I’ve always thought of New Year’s Day as semi-sacred. A day of rest and recovery. A day reserved for shaking off the bruises of the previous night’s skydive. No retail dog-and-pony show, save a few drug stores and 7-11, Mac’s, etc. Not the case any more. It seems damn near every store is open on New Year’s Day. Home Depot. Winners. Even Home Sense for gawd’s sake. The big question I’d like to pose: WHY? WHY is it necessary to open on this day? Does the general populace really need the capability to buy new quilts and matching towels on New Year’s Day? Have people not had enough of the holiday frenzy by this point? Enough razored elbows in the bloodied halls of retail? Has not enough money been spent? Have not retail workers – perhaps the most shat-upon segment of the workforce – had enough of the schemozzle? Apparently not, as these stores were crawling with people. Apes with credit cards and Venti lattes1. Let’s see now. Easter Sunday was stripped of its sacredness a few years back. Good Friday never was a real holiday in terms of consumer commerce. Plain old Sundays were long ago transformed into the second-biggest shopping day of the week2. By my calculations, I do believe that makes Christmas Day the lone day of the year wherein the consumer shitstorm ceases (save drugstores and convenience stores). That’s pathetic. Embarrassing. I predict that within three years, many stores will open on Christmas Day. Ergo, you’ll find stunned meatbags lining up at the doors to exchange gifts received that morning. Cynical? We’ll see.
Why, for crissakes? WHY can we not put the brakes on this shit for our own sakes? Am I overreacting?
1 Starbuck’s pretentious cup-sizing lingo makes me grow a big rubbery one.
2 Our good pals in Nova Scotia have managed to keep Sundays quiet until this year. Their Sunday opening laws were lifted in September of 2006. A shame, if you ask me.
Save On Foods, Dec 2006
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?