Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was one long weekend. Thursday was Thanksgiving with the girls here. Friday was shopping and preparation for Saturday. Saturday was an even bigger Thanksgiving meal. Sunday, we all went to see Brian Copeland’s “Not a Genuine Black Man” and had Rachel and her kids over for dinner.

Caprisha is currently about 3 days away from moving into her new place. She’s staying with her aunt in San Lorenzo for the time being. The aunt’s plan was to go over her mother-in-law’s place for Thanksgiving. Karen wanted a big Thanksgiving so we decided it would it be best to have Caprisha come over here on Thursday so she could have a Thanksgiving with the girls and me. Karen’s plan was to spend Thursday over Jessica’s with her mom and Jeremy.

Thursday Thanksgiving turned out pretty well. I, of course, was in charge of the turkey. We had a 17 lb. bird. As always, I put it in a nice roasting bag and made use of our newly bought electric thermometer. We also had a prime rib roast as well. The girls prepared salad, candied yams, and the dinner rolls. Imani made her world famous chocolate pudding pie. It’s a crushed Oreo cookie crust filled with chocolate pudding and topped with a thick layer of Cool Whip. It’s as rich and tasty as it sounds.

It was a very nice meal. Before sitting down to eat we all said what we were all thankful for. It was a first for us.

Friday was an adventure. Karen and I got up around 3:30am in hopes of snagging us a couple of nice Toshiba $300 laptops. After laying around for a good half hour saying to ourselves, “Oh, my God, do we really want to do this?” we finally got into gear and to Fry’s in Concord around 4:30am. The doors were to open at 5. The line of about 2,000 people as already extended to the backside of the building.

I can see why there are incidences of ugliness on these Black Fridays occur. When the doors open there is a mad scramble to the section that your object of desire resides in. People push and shove. I was hit by shopping carts by at least three people, none of whom held a hint of an “excuse me” or a “sorry”. When you factor in the irritability of having waited in the cold at an ungodly hour, the relative heat on the inside of the store, the frustration of the long lines, and the level of rudeness you would never find in any other circumstance, I now understand why the stress of it all ends up driving some to the point of violence.

After waiting in seemingly mile-long line, after being pushed, and working up a good sweat from the raised temperature from all the bodies crowded, at exactly 5:20am a Fry’s employee cupped his hands and proclaimed that all the $300 laptops had been sold out. So much for that bright idea.

Karen and I picked up a few things and headed for the register. We ended up at a register next to a person that had snagged himself one of those elusive $300 laptops. We asked how long he waited in line. He had been there since 7pm the night before. That’s 10 hours, folks. There is absolutely no friggin’ way I’m ever going to go to some store to wait in line for 10 hours after stuffing myself with Thanksgiving dinner. I’m guess I’m just not a hardcore shopper.

Afterwards, we decided to head over to Wal-Mart just to see what the madness looked like there. We had also heard rumors of a $300 laptop there as well. We saw no ad listing this but some were insisting that it was going to go on sale. We knew that if this turned out to be true we would have missed our opportunity, but we just had to know. What we found was even more of a zoo than Fry’s was. All aisles were packed. We could barely move. It was even hotter inside than Fry’s. And it turned out the rumored $300 laptop was just that. A rumor. There was no $300 laptop.

One thing I remembered that was said from a Fry’s employee was that there was going to be an eight page ad coming out on Saturday that would have different items on sale. I held on to that thought.

Friday was also Imani’s 14th birthday. A couple of hours after getting home from Wal-Mart Caprisha and I headed out to Sam’s Club where we picked up her birthday cake. One year Imani chose to have “Here’s Your Cake, Loser” written on Asha’s birthday cake, so this year’s cake for Imani would have Asha’s revenge written on it. In green icing Imani’s cake said, “Happy Birthday, Moronica”. They are my children, indeed.

Caprisha picked up a perfume sampler from Victoria’s Secret at the mall. That gift would be from her and Asha. I headed over to MetroPCS and picked up a nice new cell phone. This one had a nice slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

We got home and sang “Happy Birthday”, opened presents, and had some ice cream and cake. Imani wanted to do something, anything to get out of the house. We had to have a difficult talk with her. We had to get her to realize that on some years her birthday can fall on the day before a Thanksgiving dinner or even on Thanksgiving itself. This was one of those years. When such things occur she would have to understand that there will usually not enough time to do something just for her. It’s a terrible reality to face, but I know many people that have birthdays in late November. It’s just something you have to live with.

Saturday was a very busy day as well. I woke up and immediately rushed out to get the newspaper. Sure enough, Fry’s had all kinds of things on sale including a $300 laptop. It was about a quarter of eight. The store opened at 9. Karen had overdone it with all the cleaning and her back was killing her. No way she was going to be up to standing in any more lines. So I woke up Imani and dragged her out there.

We got there about 8:15am. I counted exactly 25 people in front of us. It was more madness as the doors opened, but we got to the computer section in one piece. A salesman named Sean took our order and handed us a sheet to be taken to the cash register. There the cashier would take the sheet and bring us back our laptops where she would ring them up. It turns out Sean wrote up a sheets for the wrong laptop. So we scrambled back to him. Luckily there was still some left and we finally got what we came for.

Saturday dinner was very nice. We had a very nice layout, adding stuffing and Karen’s great mashed potatoes to the mix. The mess was kept to a minimum. We had a pretty easy time of it overall. Asha had a friend over that I had never met before. I wanted to visit with them but I just had too much to do.

Sunday was an afternoon trip to the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek to see Brian Copeland’s one man show, “Not a Genuine Black Man”. It was his last show there. He’s moving it to the Marsh Theatre in The City. It was an entertaining show. He spent much time re-enacting his experience growing up in San Leandro. I never realized that in the early 70’s San Leandro was one of America’s most racist cities. He explored some race issues and stereotypes. It was very enlightening.

Not long after we got home Rachel and her kids arrived. It took longer than we had anticipated to get all our food ready. It was probably after 9 when we started eating. It was a nice visit, though. Rachel’s son, Elijah, was about Jeremy’s age, and her daughter, Veronica, is 15, right in between the girls. They had a great time together. We handed the T-Bird over to Rachel. They ended up staying until after 11pm. And on a school night, too!

I’d say going back to work was almost a relief, but that would be a lie.

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