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Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Observations

Hello there Lovely Internet People!  I hope everyone has made it safely through the madness that has become the true National Holiday of the United States, Black Friday.  I have been following the multitude of stories and Facebook and Twitter updates concerning this saga (cause I sure ain't going out in it!), and there are some issues that I have seen that I want to address.

Issue Number One: I have seen several posts and stories suggesting that Black Friday "is the one time of year poor people can afford to buy nice things".  That is complete and total fucking bullshit.  I have been "poor" for most of my adult life, and I have lots of nice things, none of which were ever purchased on Black Friday.  In fact the only people that I, personally, have ever met who actually do go shopping on Black Friday are as far removed from being poor as I am from being wealthy. 

If you actually pay attention, Black Friday deals are not that fucking great in the first place.  Most of the stores jack up their prices right before they put shit on sale, so you are pretty much paying the same price anyway.  If you really want great deals, those are the week after Christmas, and the first week of January, not fucking Black Friday!  Sure, they may throw a couple of "loss leaders" out there to try to scam you into coming to their store, but odds are those will not be available by the time you get there because they "sold out".  Of course they sold out, they only had 5 to start with, and 50,000 people showed up to buy those 5.  They know that since you put in all that time and effort to go there, you are probably going to buy something else, so they don't need to actually stock those "loss leaders", they just have to advertise them.

Issue Number Two: I don't have the same problem with the whole idea of the stores opening on Thanksgiving to start their scam sales that other people have expressed, if people want to shop, the stores should be open.  When I was working in the retail and service industries I always volunteered to work the holidays, and I am sure I am not alone.  Lots of people need the money, or don't have a family to spend the day with, or, like me, just don't really give a crap about holidays, they shouldn't be denied the chance to work if they want to.  And if people want to spend the one day off they have shopping, instead of being with their families at home, well I sure can't fault them their choice, I would rather be pretty much anywhere than stuck hanging around with the rest of my family.  Whatever floats your boat.  I do wish the retailers paid their employees a living wage, and gave them the choice about working holidays, but that is going to require Government intervention.  No greedy bastard is ever going to do the right thing by choice.  I think they have already proven that.  

My kids will get exactly what they want for Christmas, and I will not spend very much money, nor will I fight crowds or spend days running from place to place trying to find the "best deal".  It probably helps that my kids don't have expensive tastes, nor to they have any peer pressure about what is "cool".  They have pretty simple requests that are generally fairly easy to fulfill. The youngest wants Legos, the next one up wants video games, and the oldest just wants whatever cash I can spare, and maybe some cookies.   I guess this is one of the few times where our complete lack of interest in impressing other people does actually pay off in our favor.                                      
                                                
Issue Number Three: I understand that our capitalistic system requires rabid consumerism in order to sustain itself, and I also understand that the collapse of that system would have some pretty severe effects on all of us.  So I certainly can't advocate that everyone not participate in the relentless pursuit of "more".  But, I would ask that you take just a moment each time you do decide to spend your hard earned money, and think about who you are giving that money to, and why.  If you are okay with the answers to those questions, then spend away.  If not, well, then you have to make the choice, what are your priorities? 

Until Next Time ...    

3 comments:

  1. Well said indeed "mother" , totally agree

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  2. You have hit the nail on the head, Mother. I did go out briefly, to JoAnn Fabrics to buy some flannel at 75% off and a couple of jewelry findings at 50% off. I also was a bad girl and bought a book for myself, with a 50% off coupon. Should not have spent the money, but my writing has been very slim lately so I bought "642 Things to Write About" hoping to jump-start my brain. My only other stop was PetSmart to buy a little goldfish to entertain the cat who spends all day alone. Of course, I saw one other thing there for the downstairs cat who has been missing his fountain since the pump died. At 50% off, I bought him a new one. (The upstairs/downstairs thing is why the one is all alone during the day. The only time we tried to integrate the fur flew, and my daughter got bit when she tried to break up the battle. That was the extent of my Black Friday shopping venture. Don't have the money for one, and I see people all week long. Crowds make me cringe. Oh, heck, people in general make me squirm and hyperventilate. The Christmas hoard is a special kind of torture.

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