That is the holiday I just enjoyed.  This tradition started several years ago because in all fairness, it is next to impossible to work all week, shop for food and have it ready by Thursday.  So, a few years ago, I decided it would be best to just have Thanksgiving dinner on Friday and hence a new holiday was born.  Cue the lights, curtain up, music swells and I am still waiting for the claymation holiday special.

So how was everyone’s holiday?  How many of you stayed on your diet program? How many cheated just one day? Two? Three? The other good thing about faux-giving is that you have one less day where there are leftovers in the house.

This year I was only supposed to have 6 people to dinner. It of course swelled to 11 and when my friends called to say they were bringing extra people, they just said, “well you always cook for an army anyway, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

That is certainly true and I must blame my parents and my Italian heritage for that because, “what if people drop by? What will you serve them?”

My faux-giving was not the only faux thing I discovered this past holiday weekend.  Because I had almost caught up with my DVR, I had a few minutes to watch “live” tv. And by “live” I mean television with commercials.  I am telling you that it is a good thing I don’t watch it more often because there were so many appalling things about that experience that I am sure I would be on some sort of government watch list (no pun intended) for ranting about the evils of commercials and the lies they tell us.

And, more specifically, the truths they tell us about ourselves. We live in a constant state of denial.  This “black Friday” consumer frenzy is frankly in a word, disgusting and embarrassing.  Ok, two words.  There are more people out of jobs in this country than I can remember in my lifetime, people are clinging to the jobs they do have like Taylor to her husband (and we all know how that ended); and pepper spraying other shoppers to get to an Xbox?  Really? Don’t get me wrong, I always knew shopping was a competitive sport once you put down the prices, but when did shopping become The Hunger Games?

Where is the holiday cheer? Have we become that broken that we are willing to harm others in our quest to save a few dollars?  That is heart-breaking to me; and a truth that sadly is a part of our lives – except for the Wall Street barons who made a killing this week because holiday shopping was up. Great! People putting themselves more into debt for things they don’t need, don’t want or shouldn’t be buying so the Chinese can finance our debt and eventually rule the world.  I hope there is a Chinese equivalent to Santa Claus – Mao Tze Claus? Santa Tung?  If we need to start re-writing lyrics and television specials, we had better start now and we have to start with the right person.

OK, again I digress because the world is going to spin and economically things are going to happen and we really have nothing we can do about it.  But, we do need to say things about it because the top 1% have gotten out of control.  When Newt Gingrich is becoming the Republican front-runner, where has America gone wrong?

There, now try to figure out my political beliefs!

Back to what I originally intended to write about: the American Heart Association.  Or, to be specific, their heart healthy seal of approval.  It’s on potatoes now!!!!!  Did you know it’s because they are high in potassium?  (Only when the skin is on and only if they have not been soaked or boiled in water – but who’s really looking into this?) What about patients on certain heart medications that keep potassium in the body? Should there be a black box warning on potatoes to warn of the potential deadly effects of the drug-potato interaction?

The bottom line is that potatoes make you fat! When you are fat, you are at an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and death.  So, why does the AHA put its seal of approval on a food that will kill you.  They put that same seal on pop tarts and sugar flavored cereals too so this should come as no surprise.

What does surprise me is that we are gullible enough to believe that we are doing something good for our heart when we eat a potato.  That’s like telling me we are doing something good for our heart when we eat oatmeal…

Oh, they do tell us that.  Oatmeal lowers cholesterol by 6 whopping points.  Woo-hoo!!!  That’s not statistically significant yet they are allowed to say it on TV.  We aren’t allowed to say the same thing about fish oils; yet, there are hundreds of studies supporting their use in heart disease.  Why isn’t the heart seal on a can of tuna?

The reason I speak so strongly about this is because the average American consumer is going to get hoodwinked into believing the trash they hear on TV especially when it comes from something so important as The American Heart Association.  We believe what we want to believe even when we know it not to be true – its’ just easier that way.  We have a faux belief system that is going to kill us.  It makes me sad.

But, I did have some of the best television watching: Dexter, Boardwalk, American Horror Story aired episodes that were fantastic writing and acting; whereas the RHOA lived the American dream we just talked about.

Until next time…