@j-i-a I know (and have been guilty of) exactly what you mean, and it's always valuable to run a self-diagnostic privilege-check.
I just making this argument: while some of the Black Friday distaste is privileged-class snobbery, there are very real middle- or lower-class objections to it, especially the desire not to inflict the excesses of the day on front-line workers (people who hold a job I once held, or something very similar) who can't afford to say "No, I won't open at 6 a.m." or "No, I won't work Thanksgiving night" or "No, I won't stay 'til midnight."
I'm poor (oh crikey, so poor) but in this scenario, I'm a potential shopper, not a worker, so I can afford to say "No, I won't inflict this on those workers by participating."
For me, it's not a privileged-income perspective but a two-decades-of-retail perspective. All those years working in small independent businesses, Black Friday was almost always a losing proposition for us: crowds of unlikely shoppers would storm the small storefront expecting steep discounts, trash the displays, and leave empty-handed... and of course our beloved regular customers would (wisely) stay away until holiday crowds thinned out in January.
Black Friday cost us money in extra hours for the staff to manage the crowds and clean up after them, damage to delicate merchandise, and shoplifting, which is much easier amid a crowd. I always always tried to persuade the owners to close for Black Friday and they always always wished they had after the fact, but they'd forget it by the next year.
So my Buy Nothing Day resistance has nothing to do with a sense of superiority. It springs from sheer exhaustion. Those days patrolling the barricades of an overrun shop have used up all my Black-Friday patience.
I didn't go out to buy anything, but on Sunday I did take advantage of a ThinkGeek free-shipping offer to buy a teeny tiny present which otherwise would have cost more to ship than to purchase (and which my local comic shop couldn't procure for me, because I checked weeks ago). I will probably take advantage of non-Black-Friday sales to buy some new underwear, too, because no one wants to give me something so unglamorous for Christmas.
I've become much more sympathetic to (what I previously viewed as) over-the-top registries since our wedding. Lots of people (and I mean LOTS of people) put pressure on me* to register so they'd have some damn idea what to get us.
When we finally capitulated and started to compile a modest list of things we'd actually find useful, well-meaning loved ones pushed us to register for more, bigger, better. In the words of my not-remotely-materialistic best woman, "No one wants to buy you this piddling stuff."
It was a little flabbergasting: you want us to register for gifts we'd like? But the gifts we'd like aren't sumptuous enough? So you're pressuring us to register for lavish gifts we don't even want? THIS IS SILLY.
So we skipped the registry. But if we'd been younger and less accustomed to standing up to family pressure, I'm sure we would have ended up with $300 and $400 gifts** on our registry, too.
*And I do mean "me," not us, even though The Fella and I split wedding-planning duties. For the months before the wedding, I got a daily helping of social pressure to make it perfect; he got congratulations for being SUCH A HERO as to be interested in his own wedding (and a soupçon of gendered ribbing for caring about it at all).
**Those high-ticket items made more sense to me after I learned that many registries offer a completion discount: after the wedding date, you can buy yourself registry items at a 10% discount, so often couples put big household purchases on the registry with the plan to take advantage of the discount.
@Onymous Gosh, that came out really snotty, too! I'm sorry to sound like I'm sniping at you. I think I'll back quietly out of this thread and contemplate my misdeeds.
@sarpmiller Thank you for clarifying! I became filled with a burning curiosity for something I am clearly never ever going to do.
I hear you on how sometimes just moving a box to get another is enough to make a person weep.
@Onymous As I said above, our only toilet-cleaning problem is mold under the rim, and a brush is a perfectly sensible way to clean that --- indeed, more effective and longer-lasting than a paper towel or sponge.
To sum up: I'm not actually looking for toilet-cleaning advice, though this article certainly seemed to promise it. I'm just constitutionally likely be set off by an article entitled "How To Really [Do A Thing]" that doesn't actually include instructions for how to DO A THING, which is my problem and not the author's.
@LaLoba I can't even work out the mechanics of cleaning it without a brush. Like, turn off the water and flush to empty, so you can scrub without sloshing all over? Get the edges of the sponge (or what? OR WHAT?) up under the bowl rim to clean there? (Under the rim is the worst part of our toilet; it collects grimy mold, sometimes over just a day or two. UGH.)
I didn't mean to sound quite so snotty in my earlier comment; I'd really love to know a better way to clean my bathroom in general. And if there's a better way to clean a toilet, I'm open to persuasion. But "EW TOILET BRUSHES" isn't it.
I am unaccountably furious that this doesn't actually tell me HOW TO CLEAN MY BATHROOM, but then I am one of the loathsome toilet-brush-havers, so what do I know?
Okay, here's what I know: I'm perfectly comfortable having someone who sticks their hand in a toilet look down on me. I see no benefit to cleaning a toilet by hand --- with what, a sponge? --- over using a brush. Whatever you use, you get a clean toilet and an implement that needs to be cleaned.
@or Elsa! NOTE: The blockquote command was stripped on posting and for some reason I got a a "no user" error when I try to edit in quotation marks, so I'll use this comment to indicate clearly: the Count Chocula biography is quoted from the linked Wiki edit page, not written by me.
From a speedily-detected and deleted Wikipedia edit, the sad true story of Count Chocula:
Ernst Choukula was born the third child to Estonian landowers in the late autumn of 1873. His parents, Ivan and Brushken Choukula, were well-established traders of Baltic grain who -- by the early twentieth century--had established a monopolistic hold on the export markets of Lithuania, Latvia and southern Finland.
A clever child, Ernst advanced quickly through secondary schooling and, at the age of nineteen, was managing one of six Talinn-area farms, along with his father, and older brother, Grinsh. By twenty-four, he appeared in his first "barrelled cereal" endorsement, as the Choukula family debuted "Ernst Choukula's Golden Wheat Muesli", a packaged mix that was intended for horses, mules, and the hospital ridden.
Belarussian immigrant silo-tenders started cutting the product with vodka, creating a crude mush-paste they called "gruhll" or "gruell," and would eat the concoction each morning before work. The trend unwittingly spread, with alcohol being replaced by sheep -- and then cow's -- milk, and the demand for the Choukula's "cereal" reached as far south as Poland and as far west as the northern Jutland province of Denmark.
It wasn't long before the unmistakable image (the original packaging, a three gallon wooden vat which featured a burnt etching of a jubilant, overalled Ernst holding a large dog and grinning broadly) made a pop-cultural splash throughout the entirety of Europe and northern Africa.
In fact, Tunisia's "Carthagian Sand Crunch" was seen as the first imitation of the Choukula form; the aforementioned product was presented in broad leathern bags with the woven insignia of a nude tribesman holding a sword and a bunched stalk of oats. Sadly, this would neither be the first nor the tamest appropriation of Ernst's iconic visage.
Meanwhile, in the "textile paradise"-region of Schenectady / Elmira New York, General Peter Mills--a celebrated turret gunner in McKinley's navy--was first beginning to mine America's seemingly insatiable desire to consume food before high noon. The trend, initially known in the United States as "brekkfest" had first appeared in 1903, with Dominic Eggo's invention of "wassled" or "waffled" bread, and really picked up steam throughout the teens and twenties, when eating in the morning was no longer deemed a sin by the Anglo-Catholic church. News of Choukula's economic domination across the Atlantic fascinated and troubled Mills, who was eager for similar success.
In 1927, while vacationing the Iberian peninsula, he first encountered three discarded barrels of Duke Choukula's Animal Supplement (the name and design of the product had undergone several makeovers throughout the previous seven years, the most recent of which featured Ernst dressed in a cape and tiara, reflecting his family's oft-disputed ties to Eurasian royalty).
Immediately intrigued, Mills brought one with him on his boat ride back to the States, and spent the twenty-three day trip obsessively studying the packaging.
In the spring of 1929,General Mills' "Prince Chocula's Morning Digestive" was picked up for distribution in three dozen pharmacies, grocery stands and agrarian carts throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and northern Maryland.
The public response was confused and angered at the recipe's savory, clove-like sting; apparently a confusion over the name led many to believe the breakfast was made from chocolate, and by 1931 the formula had been updated to reflect the nation's collective sweet tooth. In 1932, boxes were labeled simply "Count Chocula's Chocolate Food" and Peter Mills was named Life Magazine's Humanitarian of the Year, 1933.
Ernst Chocula died in a Ukrainian cabin, penniless and alone, having descended into a type of brain-madness.