Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spirit of Thanks, right?

Today, I left the house for ten minutes to grab some salsa for the bean dip I'm taking to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. It was a very quick, in and out trip--though the self-checkout and back out to the car. A couple of things happened during this trip that caused my faith in the usually present goodwill of people as a whole to take a nosedive.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I got stuck behind one of those people who drives slowly over the bumpy part of the entry to save their cars some pain. I get that, but I was in a hurry, so when we got into the parking lot, I drove down another aisle so I wouldn't be stuck behind them as I looked for a spot. I turned into the next when I got to the end of the row and found one, so I headed for it. So did the person who had previously been in front of me. We both stopped in something of a Mexican standoff waiting for the other to figure out what was going on. Well, that was me, anyway...They just glared at me until I backed up and went on to the next row (where I found a front row spot...as good as it gets without a wheelchair).

Went in, grabbed my salsa, got back into my car and tried to leave. Knowing that due to the holiday shoppers, there was a lot of extra traffic around, I was extra careful backing up, checking around me multiple times to make sure I wasn't going to run over any kids or old ladies. Somehow, I managed to overlook a woman who was still in front of the store when I started backing up, so when I switched into drive, she was standing there, apparelty offended that I hadn't seen her and clearly stated with one look that I was the scum of the earth for making her wait an extra ten seconds to get back to her car with her bag. I smiled, mouthed "oops, sorry!" and went (slowly) on my way. She glared, gestured rudely, and stalked off to her car. Okaaaayy.

(Just a note for people doing their grocery shopping right now...please realize that even though pedestrians have the right of way, if people driving have no idea where you're going, you're awfully hard to plan for. Those crosswalks painted all over the place are there for a reason. If you use them, traffic is able to move much easier, and no one gets angry to the extent that was happening today.)

I get that the stress of cooking a lot of food is fairly large, but no one in their right mind goes shopping the day before Thanksgiving for all their supplies, so those that do so have no reason to be angry at the world. Kicking themselves for not doing it sooner is permissable.

Last I checked this holiday isn't even about the food, it's about being thankful that we have what we need to make it by, not grouchy because we don't have enough to buy a fancy new car or take a trip to Europe (although, one without such things is clearly deprived). I think that if you have the means to buy the cart full of groceries that you're able to push because of no physical disabilities in your shiny new leather boots and designer coat, you should be smiling. But nowadays, many people are grateful only for the uber-superfluous things that really don't matter. Chalk one up for consumerism.

You know what the pilgrims were thankful for? Corn. And funny hats with buckles on them.

So to cheer myself up after this encounter with every Debbie Downer in town, here's my thankful list:

I'm thankful
     -for a pretty awesome husband and a crazy dog that keep me laughing constantly.
     -that we both have jobs we like and that we're fortunate enough to not have to worry about where the next paycheck will be coming from.
     -that I have a reliable car that will keep me safe this winter.
     -for heaters.
     -that no matter where I go, I can have fellowship with people that are as dear to me as family.
     -that I have a good relationship with all my sisters.
     -that even though it seems like our freedoms are being infringed upon, there are some that can never be taken away.
     -that my dishes are (currently) done and my kitchen is clean.
     -for the rock salt that keeps me from falling on my rear whenever our sidewalks ice over.
     -for naptimes.
     -(kinda) that Hostess is going out of business. Twinkies will have lost their power to make me fat.

There. That'll tide me over until my next trip to town.

In the meantime, though...I'm trying to think of ways to pay it forward--tis the season!--and I'm looking for ideas. I know a whole lot more people read this than comment (I've got this awesome thing that lets me see what countries are reading it, how many hits it gets; essentially, I'm creeping on all of you), so do me a favor and actually comment this time. Give me your favorite ideas, but keep in mind, there isn't much of a budget for this, k? Gimme some good ones!

4 comments :

  1. -Volunteer at or donate to the food bank.
    -Make cookies for your firemen and cops. Mostly firemen, 'cause ours are volunteer. They said they'd never been given cookies before, last year. Add a thank you note. And for your mail guy, too.
    -Make Charlie wear a bow for Christmas. That's totally making the world a better place.

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  2. I ADORE YOUR BLOG!! It makes me full very warm on the inside :)
    A way to pay it forward... make cookies for all the little old ladies in your meeting, or even have them over for tea! And maybe call or write to some people who are not expecting it at all!

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  3. Send something random with a note that says thinking of you to someone you haven't seen in a long time. Don't tell them who it's from and tell them it's there turn to send something to someone.

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  4. - Buy $5 Starbucks gift cards and give them to folks whose paths cross yours (police, veterans, the person who helps you change a tire, . . .)
    - If someone you know is having a hard time, get them a gift certificate for a massage (or if that's too expensive), a manicure, or Starbucks.
    - Take an older lady or gentleman out to breakfast. If you're worried about having something to talk about, ask them to tell you about their [kids, grandkids, time in the military, work they did before retirement, what they do now . . . ]
    - Play the piano at a nursing home or assisted living. Call first to figure out a good time.
    - Clean the house of someone who is frazzled (young mom?) or is no longer able to do it like they used to.
    - Send your grandparents a card, thanking them for raising your wonderful parents. (grin)

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