Warning- I’m here to bitch.
So I’m listening to the newscasters report, over and over, on every channel, how folks are up in arms that Walmart is opening at 8PM Thanksgiving Day for their Black Friday sale. Why is everyone upset? Because they think Thanksgiving should be a sacred day spent with family, not shopping.
Let me give all these people a little dose of reality as I see it. Not everyone has a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving. Here are the people who don’t:
Deployed military work every day. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. They get something extra special in the chowhall, and sometimes they get to wear civvies rather than the cammies they’ve been in for six months straight, but there’s no day off. No family either.
Policemen. My uncle was a police officer and he worked nearly every holiday, leaving my aunt home alone, or with us, on holidays.
Food service workers. I was a newlywed but still had to work on Thanksgiving Day because back then I worked as a bartender to pay my mortgage. While I served strangers, my new husband was at home. I also worked Christmas Eve catering a private party . . . while I had the flu. Moving on…
Loners. I know a few of these. No family nearby. No spouse. Friends always invite these loners to spend the holidays with them, but often, for whatever reason, they choose to stay home alone.
Here’s how I see this Walmart Black Friday situation–by 8PM the turkey has been eaten, the leftovers are put away, everyone is laying around on the couches feeling bloated and sleepy and already bored of looking at each other and watching whatever is on TV. Family time is over. Be grateful and go shopping. Get a jump on your holiday gift buying or take advantage of the sales and get yourself something. Work off some of those calories so you don’t feel like a slug.
And all those Walmart employees people are worried about? Well, they’re simply joining the ranks of all those others already thanklessly working that holiday. And I’m not sure but I can bet these employees will get paid time-and-a-half for holiday pay, and they get to be part of a new American tradition.
So get over it and, newscasters, move on.