For the first time in years, I've gotten to have Thanksgiving with my aunt and uncle and cousins who live in my current geographical region. They didn't generally make the commute up to where I was, and I was usually either too poor, or unable to get time off from work to make the journey down to see them. And while I love getting to see the kids for the holidays, and I love getting to be with my family, I also hate them. I hate them because they invite me to take part, and when it's time for me to grab my purse and leave, they say things like, "Oh, you're taking leftovers, aren't you? We can't keep all of this! You need to take some!" And so in addition to being already overstuffed, I drive home with a back seat full of ridiculously delicious foods.
Ordinarily taking home leftovers would save me a trip to the grocery and not be a problem, but we've covered the fact that my most recent relocation saw me venture to the more politically conservative and less literate side of the Mason-Dixon line. (Fortunately my family can read though!) But this means that if anyone can't, or more importantly, won't read the cookbook version of the recipe, that they default to the Paula Deen school of thought, meaning that the conservatism shown in the political polls and overwhelming popularity of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News channel does not extend so far as to apply to the generally encouraged level of caloric intake. This is especially true on a holiday. So there are not just mashed potatoes, and giblet gravy, there are mashed potatoes made with cream cheese, a whole stick of butter, and cream and then topped with melted cheese, instead of simply being boiled potatoes which are then mashed and blended smooth using only a little pat of butter, and skim milk. Then there is even more butter dropped into the pan drippings an flour that makes up that delicious gravy. While delicious, this type of cooking, (and eating,) turns into a really unfortunate situation when it comes time to venture back to the bathroom scale.
So as if my ass-expansion wasn't bad enough, since the cousins have small children, there was discussion of the "Black Friday" ads and deals. And the more they talked about it, the more excited they got, and the more excited they got, the more that excitement was translated across the table and caught in much the same manner as a case of the swine flu... It was sneezed out all over me, and just because I happened to be sitting there, I caught the fever.
So despite the fact that I don't have any small children of my own, and despite the fact that I didn't think there was anything that I couldn't live without, I found myself going to bed on Thanksgiving night on an overly full stomach at roughly 9 PM, only to wake up at 3 AM and go meet up with the Aunt and cousins to get some great deals with all the other crazies. And I did this in spite of the fact that I prefer to shop online, skip the crowds, skip standing in lines, and most likely end up with a better deal, even taking shipping costs into account... And usually if you're a little bit savvy about it, you can swing free shipping.
Never underestimate the power and influence of a group mentality, or how it can influence your decisions despite your better judgment. This is how riots, genocides, car-flipping, Angelina Jolie's adoptive family, and Heidi Montag's inexplicable popularity all get started... And once the ball is rolling, it would seem that we are all doomed.
So as I ventured out into the cold, dark, wee morning hours, in search of the best deal on generally inexpensive toys and other assorted goodies, I suddenly found myself thrust into an electronics department. This would not be a problem ordinarily... But when you know that there are deals to be had at this obscenely early hour, in this particular store, on this one day of the year, once again, you tend to get caught up in the moment.
This is how one ends up with an 8GB ipod that would need to be returned, when only hours later you find a 16 GB ipod for only $30.00 more... Online... Where you instinctively told yourself to start your shopping in the first place. So I went from not having ever owned an ipod, to owning two in one day. And I will hang onto the 8GB version until my real ipod arrives... Thus depriving some crazy person of their ipod ownership, because undoubtedly, when I return this one, despite the fact that I will include everything in all of its original packaging, and I will reset the memory, thus deleting all of my songs, I'm sure that the store will return my ipod to the manufacturer, to be further "refurbished" and sold as a preowned unit for a significant discount. (I know I switched from passive to active voice and back again in this little paragraph, but I really don't care enough to go back and fix it.)
In short, I should've known better. I should've just slept in, like I really wanted to, gotten the model with the larger memory, and bought it online in the first place.
Stupid family. Overfeeding me and then suckering me into ridiculous shopping with their ridiculous enthusiasm... (insert further indistinguishable grumbling here)