If I were half as sane as I like to think I am, I probably wouldn't go to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. Right before Thanksgiving, grocery stores are madhouses around here.
But I like going to the store the day before Thanksgiving. I like the bustle and the crowds. I like that so many people are shopping in gaggles, excitedly catching up on what's happened since the last time the family gathered, and conspiring on what to buy. I like the grandparents who have valiantly offered to run to the store to complete the planned feast, who are gamely trying to find their way about, especially the old guys who probably haven't been in a grocery store in months, if not years. I don't mind waiting for people to decide what they want, not when they've got that 'this is just what Cousin Joe would like, I'd bet' look in their eye. I like the yuppie on his cell phone half-blocking an aisle while he tries, redfaced, to explain to a distant friend why he's deigned to spend the holiday in the boondocks so the kids could have "quality time" with Grandpa.
No, wait. That last fellow bugged me a little, earlier today when I was at the store. I wish he hadn't acted embarrassed to be in the town where I live, and I cringe every time somebody says they're arranging "quality time." (Can't you just say that you wanted to visit?) I was tempted to say something to him, but I kept my holiday demeanor and grabbed butter and kept going. (Besides, he had on what I call the anthropologist look. You know, he's the scientist and the rest of us are natives. Sigh. I just wasn't up to dealing with that today.)
Anyway, most people seemed to be in the spirit of the holiday, and were exuding good cheer. I enjoy that. Immensely.
Quotation of the Day… - (Don Boudreaux) … is from pages 214-215 of David Landes’s often brilliant but uneven 1998 volume, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: At the same time, the ...
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