I feared a lonesome Thanksgiving this year. Various obligations required us to stay here, and everybody else to stay where they were, and so it would just be the three of us on our own — along with all my dead Catholic relatives who frowned on small families (not that many, really). We considered even going out to eat, but those options were a) limited; and b) gross. So I bought a turkey breast, planned a tiny little feast, and waited for it to arrive.
And we had a pretty much perfect holiday. It was helped along by the weather, which was in the high 50s under blue skies. With the whole day to kill — the first rule of Nance’s Thanksgiving is that the food is served at the dinner hour, not at midday — we threw the bikes into the cars and headed for Belle Isle.
(Kate loves her leather jacket, yes.)
This wasn’t exercise as atonement for gluttony, but just a lazy lap of the island, with many stops for photography and sightseeing. Do you ever think we’ll build public works in this country with lovely designs details again? This is the lighthouse at the northeast end:
The teenager is into photographing graffiti these days, so of course we had to stop at the abandoned zoo…
…before winding up close to where we began, at the Scott Fountain.
You might see it bubbling away when the Pistons’ season extends past the freezing season. The networks have it in their beauty-shot bumper file; the fact the team plays about 40 miles away doesn’t seem to bother anyone.
And then it was home to watch the Lions lose and make all the chow. We ended the evening watching “Almost Famous” en famille. And if that isn’t a great holiday, I don’t know what is.
The warm feelings must have lasted, because at 9:30 a.m. Friday I found myself doing something I haven’t done in years, maybe decades — setting out to shop on Black Friday. No door-busting — I’m not insane — but just a stroll around the mall to sniff the air and see what the nation’s mall-based retailers thought worthy of my attention. Parking was a breeze. The place wasn’t even that crowded, although if you were fool enough to go into one of those 50%-off-everything-before-noon stores, you could find yourself waiting in line 40 minutes to try on a sweater.
What did I find? That malls are about as useful to me on Black Friday as they are the other 364 days of the year. But I did enjoy reading the windows, seeing if Bebe is still selling the Russian-prostitute look (yes), whether Macy’s is still inferior to all the stores it gobbled (yes), whether you can still find the horse picture (yes). The horse picture, you ask? Look around any fashion-marketing campaign, and sooner or later you’ll see a picture of a model in an elaborate evening gown, posing with a horse. I’ve never understood this picture; what is it saying? Someone call for a horse? or I told the stableboy I wanted to go riding in the morning, and what happens? I dress for dinner and there’s a knock on the damn door. or Would you walk this beast back to the barn? The path is muddy and these are $700 shoes.
When I owned a horse, I learned that wearing a white T-shirt to the barn directly increased the chance he would sneeze on me. An evening gown probably would have provoked a fecal explosion.
And now the week begins anew. I’m writing this on my birthday (Sunday) and I accept all your tributes, those already offered and the ones you forgot. Not you — the other guy.
I’ve been quiet on the subject of Black Friday doorbuster madness, ever since reading Hank Stuever’s “Tinsel” and realizing how many people shop BF sales because they have more people on their lists than their budget will accommodate. Now, we can take apart the whole idea of over-shopping, but for now, I choose to simply abstain from getting all hot and bothered over it. Still, when someone posted the worst of the BF Walmart mosh pit videos scored with heavy metal, I gotta tell ya — I laffed.
My insomnia had me up at an insane hour Sunday, and I think I read the whole internet, from Kim Kardashian’s butt to this George Will column. I haven’t bothered to see what this braying ass has to say about anything in quite a while, so I’m not sure what I expected, but I guess I wasn’t surprised:
In any case, the crisis of Hostess Brands Inc., the maker of Twinkies, involves two potent lessons.
First, market forces will have their way. Second, never underestimate baby-boomer nostalgia, which is acute narcissism. The Twinkies melodrama has the boomers thinking — as usual, about themselves: If an 82-year-old brand can die, so can we. Is that even legal?
Oh, very droll. That, right-chere, is what you call SPARKLE.
Finally, I’m sorry to say that Angel, the rescue pup referenced in the Thanksgiving post, didn’t make it, and died that very day. Andi, however, continues to thrive. I know a few of you kicked her some money, so you should know her ribs are disappearing, and it looks like she had a very good Thanksgiving indeed:
Let’s lurch on into the holidays together — I hope the mellowness of the weekend continues all the way through.