Here I am in the good ol' US of A. Day after tomorrow is Thanksgiving, my first here since 2010.
I've bought my free-range, "hormone-free" turkey breast and organic white and sweet potatoes. I will admit to cheating by using Stovetop Cornbread Stuffing. My friend is bringing a vegetable and a pie, probably from Costco. My stomach doesn't like GMO-laden stuff so I hope it doesn't protest too loudly over the stuffing or the dessert.
I remember a few years back when an incident on a Black Friday, traditionally the day after Thanksgiving, caused a tragedy at a Walmart. A fight over some popular item resulted in death.
I have not been in the US for Thanksgiving in four years. Maybe it's been around for awhile, but I am noticing a particular trend this year. Black Friday doesn't start on Friday any more. Now, it starts on Thursday at 6:00pm. Or 5:00pm. Or 4:00pm. Heck, maybe some stores are open all day.
Is nothing sacred? What happened to Thanksgiving? I remember when we anticipated it all week long. We dreamed of stuffing ourselves with yummy delicacies reserved for holidays. What happened to enjoying a leisurely family meal, then sitting around in a tryptophan stupor waiting until we could attack the desserts or go for another round of savory carbs?
It was probably sexist. Women washing up while men bonded over football, but we were together, a family unit. No one ever thought about rushing off to do Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving Day. It was a day of leisure with family and friends.
Now, it's woe to the cook whose family wants to take advantage of Black Friday. They might as well get up at midnight on Thanksgiving Eve and start cooking so that, as soon as the last fork is put down, they can warm up the car and take off for the mall to beat the crowds of other crazed shoppers.
I wonder what's the point of Thanksgiving. Are we such consumers that shopping is more important than spending time with family? Maybe, in the future, we will do away with it altogether.
Or maybe I'm just an expat who sees things from a different perspective now.