Conscience Laureate

Tuesday, January 3, 2012



Just because one turns the calendar on a page, and the year date advances, does not make one bit of a difference in my life.  There is no distinction for me between December 31st and January 1st and I am sick of people saying, “Happy New Year” as if one day will vary from the next having anything to do with the date.

I turned off my cell phone on the evening of December 31st so I would not be awakened by all the stupid, “Happy New Year’s” texts that started coming in right after midnight.  When I looked at them the next morning, they were group texts, so they were meaningless and had nothing to do with me personally.

All day on the first, I was forced to respond to people chanting, “Happy New Year’s” until I wanted to start screaming!  I was forced to respond with greetings in return rather than seem like Andy Rooney ranting at the end of a “Sixty Minutes” episode.  Which, of course, will not happen again, since he died in 2011!


Facebook and Twitter are wonderful ways of disseminating IMPORTANT information to groups of people at one time.  Notice the caveat, “important,” because most of the postings have to do with such stupid inane items as visiting a friend's Aunt’s cat and drinking a beer at the Bulls game.

Why are people so egotistical to think that anyone cares about the mundane occurrences in their day to day lives?  You got a red sweater for Christmas?  Please!  Don’t bore me! Win the Nobel Peace Prize, and I would be thrilled to learn the news.


I think giving gift cards is the lazy man’s way to not being creative. Handing over a gift card as a gift shows that the giver does not care at all. It totally sends a message to the recipient that you did not care enough about them to discover what their interests are and what might be a pleasant surprise. A present should come in a beautiful box with wrapping and bows. It should not be in a flat envelope—unless it is a check for $1,000,000! If the person does not like the gift, they can always return it, but they knew that you took the trouble to spend time thinking about them.

I received $500 worth of Macy’s gift cards from a promotion I participated in. I did not want to keep them, because I knew I would lose them and forget about them, as I have with gift cards in the past. So I took them to Macy’s to pay my bill. Macy’s would not accept them. I argued in vain, that gift cards were the same as cash, but the manager would not budge. The store’s theory was that someone had given me the cards to BUY something and not to pay for something I had BOUGHT in the past. I asked, how did the manager know that? She had no response, except to tell me she would not accept the cards.

I wanted to tell her, “Happy New Year” with my finger extended, but I was too much a lady to do that. So, instead, I will ask Illinois State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo), who passed gift card usage legislation in Illinois to look into it. When I force Macy’s to accept gift cards as payment for my bill, I will Tweet it. Now that is important news!


  1. Bah Humbug! I like when people wish me a happy healthy new year. It gives me hope that 2012 will be better than 2011 for me. What's wrong with a little hope?

  2. Can’t wait to read the Macy’s follow up....

    EDITOR'S NOTE- State Rep. Jack Franks has agreed to sponsor legislation to change the law on the use of gift cards to pay one's store bill.

  3. Style and Grammar Check:

    Whether you like it or not, it’s not Happy New Year’s. There is no possessive.

    It is not the text messages that are stupid; it is the people who send them. (The content may be stupid, however.)

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  5. Ouch!!!

    As the resident Social Media person, I would like to convey my dissatisfaction with your objections to Facebook. Whoever determined that Facebook's purpose was to distribute important information? I would be willing to bet that the creators of FB would greatly oppose that viewpoint. Facebook was built as a way for people to stay connected. And no, I didn't get a red sweater for Christmas. And no, I didn't drink a single beer on NYE.

    Happy New Year to all (except Kathy)! For Kathy, I purchased a gift card to Dick's for you. It's in the mail!

  6. While I have no objection to the receiving of a gift card.....better than an unwanted red sweater (that the gifter might actually expect to see you wearing), but what's the deal with gift cards having an expiry date!!!! As you rightly pointed out gift cards=money. When did money start to expire??? grrrrr! I also know of some retailer who charge a fee if you don't use the card within a specified time....double grrrr!