Friday, 25 November 2016

Ping-Delete Friday

I’m struggling not to be controversial again this week.  I’ve toyed with this all morning, but it’s no use.  I must speak.  I cannot hold it in any longer. 

Black Friday is not a thing.  There, I’ve said it.

At the time of writing, it is Friday morning - Black Friday morning no less.  Today is a day of work in the UK.  As was yesterday.  I have been trying to do said work for the last few hours, and yet on a minute by minute basis I am getting email alerts for any retail website of which I have ever been within sniffing distance, tempting me with their Black Friday-too-good-to-be-true-not-to-be-missed-offers.  I am getting very speedy at deleting them without looking up.

Of course it would be such a different story if I were American.  Then it would make sense.  I might still have issues around unnecessary spending purely because I am off work (I hold no truck with the Boxing Day sales either) but it would feel a little more relevant than it is now.  

It seems to me that if the UK is going to piggy-back onto a tradition that holds no meaning for us as a nation, why not pick the one that includes the lovely family meal and encouragements of gratitude, rather than the one that involves buying unwanted electrical gadgets and getting het up about Asda’s last toaster.  I could be wrong, but the turkey dinner sounds way more fun.

I don’t have many regrets in my life, but one that I am reminded of each year is from my first year at University.  As an elective student of American Studies, I was invited to the department’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner.  It cost £26.  I’m not sure what price I would have considered appropriate for a three course meal including wine in 1996, but I felt that £26 was a step too far.

For me, that was my moment and I let is pass me by.  I could have legitimately enjoyed an authentic Thanksgiving meal (there were actual real Americans there and everything!) and I would have had the context of my academic studies to understand all the significance brought with it.  I don’t know what I did with my saved £26, but I would bet another £26 it wasn’t anything as interesting as that would have been.

So, I will continue to delete the pointless emails coming my way this morning, but genuinely hope all Americans/people in America/friends of Americans/everyone in the world had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday.

Thanks for reading.  I’m properly grateful.

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