Shopping, Black Friday, And Yours Truly

If the clothing and footwear industries depended on me for financial sustenance, they would be shit out of luck. I don’t buy their goods very often. I mean, most of my attire is between three and about 45 years old. Yeah, I said 45. That’s the approximate age (I wish I could pinpoint the year in which I bought it) of a sweater that I want to be buried in when my bucket-kicking time arrives. The deep blue garment, which I treasure dearly and wear pretty frequently, still looks damn good to my eyes. Any coffin worth its salt would be proud to encase it.

My favorite sweater

I definitely haven’t been nice to the aforementioned industries in 2019. The only clothes I’ve purchased so far are underwear, socks and a sweatshirt. And as for shoes, none. That’s because I’m not too interested in regularly updating or freshening my look. Also, I seem to have excellent luck on most of those rare occasions when I do go shopping for apparel or accessories, which makes it unnecessary to shop very often. For example, three or four winters ago, upon entering a Macy’s department store near my home, I immediately found two winter coats that fit me perfectly and looked terrific. I whipped out my credit card and made them mine.

And one day seven or eight years ago, at a Sears department store, I hit the jackpot, leaving with about eight pairs of jeans that I’m wearing to this day. I could cite several more examples of this kind, but you get the picture.

Yes, I’m satisfied with the clothes and shoes that I own. So, when Black Friday (an annual, mega-hyped shopping day in the USA that unofficially kicks off the Christmas buying season) rolled around last month on the day after Thanksgiving, as it always does, I ordinarily would have avoided like the plague the indoor shopping mall near my house. I had no desire to check out the wearables on sale. And the same went for the non-wearables. And yet, mall-ward I directed my car at 11:30 AM.

Why? Hell, basically I didn’t want to enter a coffin some day without ever having experienced Black Friday firsthand. Despite being nearly as old as dirt, there are times when I can prance around the altar of pop culture better than just about anyone from my old f*ckers demographic. And if Black Friday isn’t a major player in pop culture, I don’t know what is.

Black Friday at the mall near my house.

Yup, the mall was decently crowded. Yup, most stores had Black Friday sales going on. Nope, I didn’t feel even the slightest urge to examine any merchandise. Still, I liked being at the mall. I always do, though my visits are only occasional, because the mall strikes me as a wonderland. I like its three levels of winding avenues, its airiness, its colors and sounds. And the overabundance of merchandise in the stores, though easy to criticize as excesses of the capitalist system, amazes and captivates me. Mankind, though flawed as hell, sure can turn out products like nobody’s business.

Black Friday at the mall.
Black Friday at the mall.

One thing for certain is that I was the sole visitor whose purpose was not to spend cash, but to observe. And also to record scenes with his or her smart phone’s camera. After an hour and a half of doing exactly that, I got the hell out of there.

“I ain’t much of a shopper, that’s for sure,” I said to myself as I drove back home. But a few hours later I realized how imprecise that thought was. You see, when it comes to food markets (of which there are none in the mall), I love to shop, and spend two or more hours every week in that pursuit. This pattern began somewhere in the 1990s, when it became apparent to me that the variety and quality of food stuffs available in the USA were a whole lot better than they’d ever been.

Food nerd that I’ve become, I get a charge examining olives, relishes, juices, grains, yogurts, you name it, on store shelves. The numerous types of each blow the mind. Who in the USA ever heard of quinoa, farro or Kalamata olives until fairly recent years, for instance? Nobody that I personally know.

Whole Foods breads. Many loaves had already been sold.
Some of the cheeses at Whole Foods.

In my area, the store that excites me more than any other is a Whole Foods supermarket. (Whole Foods, by the way, is part of the Amazon/Jeff Bezos empire that is engulfing the world.) I can’t stay away from its coffee, cheese and bakery sections, each of which contains products that make my life better. Farm Loaf bread and other breads, all baked on the premises, are swell. So are any number of the cheeses from around the world that Whole Foods carries. And two varieties of Allegro coffee (Rainforest Blend and Extra Dark French) have found strong favor in my household.

Some of the coffees at Whole Foods.

I suppose that you could do far worse than having food shopping as one of your hobbies. It gets me off my ass, for one thing. And it has given me something to write about here. That’s all to the very good, considering that I’m chronically semi-constipated when it comes to coming up with story themes. Maybe prunes would help. Prunes are a staple of many old f*ckers’ diets, right?

(As I frequently mention, please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this essay on social media. Mucho gracias.)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open in a separate window.)

114 thoughts on “Shopping, Black Friday, And Yours Truly

  1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross December 11, 2019 / 12:17 am

    Oh my. I couldn’t agree with you more. I can easily drop $200 at my local butcher and then go down the street to the great deli on the corner and drop $200 more. Sigh. I like to have clothes that fit and that don’t make me look like Darth Vader’s poor cousin, but I LOVE shopping for food (and wine).
    Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

      • Lynette d'Arty-Cross December 11, 2019 / 1:46 pm

        I am familiar with Whole Foods because I used to live in Arizona, and I know that WF has opened stores in Canada, but they tend to not do well – not sure why. There was one that I loved going to near Fountain Hills.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. cindy knoke December 11, 2019 / 12:39 am

    I like that blue sweater quite a lot. You should stick with your classic style and wait for the minions to follow your lead. It may be a long wait, but do you actually care?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. andrewcferguson December 11, 2019 / 2:13 am

    There’s a dearth of decent men’s clothes shops in my area, but there are plenty of charity shops – which, counterintuitively, have the best clothes on offer, even if second hand. So, for me, clothes shopping brings the thrill of the chase – am I going to find a Versace shirt today, as I did once (not that I’m fussed for designer labels, but it’s a hell of a shirt for a few quid).

    I’m totally with you on food shopping, Neil. Here in the UK it’s the same – the quality and range of stuff on offer is way ahead of what it used to be. And as for the wine…

    Keep going with that classic style!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael Graeme December 11, 2019 / 12:54 pm

      I can relate to this. Most of my best stuff, including shirts, and a bees knees Harris Tweed came from a charity shop.

      Liked by 4 people

      • andrewcferguson December 11, 2019 / 2:11 pm

        Absolutely! Unfortunately the guy my size in Glenrothes with the best taste seems to have stopped donating at the moment … but it’s much more fun than looking at racks of the same shirt!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 3:09 pm

        Hi Michael. I used to have a Harris tweed sports jacket. Harris tweed is a great fabric.


        • Michael Graeme December 11, 2019 / 3:11 pm

          Certainly is. Mine’s ancient, still looks like new.👍

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert Parker December 11, 2019 / 6:35 am

    Hey Neil – I take a 45 minute bus ride, once a week, to go to a Cermak grocery store — I think they are only in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. I really like the store, lots of good Polish, Greek, etc products, and the employees are always friendly. otherwise I am pretty immune to the lure of shopping.
    I hate buying clothes, and can’t wait for Amazon to get these drones so I can just open a window and have them drop off a shirt now and then
    Although speaking of stocking up, I want to go sock-shopping one of these days — I have a huge bin of mismatched socks, and I’m gonna donate them to a charity for one-legged pirates, and buy a crate of identical black socks, or else maybe move someplace warm where I can just wear sandals.
    I enjoyed reading about your retail expeditions though!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 11:10 am

      The socks and underwear that I bought this year were from Hanes, via their website. I couldn’t find the Hanes items I wanted in stores, so I got them online. I think that that was the first time I ever bought clothes online.


  5. joyce hamilton December 11, 2019 / 7:21 am

    I’m not much of a shopper like you. I don’t go to the mall very often. I liked it better when it was an amusement park . I loved going there. Yes Whole Foods is a good place to shop.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 11:11 am

      Yeah, I wish I had seen that amusement park. From everything I’ve heard, it was terrific.


  6. sniderjerry December 11, 2019 / 8:13 am

    Season’s Greetings!, Neil
    If I’m not mistaken, I once saw you on the cover of GQ wearing your fancy sweater. And as far as
    eating out goes – the great Pat McCormick warned, “Never eat in a restaurant where you see a cockroach bench pressing a burrito.” Have fun, stay warm. Jerry

    Liked by 2 people

  7. lexklein December 11, 2019 / 9:08 am

    Because I had just asked my daughter one second before seeing your post to help me update my husband’s pitiful clothing collection, I got a good chuckle from your lack of sartorial splendor as well. But although I am more apt to go clothes shopping myself, you would not catch me anywhere near a mall on Black Friday! Brave soul you are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 11:13 am

      Yeah, I’d never experienced Black Friday before, so I decided to check it out. There was nothing revelatory about it!


  8. Laurie Graves December 11, 2019 / 9:16 am

    That blue sweater looks fantastic. I like your take on the mall, which, to put it mildly, is not what everyone thinks of when they go to those cathedrals of consumerism. 😉 Like you, I’m putty when it comes to food.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 11:14 am

      “I’m putty when it comes to food.”

      I like the way you say that. You, me and billions of others fit that description.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Paula B December 11, 2019 / 9:27 am

    I LOVE that your clothes are between 3 and 45 years old! Ha ha! I myself would wear that great sweater, by the way. Most of my clothes are at least a decade old, especially now that I’m retired and couldn’t give a gnat’s a** what anyone thinks. By the way, I always enjoy your blog themes and I think you’re creative (not constipated)!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 11:17 am

      Hi Paula. The overall average age of your clothes might be greater than mine!
      By the way, today I wore a winter coat that I bought in 1982. It looks good and is warm as toast.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Becky Ross Michael December 11, 2019 / 10:14 am

    I totally agree about the delights of grocery shopping, Neil, especially now in an area with more choices. I’ve been here about 4 years and have been to the mall less than five times (and those were just to keep my daughter company:) P.S. I still don’t know about farro, though…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Jacqui Murray December 11, 2019 / 10:14 am

    I’m with you on the shopping, Neil. I don’t go to the malls, am happy with my old clothing. Sometimes my daughter gives me hand-me-ups so I even stay in style.

    On the idea of keeping the old around: My daughter helped me clean the kitchen cupboards out over the holidays and I ended up throwing out cans that were 20 years old! I didn’t even want to hope they were still edible.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 11:21 am

      Cans that were 20 years old! I think you’ve set a record for holding on to food items.


  12. talebender December 11, 2019 / 11:31 am

    Like you, I hold on to clothes. But I always look up-to-date because I compare myself to the models in a 45-year-old Lands’ End catalogue I’ve kept forever…..I think of my look as ‘timeless’. 🥴

    Liked by 2 people

  13. alhenry December 11, 2019 / 11:57 am

    “Most of my attire is between three and about 45 years old.”

    Neil, this makes perfect sense to me. I only got rid of some high school shirts about 7 years back though I graduated in 1803. It rends my soul to casually toss anything away, with trash heaping up higher than Mount Everest the world over. Fortunately with clothing, after a few decades I can usually donate it to the Salvy Army unless it’s threadbare.

    As for Kalamata olives, they get two thumbs up at our house. And thanks for venturing into the mall on Black Friday. I was too busy at home deleting the (not an exaggeration) 1,987 emails I got that day for Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday previews, and Giving Tuesday exhortations.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 1:23 pm

      Kalamata olives are great. They make many dishes better.

      Hi Amy. Yeah, they keep coming up with new “special” days. Giving Tuesday is one of the newer ones, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. tiffanyarpdaleo December 11, 2019 / 12:23 pm

    No thanks, I avoid shopping like the plague, especially on Black Friday, never did it, never will! I hate crowds and my anxiety peaks just thinking about going to a mall. Thank goodness my husband does all the grocery shopping, he loves Whole Foods, and I love it when he comes home from shopping with all the goodies!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 2:19 pm

      Hi, Tiffany, and thanks for stopping by. Yeah, Whole Foods is hard to stay away from. Lots and lots of good things there.


  15. Helen Devries December 11, 2019 / 12:26 pm

    I used to do our clothes shopping in England when mother was alive…..mostly because I could buy cotton and linen items which I can’t here in Costa Rica unless I mortgage the house. Underwear likewise….as the items for women here are something exiguous in artifical fibre called for some reason Colombian and at the other end of the spectrum items rejoicing in the title of bloomers senora, into which you could fit about five Columbians.
    My husband refuses to shop for clothes…still wearing t shirts from twenty years ago…but food shopping is another matter! Choice has improved a lot since we moved here ten years ago and getting better all the time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 3:08 pm

      It seems that food choices and quality have improved in many parts of the world. Mankind is able to get some things right!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. JT Twissel December 11, 2019 / 1:00 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever done the Black Friday thing. I probably wouldn’t have clothes at all were it not for the companies I’ve worked for who think their employees are delighted to wear sweatshirts, vests and even hats with their logo printed on them. Shoes – well, that’s another matter. I’ve always gone for high quality shoes and they have lasted me a long time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 3:12 pm

      Hey there, JT. Have you heard of Vans shoes? I didn’t know about them till four or five years ago. They make casual footwear. Vans has become my favorite brand of shoes.


  17. Rosaliene Bacchus December 11, 2019 / 1:34 pm

    Good for you, Neil! I survived four Black Fridays during the years I worked in one of America’s largest retail stores. It’s no fun being trapped among shoppers looking for the best bargains.

    I only shop for clothing, household, and other items when needed. Most of my yearly commercial expenses go to buying books.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. tylerus December 11, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    LOL . . . you and I are too much alike! I loath shopping and do it only if I have to (like my underwear has developed a chronic case of over-stretchies or multi-holies). I love Whole Foods! What i don’t love, however, are shopping malls . . . save for the Ala Moana Center, but that’s because it’s Hawaii (be still my beating heart). Malls make me break out in anguished sweat. Keep posting, my friend; you write so wonderfully well. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 3:26 pm

      Hi Tyler. My area has so many malls and strip malls and stand-alone stores, it’s incredible. And to think that it all used to be forests and fields.


  19. Ann Coleman December 11, 2019 / 2:27 pm

    Makes sense to me! If you’re going to shop regularly, it’s far better to shop for food than for clothes. You don’t have to worry about how food fits, or whether or not it’s in style, and if it’s in your color. (Although I guess you might have to worry if it “makes your butt look huge” if you buy and eat too much of it.) Still, food shopping is fun, no two ways about it!

    I applaud your mall excursion on Black Friday to check out the situation, and am very glad that you reported your results on your blog. That way, I can understand what happens on Black Friday without having to actually venture into the shopping-crazed hordes myself!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 3:29 pm

      Afternoon, Ann. If the mall wasn’t so close to my house, I doubt if it ever would have occurred to me to go on a Black Friday. (It’s half a mile away.)

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Paddy Tobin December 11, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    Oh, let’s start a new society: “The Trans-Atlantic Society of Old F**kers who don’t give a S**t about Black Friday” LOL Now, I must be honest, Mary and I travelled an hour and a half by train (I have free travel!) to a Retail Village – a collection of shops, – “A luxury shopping destination” is how it advertises itself. I would have bought a pair of jeans at Tommy Hilfiger but they didn’t have the style I like while Mary bought a coat and a pair of shoes. We haven’t boosted the economy hugely but we had a good day out, an interesting day!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 6:09 pm

      Evening, Paddy. Yeah, every now and then, clothes shopping can be fun.

      I like your idea for a new society, but I think we might have to shorten its name. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. SandyL December 11, 2019 / 5:15 pm

    Good post! I have the same attitude about shopping and food shopping/browsing is my favorite activity. When I travel I make it a priority to visit the local food markets. Castles, cathedrals & museums? Meh, seen one, seen them all. Bolangerie, charcueterie, supermarche – now that’s interesting. Farmers markets, wet markets, night markets … that’s exciting stuff 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 6:12 pm

      Hi Sandy. Part of the fun is looking for/finding foods you’re not familiar with. I’ve been on the lookout for a new variety of apple called Cosmic Crisp, but have yet to find it.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. eden baylee December 11, 2019 / 6:26 pm

    Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday, extending into Cyber week has become – in a word – nauseating. I hate shopping for material goods, but consumables like food, drink, and some cosmetics are all good!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 11, 2019 / 7:20 pm

      Right, it’s a major pain when you’re in the market for an auto, washing machine, furniture, etc.


  23. tanjabrittonwriter December 11, 2019 / 7:50 pm

    I’m glad you were able to check the Black Friday Mall Visit off your to-do list, Neil. I partook on a few occasions, but that was a long time ago. Now I avoid crowds on that particular day. I have to admit that an occasional mall visit, without the goal of buying anything, can be entertaining, exactly the way you described.
    BTW, nice sweater!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Des December 11, 2019 / 10:28 pm

    Glad you got to check a Black Friday shopping day off your list, Neil. Now you’ll never have to go again, unless something happens to your old sweater. By the way, it looks pretty good for 45 years old.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 7:19 am

      It’s been worn a million times. It’s gone through the washing machine half a million times. Somehow it holds up.

      Hi Des. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. annieasksyou December 11, 2019 / 10:54 pm

    I know that sweater! I like that sweater! However, I would not choose to be buried in that sweater (in fact, I do not choose to be buried at all, but this does not seem to be the appropriate venue for discussing post-life choices).

    I just got an Amazon app that permits me to deduct a whopping five percent from the exorbitant price of the vitamins I purchase at Whole Foods, as per my dr.

    Fun post, as usual.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 7:23 am

      Hi Annie. One thing that this article has shown me is that lots of people shop at Whole Foods. WF is doing something right, for sure.


  26. Still the Lucky Few December 11, 2019 / 11:03 pm

    Not shy to say I don’t share your love of food shopping—too close to cooking for comfort! I prefer shopping for clothes, and anything to do with home decor. And I especially like shopping very early in the day, or very late—that’s because even more than shopping for food, I loath shopping among crowds. So obviously, since the Christmas season and especially Black Friday are all about crowds, I don’t go shopping very much at all these days! Love your blog, and your deliciously crazy topics!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 7:27 am

      Morning, Diane. Glad to hear from you. You’d like my immediate area in re shopping. Every type of store under the Sun is within eight miles of my house. And most are closer than that.


  27. Patricia Furstenberg December 12, 2019 / 8:46 am

    Cheese and coffee? Sold!
    I tried once to take a picture in a supermarket in Romania and the security guard stopped me.
    And they had this sensor-activated little gate at entrance that I thought it was amazing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 12:11 pm

      Hi Patricia. I had coffee with breakfast today. And I’m going to have cheese with lunch. Wouldn’t want to live without them.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Annika Perry December 12, 2019 / 9:51 am

    Ahhh … I like your mall wonderland, Neil! People-watching is my kind of shopping! I’m impressed your old sweater fits you – for that reason alone it should stay! I have a jumper which my mother wore on her first skiing outings in Norway in her teens – that makes it over fifty years old and still as warm and modern looking as ever. Who needs shops?!

    As for quinoa, kalamata olives etc … that’s usual in our supermarkets. Olives are like sweets to me!😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 12:14 pm

      Hey there, Annika. Recently I started investigating various types of olives. Like everything else these days, there’s a big variety of them. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. dfolstad58 December 12, 2019 / 11:02 am

    I am jealous, I would like to avoid buying clothes but I have a closet that has shrunk everything I bought 7 years ago. Now I am feeling healthy again after my transplant, I hope I can start losing the weight, and then I will have a closet of clothes that fit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 12:15 pm

      Hi there. I’m sure that the weight will come off. Do it systematically. Thanks for visiting my corner of the blogosphere. Take care.


  30. Mellow Curmudgeon December 12, 2019 / 3:59 pm

    I also bought most of my clothes decades ago.  Tho happily out of the gifting madness, I do often go shopping on Black Friday.  At the supermarket.  It ain’t crowded then.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Yvette Carol December 12, 2019 / 7:59 pm

    I’m with you, Neil, I prefer to vote with my wallet and not go out splurging on Black Friday, and I prefer classic style that does not need updating every season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 9:54 pm

      Yeah, every once in a while I get the urge or feel the need to go clothes shopping. But that didn’t occur in 2019. At least, not so far.


  32. The Artist's Child December 12, 2019 / 8:24 pm

    Fun and enjoyable article. Looks like you follow the “buy wisely, buy once” principle which is sensible. Quality clothes always last. Those mega Whole Foods Stores have not hit Australia yet. So much choice to tempt the taste buds. I shop at a small Gluten-Free and Organic Health Food Store and it’s hard enough to make a decision on what to buy! Happy Holidays to you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 / 9:56 pm

      Hi there. Good to hear from you. I wonder if Whole Foods has any branches outside North America. If not, it’s bound to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. George December 13, 2019 / 2:31 am

    I’m with you 100%. I hate shopping, except for food (and wine, and beer), which I embrace with relish (no pun intended).

    Apparently, those of us who hate buying new clothes can still claim to have our finger on the pulse by insisting we’re rocking the vintage look.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Un po' di pepe December 13, 2019 / 3:04 am

    ‘Any coffin worth its salt would be glad to encase it’-I love how you phrased that! I got 100% off on Black Friday by staying home! Unlike you,I do like buying new clothes and shoes, just not On the same day as everyone else. Ciao, Cristina

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 13, 2019 / 8:19 am

      Hi Cristina. You know, the mall I went to wasn’t amazingly mobbed with people that day. I suppose that online shopping had plenty to do with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. MyStoriesWithMusic December 13, 2019 / 9:49 am

    Great post! 😀 I am not much of a shopper either when it comes to clothes. It is more fun to by food 👍


    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 13, 2019 / 11:16 am

      Hi. We’re fortunate that so many foods are available to us from all over the world.

      Enjoy the weekend. Thanks a lot for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. selizabryangmailcom December 13, 2019 / 1:07 pm

    You took really good care of that sweater. It looks fairly new almost.

    We’re right behind you with a body building tank top from my husband’s home town of Brooklyn… it’s going on 30 years old now and only I can fit into, lol !!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. cincinnatibabyhead December 13, 2019 / 2:07 pm

    As usual you’re firing CB’s brain. So much on the same page. but the sweater has to be touched on.
    The Gal and I were talking to Big Earl (one of our off spring) last night. He has just finished up a semester and went out for dinner with a bunch to celebrate, sporting is new, gray, cherished, prized university sweater. Long story short, the new sweater now has a fresh stain on the chest and sleaves courtesy of somekind of shrimp launching itself from a young womans mouth across the table from him. It wasnt Black Friday for Earl it was Flying Shrimp Wednseday.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter December 13, 2019 / 2:16 pm

    I hate shopping if all kinds! And when I find something I like I stick with it. I’ve bought the same pair of boots in different colours six times now. They are SO comfortable, I will be devastated if Rieker stop making them.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Alyson December 13, 2019 / 6:15 pm

    Black Friday has made it across the pond but then extends through to Cyber Monday and so on. Shops are struggling though in the face of online competition so can see why they will now try anything.

    The oldest thing I still wear is a 32 year old black and white wrap – can’t really go out of fashion as essentially a big cosy blanket.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. viewfromoverthehill December 14, 2019 / 12:10 am

    I’m with you on shopping young man: I avoid malls like the plague. But I LOVE investigating food markets. Have dragged my poor sister through grocery stores in Russia, Hungary, Holland, Stockholm, Scotland, England, and everywhere else she traveled with me; my patient daughter-in-law spoiled me by joining me through groceries in Taiwan last year, so I bought her every unusual item I bought for myself. In Vancouver, my favorite store isn’t our Whole Foods, but a busy and crowded Iranian shop that should have recipes near the offerings I don’t know what to do with. It’s really a fun place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 14, 2019 / 9:52 pm

      Hey there, Michele. Speaking of food, I got back from a restaurant a little while ago. I had butternut squash soup and also vegetarian chili. Delicious.
      Thanks for dropping by. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. cath December 16, 2019 / 9:11 am

    From a 45 year old jumper to prunes… yes, you certainly do find some entertaining journeys for us. How I love the twists and turns you made this time – nicely illustrated, as always. It all looks very ordered. I’d imagined chaos, something like a Hogarth drawing, perhaps…

    Liked by 1 person

  42. johnlmalone December 17, 2019 / 8:01 pm

    Sometimes it is better to observe than it is to purchase 🙂 Black Friday has caught on here. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Pazlo December 18, 2019 / 5:10 pm

    Well, you’ve contained three of the most reviled things in my life in a single post: Black Friday, Malls and clothes-shopping.
    I was glad to read of your sweater, though, as it gives me ammo to defend my 31-year-old jump suit (coveralls) which have become the brunt of many family jokes.
    I’m with you on the grocery, though.
    Once when I was younger I went to the grocery after my second shift job. I was the only person in the store at 1 a.m. besides the stockers. I remember it to this day, like a vivid dream. Walked around the store for about two hours, and I think I purchased a single item.

    Merry Christmas Neil!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 18, 2019 / 7:06 pm

      Food markets can seem like wonderlands. Philadelphia has an incredible place called the Reading Terminal Market. It’s loaded with food vendors and eateries of all sorts. One of these days I’ll write a piece about it.


  44. cathleentownsend December 20, 2019 / 2:31 pm

    Love the sweater. The thing with clothes is to buy stuff that’s classic rather than trendy. Blazers, jeans, shaker sweaters, turtle- and scoop neck shirts, leather shoes–all that stuff. I’ve got a leather jacket and a wool coat that I’ve been wearing for well over a decade. Still going strong.

    Unlike you, I don’t actually like to shop, not even for food. I get my favorites, and I try to get out of the store as quickly as I can. This time of year, part of the motivation is to exit the supermarket before I have to hear “Winter Wonderland.” The part that goes, “He’ll say, ‘Are you married?’ We’ll say, ‘No, man.’ ” That’s got to be one of the most cringe-worthy lines ever penned. Someone probably tossed it off thinking that no one would ever really listen to it. Now they have to hear their sloppy work every single year. If that’s not a writing cautionary tale, I don’t know what is. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 20, 2019 / 9:45 pm

      Yeah, I think about that now and then. And a couple of times I’ve looked at pieces I wrote a few years ago. Some of the lines make me cringe!
      Hi Cathleen, and many thanks for adding your thoughts.


  45. candidkay December 20, 2019 / 2:47 pm

    Black Friday is just insane now. We’ve gone nutty with consumption. I kept it quiet–no shopping. And don’t feel bad for not indulging Big Retailing. After watching this episode on Fast Fashion (, I’ve been rethinking many of my purchases . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 20, 2019 / 9:39 pm

      One way of looking at it, though, is that buying plenty of things, whatever they might be, helps to keep loads of people employed.

      Hi Kay. Thanks for stopping by. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      • candidkay December 20, 2019 / 10:12 pm

        True, true. I guess I wish we would find better ways to keep people employed :-). But I am all for the Christmas spirit!

        Liked by 1 person

  46. Silver Screenings December 22, 2019 / 4:52 pm

    A place like Whole Foods is bad for my budget. So many choices! So much wonderful food! But the great thing is I always come away with something I’ve never tried before.

    Also: Happy Holidays to you and yours. May you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s.


    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 22, 2019 / 6:11 pm

      Hi Ruth. Right, too much choice. But when it comes to food, I guess I’m not complaining.
      A very happy New Year to you and yours.


  47. KDKH January 11, 2020 / 4:13 pm

    I am sometimes confused and confounded that I have linens (mainly pillowcases and towels) that are over 35 years old. It makes me feel old and it also makes me pissed that things I bought a few years ago are wearing out. I can respect a 45-year old sweater. I only wish I’d stayed the same size for 45 years…. Having birthed 4 kids and going through middle age, I sure can’t say that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger January 11, 2020 / 5:04 pm

      You have towels that are usable after 35 years! That might qualify you for the Guinness world records book.
      Enjoy the rest of the weekend. See ya.

      Liked by 1 person

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