December drizzle and Black Friday bombardments: here comes the melancholy of mayhem.
I should be shopping.
That’s the message for today, Cyber Monday. It was also the message last Friday:buy more, save more, ring up more with less but who’s counting?
I stayed home and put out the balls instead. You need balls to get through Christmas.
The spirit is among us but having a snooze at the moment, clearly dampened from the trampling hordes. I’m no different than anyone with gifts to purchase but I admit a stubborn refusal to stand in line to spend money.
Grumbling grinch I’m not but the advent of Christmas I love is lost in a fake Hallmark snow globe.
I don’t begrudge the shoppers-we all need to save money. I just wish for a little light in the fog of furious parking lot wars, a song to dim the cash register clatter. No one looks happy dashing about. The news is grim and the drizzle continues.
Can I help it that I wish for a little reprieve? A friend sent me a link for this beautiful ad for Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, which has sent the ad world into a tizzy of praise.
Maybe it’s that Irish mist, a most certain cliché but that’s how we found that great country on a recent trip to explore my roots, or was it the Irish pubs?
Maybe it’s that other cliché, the friends on a hillside, swigging their pasts or futures with a bottle or two. Been on that cliff too: 30th birthday year to Vegas, road trip in a mustang, bubbly toast over a canyon cliff.
Is it the male bonding that is poignant? At least one writer says yes. Writer Brandon McGinley argues the friendship represented in the ad is outside of popular culture.
It is difficult to find, especially on television, an example of male friendship (outside of the military or law enforcement) that is neither transactional nor idiotic. For cheap beer, it’s the wingman trope. In sitcoms, it’s stupid men doing stupid things in stupid attempts at liberation from wives or girlfriends. Male friendships, we’re taught, are about finding or fleeing women; they are not valuable in themselves.In the Tullamore Dew spot, the bride, though beautiful, is an afterthought. The ad has already achieved its effect before she arrives on the scene. The implicit promise that is so appealing is not that this whiskey will bring you a beautiful wife, but that it will bring you worthy friends to see you off on that marital journey.And most men desire this friendship—this tender, warm, (dare we say it?) loving friendship—but that desire receives no affirmation in our culture. Men’s desires are circumscribed within a perverse Venn diagram, with one circle labeled “sex,” the other “mammon.” Such friendship seems as foreign as the virgin Irish countryside, unattainable in the normal course of life in the 21st century.
Maybe it’s not unattainable as my other half hosts an annual steak fest with buddies from old days and new that is as dear to him as any other holiday tradition.
Ah, yes, friends and cider, both imminent for me too. Skies are brightening.
Be it the mist or the bond, that ad speaks to me today as I wrestle these December blues, sure to be temporary as the fog. You can’t keep an elf down too long.
Maybe I just need to turn up the tunes: read Fa la la la