The Fear of Becoming Pretentious

This year I will start a new family tradition. I will call it “Un-Black Friday”. Instead of spending money on myself or family by participating in the insanity that is shopping, I will instead do something charitable.

Since I generally like animals. My daughter and I have collected money for an Animal Rescue and bought pet food. We are planning on driving to the shelter on Friday to drop all our donations off and hope to also see some of the animals.

I will not set foot into a store. And I will not spend money on goods I do not necessarily need.

I hate shopping in malls. I hate shopping in grocery stores. And I even more do not like shopping for clothes or electronics.

I like sleeping in. There is no way I will get up early to get a good deal on something. Not my thing. Sleep is too valuable.

For me resisting Black Friday is as easy as it can get. I am not American, so the consumerism is beyond me anyways. And generally, when I need or want something I buy it, independent from what day of the year it actually is.

However, since this year Thanksgiving will be celebrated in our house. The entire set of 12 people that my husband calls family will be staying at our house over the weekend. Naturally, I thought the “Un-Black Friday” idea would be very welcome and something new to do as a family. A new tradition. Each year someone can pick a charity and we do something for their cause.

My husband feels differently. He does not like to prescribe people what to do. He feels my suggestion is a little bit pretentious. Which might be true. Because I honestly want to set a precedence, purposefully avoiding what I think is insane “spending crazy amounts on money on stuff you do not really need”, And yes, I think if you really have disposable income, you should spend it where it really makes more sense. Since I really like spending money on myself. And I often spend it on stuff I neither need nor truly have a purpose for, my “Un-Black Friday” idea might sound hypocritical. So, I am somewhat pretentious here. And I am ok with that. One day of the year to refuse to participate in a spending frenzy.

Other people do their charity for Christmas. Since I am not religious and I am not really drawn towards most charitable efforts that are targeted towards other regions of the world, I feel I can do something different that is meaningful to me. I love community development, I love spreading and ensuring education and knowledge are available to all people, providing a home and food for people that are less fortunate in your region or city, and I think it is important to “waste less” — All targeted towards making your own home town more friendly, safe, educated, and beautiful. My emphasize might be that I am right now living in one of the less favorable areas of the US. Detroit is just not that popular. And right now it is insanely cold with the 15 degrees Fahrenheit mid November. There is a lot to do to make this region more desirable.

So, I will stick with my Un-Black Friday plans. If my family wants to do something different, they can. I am not prescriptive.

For as long as I can do what is important to me on this day off of mine. This is what I call success outside of work. It took me a long time that to understand that happiness is driven in both areas of life: work and personal life. This recognition must come with age.

Happy Thanks Giving!


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