And This Is Black Friday

[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Fifty Three]

Black Friday is an informal name for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season since 1952.

And, yeah, it’s even here in the Netherlands.

But first the news:

Of course, because of online shopping and, well, marketing, the single sales day has become a week or more.

Also?

Here in the Netherlands, it’s kind of considered Not Cool to put up your Xmas tree before SinterKlaas but in America, the tree goes up today (or yesterday if you used it as an activity to entertain the family before / after Thanksgiving foodness).

And since I’ve already seen a few pictures of friends / family putting up their trees, I totally want to go shopping this weekend for The Tree.

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Now Where Is My Turkey?

[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Fifty Two]

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia, and the sub-national entities LeidenNorfolk Island, and the inhabited territories of the United States. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

This year it’s celebrated today in the United States and Brazil and as a nod to it, I’m giving thanks for a few things today.

But first the news:

I do humbly give thanks for my patient, beautiful, supportive partner who listens to my troubles and encourages my experiments. And I’m so thankful for our three amazing minions who show us the beauty in patience and bring new definition to both literal and figurative support.

I am thankful for chocolate. Especially fancy bon bons from local chocolate / coffee / wine stores. In little boxes. With little bows. And tiny calories. If you eat them with your eyes shut.

I am so very thankful for effective hormone therapy, finally stabilising riotous and horrid perimenopause, bringing serenity and peace to my poor addled brain.

I am thankful for Dr. Kristin Neff who wrote Self Compassion, an extraordinary book that offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle, be it parenting, weight loss, or any of the numerous trials of everyday living.  

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I Can Haz Sleep?

[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Fifty One]

For seven days, sure, I was ruminating every night because of that whole small claims court thing, but then on Monday night ALL THREE KIDS woke up in the night for Entirely Separate Reasons which required attention and for BOTH Papa AND Mama to wake up and Make Things Right.

And then, last night, which should’ve been fine, well, I woke up anyway and had a shite night’s sleep just because it’s been SO LONG since I’ve had a solid night’s sleep that my body was like, hey, let’s wake up FOR NO REASON AND THINK ABOUT THINGS.

But first the news:

And now it’s half past nine and I’m still not in bed, but writing this post.

Damnit.

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What Are You Doing For Thanksgiving, Leander?

[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Fifty]

Planning the twins’ birthday.

We celebrated Thanksgiving MAYBE twice before the kids arrived, once after First Minion arrived and not at all since the twins arrived three years ago on 30 November.

Which is fine – it wasn’t really our jam before we moved over here anyway except as an excuse to visit family.

And that’s not possible anyway.

But first the news:

Thankfully the twins are too young to really want a party.

If I’m honest, we’d skip the whole thing, but First Minion is making sure they realize and appreciate What They’re OWED.

Damnit.

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Time For Vodka Tonics w/a Twist of Lemon

[Dutch Lock Down Day Two Hundred Forty Nine]

TRIGGER WARNING This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

Oke, so remember When Life Hands You Lemons?

It’s storytime.

But first the news:

Let’s start with the punchline, eh?

I forgot to pay a bill, it went to collections, then to small claims court.

The twist is that I was sick while all this was happening, so when I received the summons, I wasn’t surprised, just a bit disappointed.

The sucker punch is how triggering all the legal documents were.

I was involved in a criminal case AND a civil case in the States – the former dropped by a District Attorney, but not before a hearing judge ruled in my favour that there was enough evidence to go to trial, and the latter lasted five years.

The twenty-eight page summons, in Dutch, referencing €25,000, freaked me the fuck out.

I ran to a lawyer.

Who translated the whole thing. And gave me legal advice. And proposed next steps to resolve based on possible scenarios. For an hour. For free.

I could pay €203 by 13 December and the charges would be dropped.

No court.

Or I could go to court on 15 December to protest. And possibly pay an additional €124, depending on how the judge ruled.

I did research. Nope, totally no matching payment to Zalando (yup, this is over a pair of pants).

But.

I paid double to the collections agency. In February.

I call the bailiff (the group taking me to court on behalf of Zalando). Can I speak English? No, I don’t have a reference number.

“It’s better if you email us.”

Fine. I email in English and Dutch. Here’s proof of payment. How do we move forward.

They reply within a few hours, “Client indicates that the payment was for another file.”

And I absolutely CRASH.

Crumble. To. The. Floor. HOWLING.

I haven’t cried like that in years. Not since the original trauma / trials / recovery.

P advises I just pay it.

But I’m crying because of the fucking injustice.

Is the Netherlands as corrupt and awful as the States?

I thought I lived in a safe, just, FAIR country?!?

I calm down a bit. I dry my tears. I work a bit. I walk a lot. I eat an entire box of chocolates.

And I reply, “Voor welk ander bestand was de betaling bedoeld? Ik heb geen enkele andere relatie of enige schuld aan Alektum, daarom kan de betaling alleen betrekking hebben op het enige dossier dat ze hebben voor ons huishouden.”

English: “What other file was the payment intended for? I have no other relationship of any debt to Alektum, therefore the payment can only relate to the only file they have for our household.”

No response.

By the end of the day, I’m no longer broken and bleeding, I’m PISSED with SWORD DRAWN.

And then I wrote that post.

That night I ruminated hard – was up for hours with a racing mind – just like when I was in the midst of the civil suit years ago – but this morning when the alarm went off, while I wasn’t exactly ripped out of bed, I growled, set my shoulders, and I’m ready to fight.

Over pants. Yeah.

But also, for a criminal case dropped because of “he said she said” bullshit in the state of Tenneessee. And for a civil case dropped because we ran out of money and wanted to move on with our lives.

For justice.

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