Black Friday, Indeed

What is wrong with some people?  Here in the United States of America…lining up in the middle of the night, thronging outside the doors of Wal-Marts everywhere, straining with excitement as the clock ticks toward that much-hyped magic hour of 5:00am.  The tension builds, the crowds yearn to get in there, to race toward their treasured items, tick-tock-tick-tock…it’s almost there…and then, yes! 5:00am and store employees open the doors, the crowd goes wild, becomes savage, tearing through the entryway, damn anyone who’s in their way, jostling and shoving and finally, yes, finally knocking over people and trampling right over them, leaving someone for dead.

That’s right here in the United States.  Our civilized country, year 2008.

I hope you are happy, you Long Island Wal-Mart shoppers at that store. You know who you are.  You trampled a person to death to get to your plasma TV or your digital camera or whatever the heck it was that you had to have.  There are stories of several people knocked to the floor while you all streamed over their prone bodies, unwilling to stop in your material pursuits to assist an injured pregnant woman, or a man who ended up dead an hour later at a local hospital.  Did you think about that while you were standing in line, probably nudging your cart against others for your precious spot?

This whole Black Friday hype is sickening to me.  I love shopping, I am a shopper to the core, but I hate being played by retailers and when we become a nation so driven by our material desires that we are willing to run with our anxious feet over other people’s human bodies in order to be the ones to grab a low priced plasma TV or whatever it is we want: you can have it.  You make me sick.

I love stuff.  I love things. I love a deal, even.  Yes, I’m a material girl but I would never ever trample another person to get my things.  The reports say Wal-Mart is examining store video in order to see who, exactly, were those culpable in the trampling of the dead man.  

I say, “People:  you know who you are.” 
Shame on you.

Nothing’s Perfect…

(and somehow it feels just right)

So I won the Anthropologie Latte Bowls in Blissfest’s recent Auction for Nie Recovery.

The Latte bowls that Stephanie Nielson wrote so tantalizingly about in her own blog.  She rhapsodized about their beautiful colors.  Their delighful sizes.  And the way they fit so nicely into small hands.

And if one broke, that was okay with her.  She’d sweep up the mess, put the pieces aside, dreaming of a future art project comprised of her ‘broken latte pieces’.

That post of hers was so touching when I first read it, before Blissfest ever advertised the auction.  Not living in Mesa made bidding on some of the items impractical.  But then I spied those latte bowls and had to have them for my own.  By then I had fallen in love with Stephanie and her family.  So I bid, and won!  Thrill.

But as is typical with me, I just couldn’t just sit and wait for those bowls to arrive, so…I arranged to be walking past an Anthropologie store a couple of days later.  And ducked in and picked up six of these beauties which together with my “Nie” bowls would indeed comprise a collection of my own:

The auction bowls arrived a few weeks later and when I excitedly opened the box and unwrapped each bowl, I laughed out loud to see the red one in pieces.  My daughter wanted to glue them together but I told her, no, let’s do something with them, glue bits to our ongoing ‘terra cotta pot’ collage (mine looks like a kindergarten art project) or… something.  No, somehow it’s right that one arrived in pieces.

I wanted the bowls because I wanted to somehow feel close to Stephanie.  And her attitude toward the bowls was, hey, if they break, they break.  Sweep ’em up, put ’em aside, and maybe do something artful with them later on.  Don’t worry about it.  It’s all part of the experience.  

And I got to be part of ‘the experience’, too, now.  See?  With that lovely broken bowl, amidst the still perfect ones, I am relishing both cuteness and imperfection, wholeness and brokenness, both the small joys of pretty things coupled with their ultimate irrelevance in the context of what’s really important (go to CJane Run’s blog for those life lessons)  It was all as it should be, for me.  

Grateful for that broken red bowl.  

Someday, the kitchen will be remade into a newer, fresher version of itself. We’re so glad we hesitated…as the economy changed seemingly overnight.

But, you see, I’m practicing the Law of Attraction.  I’m working to make our dream come true.  

So until we’re ready, I’m focussing on the little things that brighten me – – that encourage me to create a little hearth here in the kitchen that we have.  Because it’s good enough.  

And I’m okay with that.  (Because I truly believe that our newer kitchen will come. In the due course of time.)

In Lieu of Granite Countertops…and Custom Cabinetry…

New Kitchen Towels.  And Bowls.
Practicing Gratefulness.