Saturday, November 26, 2005

Black Friday

Having spent some time in retail in my 20’s, let me pass on a gem of knowledge to all you shoppers: there is nothing – nothing – that you can buy the day after Thanksgiving that won’t also be available three days before Christmas at a fraction of the cost. Nothing.

Macy’s will always sell that comforter set. Footlocker will always sell the best basketball shoe. And the Gap has bought so many black mock turtlenecks that they will be marked down to $6.97 on December 20th. The great sales that Wal-Mart, Target and Sears use to lure you in to their stores at 5:30 AM will be but mere markdowns when compared to the prices the panicked merchants will be setting just days before Christmas (‘cause they don’t want to be stuck with that crap the last week of December when their spring stuff is coming to the stores in two weeks).

I am not sure where this tradition started, but it invokes insanity with no comparison. After having to work a few Black Friday’s in my time, I always swore to never step foot in a store or shopping mall on that day again as a consumer. People are rude, pushy, loud and abrasive. They yell at you. And the whole “Well I don’t know what my child is going to do if she wakes up on Christmas morning and a “Bluey Chewy” (or whatever the hell is popular that year) isn’t under the tree for her!” Know what will happen? Your ungrateful child might be mad and might even cry. And if she does, you can consider yourself one of the worst parents in the world. Not because you didn’t get the toy, but because you placed so much emphasis on something that has little to no real value and in 5 months will come to mean nothing to your child anyway.

And another thing, leaving the Labor Day picnic to buy a sweater for Aunt Tillie is considered “shopping early”. Picking out a tie for Cousin Mel while paying for little Bobby’s Hallowe’en costume is “shopping early”. Not being able to get a savings bond for the new nephew because the banks are closed for Veterans’ Day is attempting to shop early, however even that is cutting it close. But putting the Thanksgiving leftovers in the fridge after lunch and heading to the mall is not considered “getting a jump start”. If you are doing any holiday shopping in a store that is already selling holiday decorations, you are not shopping early. And mobbing the Hallmark store on December 26th in order to get next year’s wrapping paper is just plain pathetic.