“Black Friday” Bizarreness – Perfectionism Poem

Thanksgiving passed kind of magically.  (It helps to have daughters who cook amazingly well, and your end of the table colonized by several teatotallers and a random bottle of champagne.)

So now it’s “Black Friday.”   Mad shopping before the next day dawns.  (Isn’t Thanksgiving a time to feel blessed with what we already have?  Can’t we continue to feel blessed through a whole disgestion cycle?)

As awful as the concept is, the name is even worse:  “Black Friday” connotes (i) a Stock Market Crash, (ii) a Stock Market Crash, (iii) a Stock Market Crash.  (Also,  maybe, Crazy Eddy cavorting with scythe and death mask.)

I hate to say it, but a “successful” Black Friday feels almost as bad to me as a dismal one.  I’m all for an improved economy (and I understand that it will take a long time before our economy is not dependent on rampant consumerism), but when I read the numbers, I can’t help but thinking of trees cut down, mountains mined, oceans warmed, sweatshops sweated in; children even more cut off from non-gadget, non-plastic, forms of play; and huge, huge, garbage dumps.

I’ve always had a conflict with Christmas shopping—my sense of duty to the environment and to my children’s character (and tuition payments), coupled with the imprint of my mother, a daughter of the Great Depression–all  doing pitched battling with (i) what is expected of me in our consumer culture,  (ii) what I’d genuinely like to give, and (iii) a need to do things right, to please people, to be loved.

More on this in future posts.  In the meantime, shopping, plus Thanksgiving, plus autumnal re-thinking of life in general, brings up that age-old issue of perfectionism, and… a poem:

The Perfectionist’s Heart

The perfectionist’s heart is more than smart,
a nest of what went wrong long ago,
a litany rewritten, how we explain ourselves,
the embroidery of ‘if only’, a thread
tracking a trail as it tries to find a past
that will make this present a present, the lining silver,
turning randomness and chance to steps along a path,
a math that will equal all sides up, proof
that we have lived our lives correctly,
that for the certain values given, we came up with
the only possible solution,
and that possible means best.

All rights reserved, Karin Gustafson.

P.S.  – Speaking of consumerism:  if you are doing Christmas shopping for young childen, check out 1 Mississippi on Amazon.  I’m hoping to have my own website set up soon for discounted sales.  If you are interested in the meantime in a discount, feel free to write me at backstrokebooks@gmail.com.  (Sorry!)

Explore posts in the same categories: Perfectionism, poetry

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: