Saturday, November 26, 2011

Was Black Friday Good For You?

Yesterday, I took a leisurely drive, stopping along the way to take photos of interesting subject matter. Had lunch in a storefront diner in a historic downtown; strolled the area after chowing down a tuna melt and marveled at the rickety, wooden sidewalks. Truly a time warp, and not many people there.

During my drive I spied an old orange juice stand shaped like an orange, countless old motels (oops, motor lodges), and lots of used car dealerships. Route 66! It was a peaceful few hours, except for the two times where I drove too close to shopping malls and wound up in traffic jams.

What’s wrong with this picture? Am I crazy for not participating in Black Friday?
Gee...what did I miss?

Saving a few bucks
Seeing people shoving each other
Feeling claustrophobic
Waiting on line
Screaming, angry people
Dodging shopping carts
An opportunity to get pepper sprayed

What did I gain from not going?

Peace of mind
Lack of stress
Great sight seeing
...and perhaps a pound from the mayonnaise in my tuna melt.

What did I "lose" from not participating in Black Friday?

About a half a tank of gas ($25)
The cost of a tuna melt (it even came with a peach half!) and a diet coke.
The opportunity to experience anything in the “miss” list.

Is it marketing’s fault? Nah. No one is going to put the blame on all those ads we’ve been bombarded with for the last two weeks. After all, the call of the Xbox, beckoning you, has nothing to do with any big box’s promotions, right?

Is it simply having a day off, many with pay, and “nothing to do”? Are we expected to shop on this day? We’re led to believe it. It seems that the day after Thanksgiving has turned into a chore instead of a calming, relaxing day off. Surely your employers meant it to be more of a recreational, spend time with your family day, however, the recreation nowadays consists of who you can elbow out of the way.

Today, as I write this, there’s a new movement emerging: Small Business Saturday. Big box stores? Fuhgeddaboudit! It’s time to put the nickels and dimes back into the hands of the “Moms and Pops”. No, you won’t save as much money. So buy a little less…do you really NEED all that "stuff", anyway? We salute American Express for fostering this movement in 2010. Granted, some of us do not possess that particular card, but heck, we’re shopping anyway! Now, off to visit some antique malls.  Don’t you just love those one of a kind gifts?

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