I felt very discouraged and rather irritated with people today as I worked on this holiday. It surprised me that so many people came in the store to do major shopping trips - not just to pick up a bbq tool or something small. No, these folks were browsing for wedding gifts, buying accessories to totally update their bathrooms along with rugs, towels, sheets and comforters like they'll never be for sale again!
I thought of the days of my youth when there wasn't even a 7-11 around. If you ran out of something on a holiday, you'd better hope a neighbor or relative had it or you just did without. When did all these stores start staying open during the holidays? The store I work at is only closed two days a year, on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I know our economy can use the financial stimulation but for goodness sake, we could all use a day off on a National Holiday to rest, relax and rejuvenate with family and friends!
The attitude of the customers was also particularly disturbing. Many were downright demanding and rude to those of us working. A number came in two minutes before closing and became very particular and time consuming with returns. Who even thinks about making a major return of your unwanted wedding shower gifts at 5:58 p.m. on the Fourth of July?
I just kept thinking that shopping has become a huge source of entertainment for us. I wanted to tell these shoppers to stay home and do some crafts with the kids; try a new cookie recipe; get caught up on some reading or minor household repairs; take a nap; go to the movies; rent a movie; go through a closet and set aside some items for donation; organize photos for an album; take a walk in a park or forest preserve; garden. I could keep going with ideas - why so many people young and old, male and female were out spending wads of money in our store today had me dumbfounded. In all the years I was married and living my normal life before my husband died, I never once went out shopping on a holiday. I spent the time with my boys and husband and often hosted a get together for my parents, siblings and their kids. I treasured those moments, which is what I believe those shoppers should have been doing instead of getting their high from finding a floor model comforter on sale for half-off.
I think some of my observations today stem from the fact that I see life differently than those who haven't had to face hardship/grief/loss; the "untouched" as someone aptly described them in a recent blog post I read.
Today I am grateful:
1. To be living in the USA.
2. For an opportunity to pay tribute to our country on this day.
3. That my oldest safely survived the Chicago fireworks show yesterday with his group of friends (I went once and vowed NEVER to do it again).
4. That my oldest even packed food to take with him to the fireworks show to save money!
5. That I don't have a need to buy any more comforters, towels or 800 thread count sheets to make up for whatever is missing from my life. I don't need those items to lift my spirits - I already have enough possessions.