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I am sitting here nursing a black eye, several bruised ribs, a badly injured shin on each leg and a terribly compromised ego. I am blaming my wife entirely for the condition I am in right now, which helps with the pain.

I cannot speak for anyone else and sometimes not even for myself (house rules), but I think Black Friday is terribly overrated and misunderstood.

Usually, I stay clear of traveling on the day after Thanksgiving. The roads are filled with nuts, and I do not want to add to their number. For me it is a day to just relax and catch up on a little bit of reading. I was in such a relax-reading mode when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage popped her head into my room and asked me a question.

"Would you mind going to the mall for me to pick up something?"

I hesitated to answer and was trying to come up with some kind of reason not to go to the mall, especially today.

"I wouldn't ask you but it's something I need very much and I don’t have the time to stop what I'm doing and go get it."

Then she decided to play dirty. 

I am sitting here nursing a black eye, several bruised ribs, a badly injured shin on each leg and a terribly compromised ego. I am blaming my wife entirely for the condition I am in right now, which helps with the pain.

I cannot speak for anyone else and sometimes not even for myself (house rules), but I think Black Friday is terribly overrated and misunderstood.

Usually, I stay clear of traveling on the day after Thanksgiving. The roads are filled with nuts, and I do not want to add to their number. For me it is a day to just relax and catch up on a little bit of reading. I was in such a relax-reading mode when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage popped her head into my room and asked me a question.

"Would you mind going to the mall for me to pick up something?"

I hesitated to answer and was trying to come up with some kind of reason not to go to the mall, especially today.

"I wouldn't ask you but it's something I need very much and I don’t have the time to stop what I'm doing and go get it."

Then she decided to play dirty.

"Please." And she looked at me with her sad eyes and for a moment, I thought I saw her lower lip protruding just a little. I am not sexist, but I secretly believe women get away with things a man never could get away with in a million years.

If a woman wants something bad enough all she has to do is put on her sad face and let a little tear well up in her eye. If a man ever did that (me in particular) the woman would simply say, "Stop acting like a baby and just do it." If a man ever said something like that to a woman, his wife in particular, there would be real tears in his eyes following his remark.

I decided to put my life in my hands, brave the traffic, and do my wife's errand for her. After all, you can only die once in traffic but a rebellious husband can die a thousand deaths.

The traffic, as I thought, was quite heavy. Eventually, I arrived at my destination... the dreaded mall. I parked the car, paused and watched the stream of people going into the mall. In a few moments, I would be one of "the stream." As I watched, a thought gripped my mind. People were going in but I could not see anybody coming out.

Thoughts ran through my mind like: Would anybody ever see me again? Would anybody know whatever happened to me? Would I die a quick, painless death? Would my Beloved know I died serving her wishes?

Once inside I was introduced to the black side of the citizens of our community. There seems to be a striking incongruity between the affable Thanksgiving Day diners and the brutal Black Friday shoppers.

The difference between the Thanksgiving crowd and the Black Friday crowd is quite profound.

The Thanksgiving crowd is thankful for what they have.

The Black Friday crowd is chasing what they do not have. And don't get in their way.

Something happens after feasting all day on Thanksgiving Day that paves the way for what happens on Black Friday. I'm not sure what it is but I found it out the hard way. All a precarious shopper needs to hear is that something is on sale. It does not matter what that "something" is as long as it is on sale. Woe be unto the innocent bystander, if there is such a person at the mall on Black Friday, who comes between that shopper and that sale item.

By accident (and by accident I mean it in the most literal sense of the word) I stumbled onto an item that was on "sale." Casually, not really interested in the item, I picked it up to look at it while thinking about what I had come to the mall to purchase. I really do not know what the item was now.

Suddenly, I felt a sharp pain in my left rib cage. Then a corresponding pain in my right rib cage. While I was preoccupied with this pain, I felt one of my shins scream out in pain only to be echoed by the other shin. Without thinking, which is my usual modus operandi, I bent over to rub both shins only to be introduced to an elbow in my left eye.
   
At this point, I did not know which pain to rub first. In fact, I was afraid to move.

Eventually, I found what I was looking for and fought my way out of that place. Somebody should give a medal to the husband who survives a trip to the mall. I finally got back to the house, not really knowing how in the world I got back, and mused on my situation for the day.

While I nursed my injuries, I was reminded of some Bible passages.

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." (Philippians 4:11 KJV).

"And having food and raiment let us be therewith content." (1 Timothy 6:8 KJV).

Most people are not content with what they have and are convinced that what they don't have will make them happy.

Copyright, Rev. James L. Snyder
Used With Permission
For reprint permission, contact the author through his site at:
http://www.realezsites.com/bus/godspenman

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