Thursday, November 22, 2012

White Lights, Black Friday

Remember that post a few days ago about not following trends, living with less, and appreciating what was important?

Hopefully me in a few hours. Gonna get me a
Snuggie that plays music.

For sure. Still so, so important.


But also:

I'm going to Black Friday.

It's different though! I said I wanted to spend money on experiences and if there's anything that screams "experience", it's Black Friday. Last year we went on the spur of the moment because our friend wanted a tablet and we wanted to see him trampled. It was a fun night, if a little insane, and we got some good deals (replaced my DVD player for one). This year, we're going more for the people-watching (which was so choice last year) and to see if we can pick up a few presents for folks (and also some 'merican groceries - heloooo apple cinnamon rice cakes.)

For those of you who aren't aware, Black Friday is the day after American Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, of course, is the day when American families and friends gather 'round and share what's important to them and how much they all mean to each other. And Black Friday is the day when you sit with those same people hours later and say "yeah, sure, you're great, grandpa, but you're not Tickle-me-Beyblade-with-Gangnam-style-action-for-$9.99-great. So clean the gravy off your chin, we're going to Target"

On the whole, I'm torn on the idea of Black Friday. I mean, once I found out America doesn't have Boxing Day (who doesn't have boxing day???) I totally got why Black Friday was such a big deal. Even so, I used to laugh when I'd hear the ads, each trying to outdo each other with opening times

"Kohl's will open at 5am for your shopping needs!"

"Get to JC Penney's at 4am for our doorcrasher specials!"



But this year it's not as fun. The stores aren't even waiting until midnight; the mall we're going to opens at 9pm. 9. That's still pretty firmly Thursday. And last year, we ran into an associate at Walmart that had been shoved over and hit in the quest to get some toys and had been reduced to a dead-eyed, saddened mess. Oh, I'm sorry, a dead-eyed, saddened, 8-months pregnant mess. Ye gods.

If America got together tomorrow and said "fuck this. There are so few times people can get federally-mandated time-off to eat copious amounts of food, hang out with loved ones, drool on themselves in gluttony, and go to bed with a wine headache, and we have to protect them. No more Black Friday. No stores open until Saturday. Enough is enough," I would support it. I think it's ridiculous, even Canadian stores don't open until 6 or 7am on Boxing Day. But it's a uniquely American ridiculousness that, like Purity Balls and State Fairs, I am absolutely fascinated by. And while I may never do this again, I am excited to take part in this absolute freak show of need.

Pray for me. I didn't even pack shin guards.

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