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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

‘Consumer’ Holidays: Peanuts, Tears, and Silent Nights

Chapter 10 of My Life and Times at Purdue University


No easy way to start off this installment of the My Times, as it is the worst time of the year for those not blessed with large families, or caring ones, to be of truth. The only family member I was ever glad to see was my mom. As you know, she’s gone. Only been a few months. And it seems like so long ago we were discussing another failed Chicago Cubs move, or what car to fix when we had the money, or how we’d hope this holiday would be either more peaceful or more plentiful. Rarely did the last happen.

I won’t discuss here all the feelings I have for other relatives. Not helpful, nor respectful to my mom. Suffice to say the bridge is burnt and the water is an ocean of discontent and dysfunction.
While I miss her, there are 'these things' we generally tie to these holidays.

The bang up way we void ourselves of personal happiness through a shopping spree we’ll regret next January through October. The coming changes in weather as we finally move to sweats, Häagen-Dazs on the sofa, and a boob tube flickering (hi-def style now) to the latest soppy story of holiday spirit rekindled by some 40-something (that was A-list, now C-list) actress making goo-goo at some country singer wannabe Brawny towel guy that puts a sparkle in miss A-to-C’s Spanxs. Oh, it is so romantic that the backwash taste of Pepsi likely does me less harm.  Macy’s will roll out a cavalcade of C-listers just because who else, with any major industry pull, is diving for the chump change that is: calling out floats and naming off high school marching bands? And who can forget that Victoria will show us The Secret?

Stay tuned.

Yes, that is a preview of the coming weeks. The Peanuts gang will get their walkers out and show us why Chuck is Chuck. The lovable loser that makes Chuck on NBC a numb-chucking success that only NBC could love. (Give their nose dive from the Nielsen…) Will Snoopy re-inflate the ratings of Pan Am enough to defeat all those CSI shows destined to pay a nod to the holidays with some flight beyond the criminal? Or maybe will get an Obama Xmas special? At least half of America will be tuning that out on principle, if a Gallup poll tracks right. These are a few of my least favorite things: holiday specials, TV shows departing, and the meandering melodrama of my administration while millions make due with less.

Staying tuned in even less.

I haven’t watched a regular TV in months. I watch Hulu for free, or rent from Redbox. Netflix is next. In essence, the holidays of old are gone. No Rudolph to watch; or Frosty or Jack Frost.  Nightly news is less relevant to me – though I should stay in touch since Economics is my future game. Just that…since mom passed, the things I could spend time on are so irrelevant. Sports, nope. News, not really, all that – if bleeds it leads stuff, that sickens me.  I like to read – but even, at that, to static. I’ve done that aplenty. The time here is too short to give over the precious little time we do get.

I want a new life – and know it is now all up to me.

The holidays fall close to the beginning of a new chapter here, at Purdue, as the tears flowed today while listening to a cover of One by Warren Haynes. (Up above.) His acoustical guitar and voice brought the thoughts of how one I am now. But…my mom’s spirit seems to be here.  So, two is not a lonely number. And she is thoroughly A-list in my heart.


Silent nights, but hopefully, not lonely nights.
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