Friday, November 25, 2011

Channeling the Big Guy and Clark Griswold

 I bet there's some Richardson somewhere in his family tree.

Now that I have kids and an amazing lady in my life, I am often commenting on how much life reflects that thoughts and attitudes of the Big Guy and how I am truly his son. The event of last night’s shopping adventure at Target Black Friday sale has never brought out those traits more in my life.
Surprisingly enough, the actual idea of going out and sitting in line for 4.5 hours goes against all that my father stood for.  The Big Guy was doing mail order before mail order was cool. My father would often comment on “all the idiots wasting their time and how that’s not what the holidays are about” in his anti-Black Friday rant.  Over the years I have gradually accepted the Big Guy’s Holiday manifesto and lived it to its extreme. Until last night.
Li’l Sis had told me about the how Target would be selling the X-box Kinect for 99 bucks with 4 games. The idea of saving 150 dollars plus seeing the looks on my newly acquired sidekicks made me realize “this is the gift.” I knew I was committed at this point. Somehow I talked my amazingly understanding girlfriend in joining me and we took off for what was to be a grand adventure.
The line would have wrapped way out of the bottom right of this picture

In order to not waste your time, I am going to request you read Kim’s blog which details in great detail about our shopping excursion and all its epicness. After that come back and I want to hit a few highlights/thoughts. I’ll wait.

I walked away from last night or rather I limped away from last night with three things revolving around my head.
1)      Shopping on Black Friday doesn’t have to be a bitch. We were stuck in line with some awesome people and I loved getting to know them. I am ashamed to admit that I was worried when the 4 large black guys got in line behind us. They were nice enough but I was concerned their boisterousness would get on my nerves. I love it when I am wrong. Amazing guys. It’s funny how anybody can sit back and relate if you can find a common thread. We probably spent hours laughing about the things we do for our kids and the wackiness that ensues. Later, we had a heated discussion about who has the best milkshake in town. It came down between Sonic and Krystal. That discussion brought all the surrounding men and a small clique was formed.  We never shared names which bothers me today because I realize I will spend the rest of my life looking back at that Thanksgiving night where a bunch a dads and me spent 4 hours laughing about family, drinking buddies (some Rag’s stories were shared to hilarious uproar), and milk shakes.
Who'd thought milkshakes was such a conversation starter?

2)      Lucky Man is going to be the working title for my book when I publish all theses adventures because I am. Having Kim in my life is the greatest thing to happen to me. She lets me be me. Kim went into the cold Target parking lot last night fully expecting failure but was willing to allow me to try. I am happy to say we were successful. I believe it’s because we make a good team. We pretty much threw a Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people and turned around to sit at Target with no arguments or major stress.  We did, however, laugh like hyenas the whole time. She kept me in stitches. Anybody that can make a Warriors and a Close Encounters of the Third Kind reference in one night is tops in my book. I fell in love a little more with her last night.

3)      I understand my parents a little bit more and why my dad became Clark Griswold every Christmas. For the first time in my life, I get to make two children make some memories of their own that will carry on to the next generation of Richardsons and Wades. That is powerful thing yet also beautiful. I realized last night I wanted that Kinect because I wanted to see that “look” on their face when they open it. It was the same look I gave my Mom and Dad when I opened up my Death Star Play set in 1978.  It’s that look of pure Christmas Morning Joy. I want to see that.
Yep, this is what I want to see.

Yeah, I am probably going to spend way too much money this Christmas, I’m probably going to get stressed about stupid Holiday issues like tangled lights or lines at the Mall, and I’ll probably act a bit like Clark Griswold as my own Christmas Vacation unfolds. I just hope that when those moments happen I can remember how I am in very good company because I come from a long line of Griswolds and I am great with that.

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