Nov 25, 2010

Square America: Together

Monday at work I was tasked with arranging a meeting with Italian business partners who'd be in town on the last week of November. I sent out an email, with a gentle reminder that there was a holiday over here this week. Their reply was "Silly goose, (not exact wording) we're coming the week after. So I had to explain, that if we didn't nail down the time of the meeting by Wednesday noon the latest, there would be nobody around to reply emails or meeting invitations till Monday. The Italians were somewhat surprised - I don't know why; they themselves took the entire month of August off for vacation. And by that I mean the whole country of Italy.

If you live in the US you know what's going on. If not, let me explain. Dive the amateur anthropologist at least should appreciate.

Thanksgiving is a practice run for Christmas; people - generally related by blood or marriage - come together, play out weird family dynamics, watch TV (football), eat way, way too much food, and drop off into a food coma.

There are some variations on the theme; consuming copious amounts of alcohol or playing football (the American kind) may be involved. In some cases both. There's nothing like drunk men ramming into each other on a cold afternoon. The pain will manifest itself the day after.

The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is the day when crazed hordes of people swarm the shopping malls. It's a lot like a zombie movie, but the participants move faster, and there is more carnage.


Petrea said...

I had to enlarge a couple of those shots to make sure those weren't my relatives. Might as well be. Have been. Same people, same clothes, same godawful lamp. Just like everyone else but I loved them, and they're gone.

You've put it very clearly, though, why I don't celebrate certain traditions anymore.

VM Sehy Photography said...

Ditto on that lamp comment. There are a couple of lamps in those photos that I swear my parents owned, too. Ain't mass consumption wonderful?!

The Italians kill me. Apparently no break for us Americans. You work yourself to death. My father-in-law needed some marble from Italy for a countertop (he makes cabinets) and was very frustrated to find out all of Italy was gone for all of August. I think he found a way around them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Vanda said...

Perhaps I should dedicate a Square America past to lamps alone in the future. I like those paintings and funky little tables too.

Margaret said...

I'm a little envious that I didn't write this, but I like you anyway. Also, don't forget, there is less eating of brains here than in a zombie movie. In Argentina, there is more brain eating at well.

Vanda said...

Don't knock brain till you tried them. I had fried brain sandwiches when I lived in the Midwest. Ok, they weren't that exciting.

Jean Spitzer said...

Belated Happy Thanksgiving.

You describe this season well.

dive said...

What fun! Thank you Vanda for explaining (and so enticingly illustrating) Thanksgiving for those of us across the pond.
I would dearly love to have been part of any one of those exhilarating celebration dinners. Those are my kind of people.

Vanda said...

Yoo-hoo, Dive. Nice to see you're still around.