Sunday, November 27, 2011

No More Back to Black

Black Widow? Black Mood? Black Cloud?
Black Comedy? Black Sheep? Black Friday?

I Much Prefer Pink!

As a culture, Americans must come up with another name for the day after Thanksgiving. We go from being grateful for everything we have to being Black about what we must buy in the omnipotent American frenzy to acquire, to consume, and to be the first to acquire and to consume, even if it means reneging on the custom of lazing away a holiday weekend in the company of those we most love.
 “In the black” didn’t used to have such a bad name. Retailers anticipated the season when the books went from in the red to the profit line of in the black. That connotation—for retailers at least—has been lost in the new, negative connotation of Black Friday. Black Friday now includes the following dangers:

·      Being trampled to death
·      Having disaffected fellow humans walk by your prone, heart-attack-seized form to get to the next special
·      Being temporarily blinded by pepper spray
·      Being robbed and/or shot in a parking lot
·      Losing sleep to be the first in line
·      Fighting among the folks for whom someone must be grateful
·      Contributing to the massive influx of American money to foreign shores
·      Adding to personal debt
·      Filling our landfills with never-degrading plastic
·      Continuing one’s effort to fill the God hole with stuff

On post-Thanksgiving Friday, I stayed in my pajamas most of the day. (To be honest, I wore my PJ top all day, but late in the day, I donned a pair of well-worn, much-loved Levi’s.) I relaxed. I read a book, I puttered in the kitchen, I played with my plants, I returned recipes to the holiday section of my recipe notebook.
On post-Thanksgiving Friday, I also paid attention. On the day when news reports filled my psyche with so much that is wrong with our culture, I noticed something else. To herald the Christmas season, my Christmas cactus opened its first bloom. Shimmering pearl colors set off by bright pink edges demonstrated everything that can be right about the day—any day. Noticing and appreciating a gift of nature, a simple thing, a bloom on a plant became my gift to myself—a gift I share now. Next year, I’m going to start calling it Pink Friday.

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