Tag Archives: Shopping

Fabulous Fridays: Reasons I no longer shop on “Black Friday”

BF1      About 5 p.m. last night, my neighborhood came alive with sounds of cars coming through the main drive of the subdivision like an advancing army. Now, I was not out there doing a security check, but I suspect that most of them were not holiday guests leaving in order to make it home in time for the football game but eager shoppers looking to get the best bargains on a day known to everyone as “Black Friday.”

As you all know, I used to do it too. I was all about being at whatever location at some ungodly hour of the morning…but I don’t anymore and the evidence suggests to me that I might have given it up just in the nick of time. I vaguely remember actually stopping by Kmart on Thanksgiving about 13 years ago to check out some doorbuster deal, but they were the only retailer crazy enough to be open all day on Turkey Day. Now they all open in the afternoon and because people want to save some cash, they will be there. Good luck to you…but I will be at home. I’m taking a stand on this. No CEO needs my money that badly.

I have grown to have monumental problems with the whole Black Friday shopping thing so I decided to list some of my issues for a fun Fabulous Fridays post:

1. It’s no longer Black FRIDAY: I seriously question the education of the geniuses who have decided that Black Friday actually begins on a Thursday. This is not rocket science people. In fact, if you were raised correctly and learned the days of the week in Kindergarten, then you know that if there is a sale going on the day BEFORE Black Friday. It is a Thanksgiving Day sale. Why is this? Because it is happening on Thanksgiving. I understand the doors will be open long into Friday, but what kind of example are you setting here? You don’t have an “After Christmas sale” BEFORE Christmas, do you? If you are a 24-hour emporium such as Wal-Mart or Meijer, and your sale circular starts on Thursday, you don’t honor those prices on Wednesday, do you? No…I didn’t think so and don’t try to tell me that there is something different about this. Friday is the day that comes after Thursday…don’t make it more complicated than it is, people. You are doing nothing for future generations by screwing up the days of the week like this!

BF2      2. Black Friday is not a holiday: I’m not sure when Black Friday became it’s own “thing” but once upon a time the day after Thanksgiving was simply known as the “biggest retail day of the year.” That’s pretty tasteful in my opinion. But somehow, over time it grew ominous, it became “Black Friday” and loomed like an approaching storm on the horizon. It had such a weird and almost gloomy connotation that now we have to try and make it festive in hopes that no one will notice that it is encroaching on the rest of the week and has become something akin to Mardi Gras, summer vacation and other multi-day events. It’s a sale, people! Let’s not loose perspective, here.

BF4     3. It’s not worth it: Oh sure, you can pick up some good deals, you will make the people on your holiday list happy, but seriously? I can’t help thinking that the real object of Black Friday may be to be the last man standing with as much stuff in their trunks and have the most money left over. I know for a fact that there are people who treat it like a game or a sport and I find that a little disconcerting. We try and tell each other that its the gifts we can’t buy that matter, but on Black Friday people will go crazy trying to purchase happiness. I’m not convinced we are sending the right message to future generations.

 

BF3     4. Service is no better on Black Friday: In fact, it’s usually worse though I will admit that stores seem to be a dab more organized than they are at any time of the year. I have been in stores where the associates have no idea what is on sale, who barely got any sleep the night before and whose nerves are frazzled trying to keep up with pushy and demanding shoppers in search of God only knows what that they think they can’t live without. Trust me, you can. If you have toilet paper and food in your home, you will get through the day just fine. No where is it written that you must have an LED HDTV (I have checked the Ten Commandments, the Constitution, the Magna Carte and my HOA rules just to make certain of that fact.)

5. It’s just not fair to the employees: Look, I get it. they have to work on this incredibly long weekend. That’s fine. But does it have to start on the Holiday itself? I have always felt sorry for movie theater employees who have to work on holidays but this is just ten times worse. The shear number of people who have to now work on Thanksgiving is insane. I can’t help missing the days when only the occasional grocery store was opened, we actually had a fair amount of time with our family and friends and CEOs knew how to put PEOPLE before the PROFITS and at least had the decency not to open their stores before 6 a.m. on Friday.

I can’t help wondering how long it will be before Thanksgiving is merely those few hours we spend fueling up for the shopping olympics and the meaning of the day is lost entirely. It’s slowly happening folks and while I can be tongue-in-cheek about it, I can’t ignore the facts. Black Friday is fine, but let’s not lose sight of what’s really important. Sales happen every week. Family, friends and memories are fleeting.

Until next time, Keep Rockin,

J-

 

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MHH November Column- You spin me right ’round

Lazy_Susan           It was called a Lazy Susan and for the 20-plus years it sat atop my mother’s dining room table, it lived up to its name. In theory, it was a handy gizmo designed to give families and guests easy access to food. In practice, it was a stationary centerpiece whose sole purpose was to hold fake fruit that no one was allowed to touch.

The Lazy Susan was only one of a handful of items around the house that seemed to lack identity and purpose. We had a spice rack that sat empty above the cooktop (and ironically below the place where Mom kept the spices.) We had chairs no one sat on; appliances that were inconvenient to operate and towels that my mother insisted were “too pretty to use.”

When my mother passed in 2008, I became the owner of these items…none of which had any sentimental value to me. I kept the towels. After all they were in better shape than the ones I had at home (and this explains why I dry dishes with Frosty the Snowman towel in July) but everything else was set aside for the estate sale. It wasn’t personal. I just believe that family heirlooms should be something that has an interesting backstory, has monetary value, or is inextricably linked to one’s childhood. Not something that did nothing but collect dust for three decades.

So you can imagine my surprise as I watched folks come by and purchase these fun (if not overly functional) items. I was pleased that this lot of miscellaneous would have a second chance to make memories with a family in a home that would appreciate them.

“Look at this vanity chair,” a friend of my son’s called out. “It’s practically new!”

Well of course it was new. No one was allowed to sit on it. Mom said it was too fragile and for the life of me, I never understood why we had it in the first place. Our bathroom only held one person comfortably, so it wasn’t like we were holding monthly meetings in there and needed additional seating. I shook my head at her enthusiasm but said nothing until she spotted the Lazy Suzan sitting on a table, lifted it like Kunte Kinte and proclaimed it the coolest thing she’d ever seen.

“You’re kidding right?” I asked.

“No! This is awesome! I’ll use it when I have parties and game nights. It will be the perfect thing for chips and dip and other finger foods!” She seemed genuinely thrilled with the vintage find and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it really didn’t have much experience in practical application. I wrapped up the colorful wedge shaped dishes and wooden pedestal in a paper bag and hoped that it didn’t fall apart under the pressure of having to perform.

“Just do me one favor,” I requested as I handed it over. “Give it a good, hard spin for me and never, EVER fill it with fake fruit.”

“You got it,” she promised with a grin.

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