cultural understanding, customers, family, holidays, life lessons, shopping

What Happened to the Holidays?

When I think back to the family holiday celebrations when I was a child growing up in the 80’s, I remember the family gathering at my grandmother’s house. The food would be set around the dining room table and the desserts on her buffet. Mom and Aunt Pat would see what needed to be done in the kitchen. It wasn’t yet known if Aunt Pam would be making a guest appearance, even though she literally lived right around the corner. My grandmother would have every thing covered in that cheap plastic wrap she used to buy, the food barely covered. We’d hold hands to bless the food, one random adult selected to say the prayer. Everyone would say Amen and we’d commence to making plates.

It was a guessing game as far as the meats, pick one at your own risk. Grandpa was a hunter, so you were subject to get raccoon, rabbit, or even goat on your plate. I remember the Christmas where my Uncle Phillip, jockeying for position to get closer to the bowl of chitlin’s knocks over several of my Grandmother’s house plants, spilling dirt every where. It’s thirty years later and he still can’t live that one down.

Now we wouldn’t eat at the dining room table, so everyone would take their paper plates out to the living room. God forbid if you spilled any of the red pop on the carpet. After everyone was stuffed, we’d either see what was on the TV or the rest of the evening would be spent catching up on family events. Aunt Pam would show up with her family, right after the dishes were washed and all the clean up work was done. ; )

These holiday celebrations from years past live on only in old photographs. The kids are adults now, some with kids of their own. Uncle Junior, my mother’s baby brother has been sleeping in his grave since 1999, Grandpa followed a few years later, and this year Grandma joined them in eternity. My parents have been divorced for years, Aunt Pat is still up in Grand Rapids, and Aunt Pam and one of her daughters are hours away in St. Louis. Life happened between then and now, which is why those holidays spent together are so precious.

Those are times that we can never get, which is why I don’t understand people nowadays. Instead of spending the holidays with their loved ones, they’d rather spend it in a tent outside a store, waiting to buy some item they don’t really need. When did Thanksgiving or the other holidays become so twisted? With today’s society and everybody focused on me, me, me, and what I need, they forget the real meaning. Worse yet, their shopping habits affect the poor people who work at these stores.

My mother works for a retail giant, the head of her office which is vital to the running of the store. We can’t spend the holiday together because she works Thanksgiving morning and then has to report to work at midnight the same evening to be ready for Black Friday. Now our holiday dinner has to scheduled before or after the actual holiday because some executive who’s having his holiday meal catered by the help decides they can make a lot of money on Thanksgiving. All so somebody’s kid can have that nice new tablet or laptop, which truth be told is last year’s model anyway. It’s something you might want to consider if  you decide to venture out on Thanksgiving to shop.

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audience, Author, Chicklit, Fiction, Indie Author

Why Do I Feel Like a Drug Dealer?

The Body Hunters by Raven Newcastle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009X971ME/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_kkARrb04JYMQ1 … via

My customer gives me a barely perceptible nod across the room, like she’s a pitcher at a baseball game. She’s got that glazed look in her eye and I know she wants the ‘product’. She’s practically starving for it. The side effects are the same for all my customers; the sleepless nights, mood swings, and euphoria are what they want.

She leaves her desk and I make my move. With the ‘product’ in hand I pick up a notebook sitting on her desk and leave the merchandise up under it. I’m not worried about payment. She’s a returning customer and I know she’s good for it.

Like I predicted, she meets up with me at lunch and palms the money into my hand with out a second glance. Unless you were looking for it, you never would know that a transaction just took place.

This is how it is with all my customers at work who are begging for the ‘product’. I’ve set up clandestine transactions in the ladies bathroom, the lunch room, and the trunk of my car. Whatever it takes to get my merchandise out on the street. I’m a born hustler.

If you think I’m talking drugs you’re dead wrong. I’m talking about selling my book in the workplace. At some point someone at my job came up with this rule where you couldn’t um..how did they put that? Distribute or solicit, whatever. It’s a pain in the butt when you’re an indie author.

So, I have my superfans who even now are waiting on me to bring contraband into the work place. It’s not that I’m breaking the rules. The customers who have internet access go ahead and buy the book online. For those that don’t have internet access and still want to support me, I purchase the book and give it to them at work. I’m pretty sure givesies backsies is legal. They’re just paying me back for money I spent on purchasing the book, but I want to be off the boss’s radar, so I’m stealthy with how I handle it.

One day when I’m sitting on Oprah’s couch, we’re going to laugh about this story. Until then, I’ll be smuggling books in my purse for my clients who badly need a dose of drama.

 

 

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