Friday, November 27, 2009

It's Beginning to Feel Not Alot Like Christmas

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. As usual, I had dinner with my uncle and his girlfriend. For some reason, things went better than in the past. That is surprising because my uncle was recently fired from his job of 15 years. Despite being concerned about what to do next, he seemed alot more at ease than usual.

One thing that helped was that we didn't talk about things we disagree about. Of course, we don't really agree on much, but there was a James Bond marathon on TV, so that held our interest. Additionally, it didn't seem like my uncle was in his usual mood of picking on me and his girlfriend, which seemed to ease my mood.

Despite things going well for Thanksgiving, or perhaps in part because of it, it just doesn't feel like the holidays. Sure, the malls have been decorated since the week before Halloween, and eggnog has made its triumphant return to the grocery store dairy cases, but it all feels like going through the motions.

The economy isn't helping matters. Right now, there is over 10% unemployment, officially, though the real percentage of unemployed is probably closer to 17%. The ones who still have jobs are holding back from spending. As a collective, the bank crisis of the last few years is teaching us to save more and rely on credit less.

To be fair, I am not really big on the holidays, anyway, since I don't have anyone to share them with. However, there is something poignant about ending each year with a familiar sense of loneliness and despair. But even that seems to be missing right now as I am filled with expectation about the prospect of being accepted to NC State. Perhaps if I am denied things will start to feel back to normal, but for now I still feel a little like an expectant father.

Have fun, and keep living life... Or some approximation thereof.

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