Happy Festivus: Airing my grievances

Festivus signMiracles and feats of strength

Immediately this morning I experienced a Festivus miracle. I woke up at the same time I normally would when I go to work! And my coffee brewed! So miraculous. Sadly, I’m not able to celebrate with my fellow Festivus fans today at the party. Too bad really because performing feats of strength is really difficult to do with the Head of Household, aka me. Although, HR would probably have something to say about wrestling in the office.

I got a problem with you people!

Festivus sign Now let me air my grievances. If you’ve been reading this blog you’re probably surprised that I have any left. Oh, but I do. I’ll just stick with two. I’d really like to get back to my Festivus dinner of an Italian sub from Jersey Mikes and Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread Family cookies.
Ginger Family cookies

1. Holiday giving
Every year my workplace “adopts” a family to give gifts to at Christmas. Great, feel-good idea, right? But inevitably someone always pisses me off behind this generous act by complaining about the chosen family. From saying they’re too fat or have too many children, they’re too picky or their names are weird, there always seems to be someone complaining about the family.

You never know what someone’s circumstances are. Perhaps the parents were recently laid off. Maybe there’s so many kids because they foster or adopt or it’s a blended family–you know like The Brady Bunch. Maybe they’re too fat because if you don’t know, usually the cheapest food to buy isn’t the healthiest. Oh, and if you’ve never lived in a poor area, maybe you don’t realize that the grocery stores likely carry food closest to expiration, the worst cuts of meat and the fresh fruit and vegatables aren’t so desirable. To add insult to injury, would you believe these places often charge more for this crap than a store in a nicer neighborhood?

Last I heard this was a free country and you have a right to name your child whatever madness you choose. I don’t recommend it, because well, I’m old school. But to each their own. As we all know whether you have money or not, naming your child can produce crazy results. Witness North East, Apple, Moon Unit, Moses, Dweezil and Blue Ivy just to name a few.

Now here’s the brilliant piece. Regardless of all those reasons I just listed, none of them matter. Because the idea is to give to help someone else have a great Christmas just like you. You give because you want to give–not with conditions. So you don’t like that an 8-year-old is wearing a size 2X? Don’t give. No one is holding a gun to your head to force you to give money or gifts or anything. Save the judging and just give because you genuinely hope a person on the other end is smiling. Maybe it’s the only day of joy for that person in a while, and you played a small part in that.

We can give a person who will inevitably regift that useless knick knack you gave them because they have everything they need, but can’t part with $10 or $20 for a grocery store gift card or underwear and socks for a kid who has none. Grinches and Scrooges and don’t even recognize it. Ho, ho, ho and Merry Christmas to you, too.

2. Affluenza
I tried to stay away from this one. Because it’s just too ridiculous to be real. But no, some judge in some wacked out US location err Texas sentenced a teenager who killed four pedestrians while drunk driving to 10 years of probation.The judge bought the attorneys argument that the kid was suffering from Affluenza, a “condition” that results when parents spoil their children so much that they can’t understand that bad behavior has consequences. Uh, that’s typical of any teenager whose frontal lobe isn’t fully developed, right? Now if a poor or middle class teen had done the exact same thing…. If this isn’t a clear indication that he who has the most money wins in court, I don’t know what is.

I remember hearing about a man in Johnston County North Carolina who had been serving a life sentence for stealing a TV. That’s right, your good ole analog variety TV. He spent 33 years in prison until he was finally paroled in 2005. I rest my case.

3. Ridin’ dirty
Now on to my grievance of the moment. For heaven’s sake, on the train, if you recline your seat back as far as it will go, at least set it back upright when you leave. It’s just common traveler’s courtesy. Also, if your traveling companion (i.e. the stranger next to you) has earbuds in and hoodie up, chances are she’s not feeling chatty. Smile, nod and keep it moving. The nicer pushovers among us (that’s me) will feel obligated to listen to your tale of woe.

Happy Festivus! Don’t forget to donate to The Human Fund. We now take PayPal payments and soon we’ll be set up for bitcoin.


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