Rest and relaxation, indeed. It’s on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and nearly every other social media network on the planet. Everybody is talking about rest and relaxation. A few days just to themselves, with no interruptions to their complete and total relaxation. They stress the relaxation so everyone around them gets the point loud and clear that they are not to be bothered. But the reason they can’t be bothered has little to do with relaxation. I wouldn’t be afraid to guess that at least a third … and that, in my opinion, is being conservative … of women and a significant number of men will be spending their relaxation time pouring over websites, rss feeds, alerts, news feeds, email, texts and papers; planning, getting their strategy down and their mojo up … mapping and trying to decide where it is, out of the half dozen places the list has been narrowed to, that they intend to make their first stand. Of course, there is the agonizing and relaxing decision as whether to go at Midnight, or be there a few hours before.
This is the same midnight that will follow Thanksgiving Day, another time of rest and relaxation. It starts with rising extra early to prepare the turkey and dressing for baking, making rolls, rolling out pie dough and cooking up some giblet gravy. In the midst of all this is trying to find a way to cook a casserole in the oven that is currently housing the twenty-three pound turkey that barely fits by itself without hitting the burners. But that’s not all, because there is an urge to constantly look at the clock and think over and over that there is no way in heaven or earth that everything will be ready by dinnertime. This restful behavior can sometimes be associated with emotional outbursts and mad fits, so it is best to delegate some of the relaxation to others so that an overload of relaxation doesn’t cause a total system shutdown.
After half the people that are expected and one hundred that weren’t have arrived for Thanksgiving dinner, the food devoured, the kitchen and dining room all but obliterated from the rest of the house, the second phase of relaxation begins. This phase usually takes about two hours as most of the partakers of the prepared feast head off to relax after dinner. The husbands and their cronies … well, what do they know? But the sisters, mothers, daughters and ex-friends have gone off to pour over the papers for one last glance at the game plan while somebody has to stay behind to clean up. This thought will bounce around in their head the entire time that the cleanup process is in progress. Once it is completed, all that bouncing usually causes a mood swing that leads to a mad fit and an all out argument over nothing at all but has the potential to become an all out brawl … but it doesn’t matter in the least because this is a time of relaxation.
A half an hour before midnight, armed with phone and a credit card, the most important part of the relaxation begins. The storming into the midst of warriors who have put just as much time, just as much thought and just as many hours of research into the strategy they came up with. Suddenly, everybody is on the same ground and the urge to punch somebody in the face just for having the same idea is so strong, visions of jail cells and the embarrassment of friends and family who had done nothing to deserve it will float vividly, like a floating balloon, through their minds. Better to save it until it can be effectively used as an excuse for self-defense. It’s funny what goes through the mind while it’s relaxing.
After thirty-plus hours pushing, shoving, yelling, pulling, jerking, grouching, crying, stomping, stalking off and finally crawling to the car with a silly grin and a look of the insane, the relaxation session is finally, blessedly over. The next two days will be used solely to recover from the relaxation. By the time work begins again on Monday, the first words out of everyone’s mouth will be now i need a vacation … some relaxation time … but don’t worry overmuch …the same opportunities along with a dozen you can’t possibly go to but simply must find a way will clog calendars, pda’s and phones. Knowing on Christmas Eve that the most important gift is locked at the office which has been locked down for cleaning and won’t be accessible until after New Year … see, there are countless opportunities for relaxation near Christmas. Don’t give it another thought.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!