Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

My daughter is 14.  That is to say, she is at an age where the thought of Black Friday shopping is still exciting.
Desperate, of course, is not burdened with this excitement.  But I am the Mom, so I agreed to take the kid to the mall.
We got there about 10 am.  Already it had the feel of the VFW Hall after the party's gone home.  Tired, empty, only a few diehard bargain hunters still around. 
We came armed with a list, and actually got one or two of the items.  Mostly we bought stuff for our Samaritan's Purse / Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
I do the shoebox thing every year.  I start out with the best of intentions, bring a little smile to some impoverished kid's face, etc.  And then before you can say "feelings of guilt and inadequacy" the whole thing spirals out of control.  Did I get enough stuff?  Will the age 5-to-9 girl I'm packing a box for like the sweatpants I bought?  will they fit?  will they be too small? omg they're going to be too small and the poor kid will be heartbroken that she's the only one who went home without new clothes!
Over and over again I have to tell myself to get a grip.  One little shoebox isn't going to ruin the kid's life, I tell myself. Besides, I put in other stuff besides the sweatpants.  Candy, for example.  And covering my bases, I add a toothbrush and some Hello Kitty toothpaste as well.  Little dolls, headbands, girly stuff.
It won't change the world but it will make one little girl smile.  That's worth a hundred Black Fridays.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election Day

Today is the midterm elections.  The front-page headline on the New York Times:  "GOP Confident on Election's Eve, With Voters Sour."  They wanted it to read"Voters Who Write For The New York Times"  but they ran out of space.

I live in Minnesota where Al Franken is up for re-election to the US Senate.  He will likely win. Six more years of probing questions like "Did you watch 'Perry Mason' when you were a child, Ms. Supreme Court Candidate?"  Yeah.  Minnesotans can be proud.

Then there's our governors race.  The incumbent, Gov. Dayton, is famous for approving a gazillion-dollar "light rail" system that so far at least 12 people have used.  Oh, and this morning one of their trains rammed a police car.  Again, Minnesotans can be proud.

I love Election Day.  I love going to the polling place and seeing people I only see every two years, meeting their new dogs and spouses/significant others.  I love the idea that some of these people might actually know what they are doing.  That's probably optimistic, but I like to look on the positive side.

Which is what I'll be doing tonight, with my fingers crossed and a Memorare on my lips, as I watch the returns come in.  God bless America, and God help us all.