Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday. No Unnecessary Deaths, Please.

Anybody there?
Or are you all out shopping on (Dun, Dun, DUNNNNN!!!

Yeah. I pretty much don't get that. A few years ago I went out at 4:30 in the morning, braving 15 degree temperatures in a town whose wind-chill never makes it above 40-below, so I could get a screaming deal on a Playstation. Also some of those disturbing Anne Geddes dolls. You remember those, right? They were little animals with baby faces. Women at the Target I had lined up to get into were beating each other with umbrellas and snow gloves to get to the dolls. Knocking each other out of the way, tipping carts, screaming.

I remember standing there staring at the melée and thinking, Sweet Mary Francis on buttered toast! They're just DOLLS! And slightly weird ones at that. I ended up just grabbing a few that had been knocked to the side, throwing some money at the cashier, and running out of the store.

Something similar happened with the playstation. You have no idea how dangerous a Toys R Us can become at 4:30 in the freezing morning.

In both cases my kids were excited. For 8 minutes. The dolls were forgotten within the year. The Playstation started sprouting weeds until my youngest got old enough to play with it. Now it gets some exercise. But most of the games we got for it have actually started molding.

The other thing about Black Friday is this: I get that retailers need a little boost to get all the red ink out of their ledgers (hence the name: Black Friday). But seriously? I need better deals than the ones I see advertised to get me out the door that stinkin' early. Last year I wandered out a few hours after sunrise--like at 9:00 a.m.--and most of the stuff I wanted was still on the shelves. 

So, what's the deal? Why do we get so worked up that we are willing to hit the stores before roosters have unfrozen their little chicken-butts and waddled outside to crow, just to grab an item for a few bucks off? I don't think it's worth the loss of sleep. Or the loss of human kindness. I mean, it's just stuff, people! Nobody's worth as a human being is on the line here. We're not bad parents, friends, siblings, children, etc., if we don't get that special Black Friday deal.

I say we do this: Promise the retailers that we'll shop our guts out all day long if they give us those same deals at, say, 8:30 a.m., rather than 4:30. We need to maintain peace on earth. That's what this season is all about anyway, right?

This year I'm going to take my daughters out at around 10:00. Maybe 11:00. We'll spend the morning drinking cocoa, eating Grandma's muffins, and helping get her Christmas decorations up--listening to Harry Connick while we're at it. We'll mosey out whenever we mosey out. And we'll be thinking about all of you and hoping you're having a lovely, relaxed day-after-Thanksgiving as well.

We should call it Peace Friday from now on. All in favor?


Robin said...

I'm doing a 'plaid Friday' here. Not my term. It's a Buy Local on Black Friday campaign for small businesses. I'll be in our local yarn shop all day today and tomorrow, continuously ringing up purchases and winding skeins into balls for sweaters and hats and scarves and socks and.... We're hoping to be very very busy. But we're not open until 10am.

I did the early early morning dark shopping once and had a wonderful time. We went to a place that was a lot like a Sam's for housewares. Fabulous. No screaming or fighting for stuff. No stampedes. Just lots and lots and lots of shopping. And then I didn't shop for a year.

Shelly said...

I totally agree with you. I hung out in bed until seven. Then walked the dogs. Now I'm drinking tea and reading blogs. Next I'll eat breakfast, workout, and get a shower. And finally, I'll settle in to work on my WIP rewrites. That's my Black Friday.

Janiel Miller said...

Both of those sound great to me!

Maegan Langer said...

I'm with you ladies on this one. I would tons rather stay home and vacuum than even think about going shopping today.

William Kendall said...

I've never gotten the mindset behind stampeding your way into a store and mowing down anyone in your path to get half off anything.

Oh, and little known fact about Anne Geddes: she's a tormentor demon from the seventh circle of hell.

Russo said...

Oh, you are brave, braving 15 degree temperatures with a nasty wind-chill. I just can't do it anymore.

Love this idea, drinking cocoa, eating Grandma's muffins, and listening to Harry Connick. Lovely, Oh have you heard the new michael buble christmas CD? Awesome!