By Debbie Carbone
It’s Thanksgiving alright, and there’s sure to be a whole lot of consuming going on. Sad to say, that the least tasteful part of it will happen the day after. Black Friday. If you're a parent, or just a decent human being, memories of a young man trampled by crazed shoppers will come to mind.
I love New York and I really love Long Island. I’ve done my share of traveling and I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful place on earth. With the endless scenic coastline and its quaint historic villages, I just never seem to tire of it, especially during the holidays.
However, in order to reach these one-of-a-kind places, it means venturing out on the Long Island Expressway. I can't say I'm always proud of Long Islanders when you see how some of them treat their fellow motorists out there. No matter what lane you choose to use, you are sure to be bitten out there. Some unsuspecting ones, sad to say, will even be consumed. That’s right, on the infamous 495, we encounter some of Long Island's Most Notorious. Myself, I try to stay out of trouble and will let anyone wanting to exceed 80 mph to pass me in a heartbeat.
Successfully maneuvering this road takes wisdom. How many times I’ve heard in my head, people saying, “You don't know who’s got a gun ‘out there.’” It’s a sad truth and essential advice. Whenever I do encounter a tailgater, it always brings back funny memories of my father. My brave and law-abiding dad, armed with his hand, made speed limit signs. No joke; just let some wise guy get too close to dad’s bumper and flash! He'd tell you, alright. People like my step-mom lived through this highway humiliation first hand. Me, I admired his daring, and I'd think, “You go, Dad!” I guess Dad never worried about guns back then.
If you were lucky enough to escape the bullies on the expressway, you then reached the greater of the two challenges – the parking lot at your favorite big box store. Why are there no speed limit signs there, I ask myself? It’s baffling. Parking lots; they're total bedlam with no real adult supervision. There, you dare not ever let go of your children’s hands. Many of the shop-till-you-drop folks you come across are not thinking about driving. Just watch; many will navigate a parking lot at the same speed of the road they have just existed.
Beware, Black Friday is upon us, people. Truth be told, some of those shoppers, for financial reasons, must take advantage of these once-a-year sales. These are some of the less fortunate in our communities. Myself, I'm just not brave enough for it. As one of my gifts to my Long Island neighbors, I am staying out of the stores on Black Friday. I am making way for others. For them, I hope their money goes far and that they find all the gifts they need for their families.
This really is a wonderful time of year. Time to thank the Lord for the excess we may have to share with others. Thank you's also go out to our military and their families for their sacrifices. Thank you, too, for our little ones, Lord, the only pure thing left in this not-so-lily-white world. Let’s remember, especially this year, that when we see a senior, we might all see ourselves a few years down the road. Let’s keep in mind that these struggling citizens have many needs. Let’s find one of those needs – and fill it! Last, but not least, thank you, Lord, for all of the amazing wildlife we enjoy on this beautiful island. As for our pets, that add so much joy to our families, we are so grateful. Help us not to take any of these blessings for granted. Amen.