Black Friday probably isn't on the top of your "fave holidays" list. But it's right up there with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Solstice for me. No, I don't wake up at the crack of dawn to indulge in senseless corporate consumerism and material lust. That's not why I love Black Friday.
I love Black Friday because it doubles as my veganaversary and vegetarian-aversary, and I always get to spend it with my mama! I went vegetarian in 1994 on the day after Thanksgiving, and I went vegan in 2004 on that same holiday shopping day. Technically, the date for Black Friday is different each year, so it's not really my anniversary. But it's easier for me to keep up with this way.
Every Black Friday starts out the same. I'm always off work on this day, so I wake up around 9 a.m. and fix a small plate of leftover Thanksgiving dessert. This year, I had a serving of my mama's Vegan Dump Cake — cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple, vegan cake mix, coconut, and pecans.
Then my mama comes over from Jonesboro, about an hour's drive for her, so we can have Black Friday brunch at Brother Juniper's, a vegan-friendly breakfast cafe in the U of M area. We started with coffee.
We always order the same thing — Fahim's Special with Home Fries and Whole Grain Toast.
Fahim's Special is the tofu scramble, and it's one of the best I've ever had. They use portabello mushrooms and red bell peppers and some sort of delicious seasoning. The dish used to have kalamata olives too, and that really made it special. But Brother Juniper's recently stopped carrying olives. In fact, they took the Fahim's Special off the menu altogether because they aren't carrying olives. But they'll still make it without olives if you ask. Next time, mama and I decided that we're bringing our own olives.
After breakfast, we stopped to see my pup Maynard at the vet.
He had two surgeries last week after ingesting a piece of an "indestructible" Extreme Kong ball. Poor guy! He actually got to come home on Saturday, and he's doing better now. But on Friday, when we stopped by, he was still feeling kinda icky. Lesson learned: Kongs are not indestructible, and this guy will try to eat them. No more Kongs for Maynard. (Also, note that I'm wearing a giant walking boot on my right foot here for my stress fracture, which I've had now for over three months!)
Then we went shopping like we always do on Black Friday! But it's not the crazy Black Friday madness of 6 a.m. We usually get started around noon or 1 p.m., when most of the insane stood-in-line-all-night shoppers have gone back to bed. My mama lets me try on the clothes that I want her to buy me for the holiday, and she picks out a couple items that she wants me to buy her. We try things on, make our decisions, and then wrap each others gifts to hold for later in the month. I won't get this sweater from my mama until Xmas, but I can't wait!
After shopping, mama dropped me off at home, and she headed back to Jonesboro. I'd worked up an appetite at the mall, so I fixed a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers and caught up on the latest issue of Rolling Stone. My veganaversary always ends with a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, which is pretty much my favorite meal on Earth.
Happy veganaversary to me!