Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

It’s 5:00 a.m. Do you know where your credit card is? This is the day all the citizens of the United States are supposed to set out at dawn to buy things and thus stimulate the economy and solve the country’s financial crisis. The stores have gone…to put it mildly…berserk. The ones that used to open at 5:00 a.m. are now opening at 4:00 a.m. Some are opening at midnight. Some have set up campgrounds outside the front doors with sandwich carts and umbrellas for rent. The TV station interviewed some people who have been camped outside Best Buy since last Wednesday.

Well…you can tell I belong to another generation. I thought “Black Friday” was the day in October 1929 that the stock market crashed. But some Google research tells me that was Black Tuesday. I also, for some reason, associate the name with Good Friday. But more research tells me the color of mourning is Purple. So I guess Black Friday is so named because it puts the retailer’s cash flow in the black.

Whatever…I am not sure how a Friday in November came to be the Mercantile Madness Shopping Day After Thanksgiving Extravaganza and Parking Lot Nightmare. Were you out and about? Not me. I have never considered shopping to be a recreational activity nor anything even approaching enjoyable.

The sense of the whole scene escapes me. I am offended by retailers (big box and local both) who entice folks into spending more than they can afford on gifts no one will remember by this time next year. I do enjoy the Holiday Bazaars with all the handmade items. This year I am making most of the gifts I am giving.

Now this morning I am waiting for my little granddaughter to arrive. She is going to spend the day with me and that will certainly be more fun than standing in line at Fred Meyer to buy some socks at half price. This time last year we were breathlessly waiting for her to arrive. How fast that time has gone.


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