Black (Thanksgiving) Friday

Black (Thanksgiving) Friday

Brace yourselves.
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The holidays, the most wonderful time of the year. When everyone gets together with their families and crafts huge expansive meals and they all gather on the couch to watch their favorite movies and play games. Sounds perfect right? It pretty much is. Until Black Friday comes. When all family values go out the window, all general well-being for humanity is erased for that 200 dollar flat screen television. Black Friday used to be a cool event, but now it’s gotten out of hand and it’s breaching on the sanctity of the holidays.

The past four to five years my family has hosted Thanksgiving and it’s been an absolute blast. Our house is packed to the brim with family, food, and football. It’s always a fun time and around nine or ten when things start to wind down and family leaves we strap on the coats hats and gloves and we pack in the van with mom and head out around midnight. I was always young and never had a job or real money to get anything but for some reason I loved standing in line with my mom who was there to actually get something. We’d stand in line through the cold and sometimes the rain and once we finally got in the store the excitement was so much fun. People rushing to get their gifts, people running around with carts full of TV’s, it was so interesting to watch. And after visiting a few places we’d go to Steak n Shake or somewhere open 24 hours and get some food at some ungodly hour in the morning. It was all such a fun experience. But it’s changed so much.

That was back in the day when places didn’t open until four or five a.m. or later. So it didn’t infringe on your family Thanksgiving at all. Aside from the crazy people who go out and line up the days before Black Friday, you didn’t really have to worry about getting in line until later at night. But as the years went on places started opening sooner and sooner. Now places are opening at five and six p.m. That’s in the afternoon! When everyone should be in their homes enjoying stuffing and turkey! Who in their right mind wants to go out in the middle of the day and throw away their Thanksgiving for a few good deals? It’s gotten out of control and it seems entirely superfluous.

The reason this is all happening is because of two things: 1) People didn’t want to go out at five in the morning to get the deals and 2) Amazon and online retailers were stealing storefronts business online and on Cyber Monday. So stores thought “Hey, instead of opening on Friday at say, nine a.m. let’s open at five p.m. on Thanksgiving.” This is only going to cause more headaches and more chaos among customers. Every year we are seeing insane videos of people being trampled and injured during store openings as customers barge through the doors, disregarding any safety and organization the store has set up.

So I propose that instead of stores opening earlier, push it later and make Black Friday on FRIDAY, and not the sacred family time of Thanksgiving. Or just cut it out entirely and make everything online because that’s what we’re moving towards. Either way I plead, don’t waste your time out there on Thanksgiving Day, stay in with your family. And when you do go out, be safe and smart. There’s no sense in hurting someone over a five dollar toaster.

Cover Image Credit: Cinema 5D

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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