are damn well going to be at the store a- quarter-to-dawn on Black Friday. Christmas Eve is all about working late because of all the people who walk in the store five minutes before closing to do their last minute shopping.

The hours are longer than normal, so the non-retail spouse is responsible for hunting down a Christmas tree, decorating the tree, decorating the house, buying, wrapping and shipping gifts. Concerts and school plays the kids or grandkids are in are a race to get to in time and catching your breath for the first half hour. There's more....or maybe, there's less....depends on what side of the counter you're standing on.

So, if you leave your Thanksgiving table early Thursday to go out and save some dollars, you are submitting your ballot on the dollar side of family vs bottom line. The more people that go, the more stores are going to think, "hey, what a grand idea!"

That's more dads, moms, sons, daughters, grandmas and grandpas who aren't going to make it to dinner, or the homecoming game. If we can open up those big-box doors on Thanksgiving, then why not keep them open until 10 or midnight on Christmas Eve?

Missing In Action is not just a military term. Don't let friends and family go the way of  horse-drawn carriages. Staying home means someone else gets to go home.


  1. I REFUSE to go shopping on these days. People should be able to spend time with their families during these holidays. When I was a kid stores were open for less hours and always closed on Sundays. Everyone managed just fine without all the added shopping hours!

    1. It was great when stores weren't open Sunday's! More time for picnics, softball games with Mom and Dad and cousins.

      Also, as kids, we didn't hang out at the Mall. We hung out in the gully out back playing King of the Mountain or in the garage playing our 45's on a little record player and "dancing like no one was looking!"

  2. I am the gay that hates to shop so I wouldn't be caught dead shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.
    Togetherness with family and loved ones is so rare these days why anyone would trade that for a sale is beyond me.

    Also, I hate the crowds ... with all the shoving and pushing and cursing. I'm afraid I'll hurt someone.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I am the woman that hates to shop! We'd get along great! I do almost all of my shopping from the comfort of my jammies, online!

      Wasn't it Steve Martin (or maybe George Carlin) who suggested that when the Christmas lines get too crazy to scream and pee your pants? Everyone will move and you go to the head of the line!

      Had to delete first comment because is misspelled the too in too crazy. If I had left it with one o my grammar obsessed daughter would have gotten a migraine!

    3. OMG! Now the sentence structure is off with "is" instead of "I". Sorry, Nicole!

  3. My late husband was a chef and he had to work every single holiday. NYEVE .. alone, VALENTINES DAY..alone, EASTER, MOTHERS DAY, THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS EVE...I spent them all alone. Retail and restaurant business stink on family life! I agree with your getting upset. Just typing this got my BP

    1. Alone! Totally describes my life after the kids grew up. I don't mind the Alone part, but I really, really, really don't like the 3rd wheel or 5th wheel part of gatherings. Makes me feel like an orphan!!!

      Deep breath, no BP problems. Let's just imagine tossing cream pies in the faces of all corporate bosses that think the bottom line is more important than family and all the non-thinking customers who enable them!

  4. You nailed it... just brilliant. So true...I long for the days when grocery stores were only open late on Thursday and Friday nights til 9 and Sunday all stores were closed but the pharmacy! A less frenetic time too!!

    Hugs Giggles


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