Friday, November 20, 2009

Black Friday is not for Amateurs

It seems that for the last 4 weeks all I hear about is Black Friday. My inbox is full of Black Friday links for the latest information on the hottest deals. When I'm on FB I'm continuously seeing pages for Black Friday events and ads. And the Auburn v. Alabama game is on Black Friday this year so they're sending me e-mails with t-shirts made especially for Black Friday.

Does anyone else think that Black Friday sounds incredibly depressing? It sounds like an ad for a funeral of a famous person or like the National Depression day. Don't get offended I have PPD and continue to exerience symptoms and recevie treatment for it so I'm not saying depression is soemthing to be taken lightly. I'm just saying if there was a national awareness day for depression then Black Friday might be a suitable title.

On every Black Friday evening or the following Saturday morning the news is reporting injuries/tragedies that occurred while shoppers rush, trample, shove, etc. on their way into a store. And since that's the case the name Black Friday sounds even more ominous. The game shirts that Tiger Rags is selling to celebrate the "Black Friday match-up" says "BURY BAMA" on the back in all caps.

True, I'm a die-hard Auburn fan and would like to see Auburn crush the Tide on Friday. I know, I know the shirt isn't mean to be "literal" but the game is being played on "Black Friday." Ironic?

Let me point out that I've never joined the Black Friday madness. I both admire and laugh at those that venture out in the dark, cold hours before dawn armed with sales ads, lists and even some with maps of the store to stand in long lines awaiting entry, long lines to check-out and deal with parking that's is just another obstacle in the long list of challenges you'll face while getting the "best deals."

Personally, I can't see putting myself through the stress and frustration as well as the dangers out there. I'd rather be snug in bed sleeping through the turkey induced coma. No, I won't be able to brag about the incredible deal on a Blu-ray player or tell stories about rude shoppers or clueless sales clerks but I don't care.

You see the closest I've ever come to the Black Friday madness was trying to take advantage of a killer sale Kohl's had advertised on an ordinary weekend. I'd seen a flannel sheet set at Kohl's that I really wanted but it wasn't in my budget. So when I saw that Kohl's was having a killer early bird sale and I could but the set for $15 I figured no problem. I mean how many other people or going to get up to shop at 6AM when its not the holidays....I discovered firsthand that while the number of people wasn't outstanding the mindset and fervor of the shoppers was not to be taken lightly.

On the way into the parking lot I was almost hit twice by drivers not observing traffic laws, traffic lights or any courtesy at all. I was forced to park towards the abck of the lot because for whatever reason Kohl's had roped off and closed a good portion of their lot. So there I am, barely awake because as you know I am NOT a morning person, standing at the front doors with probably 40-50 other people. Everything appeared to be alright, noone was really talking but just standing and trying to keep warm. And there wasn't anyone standing right at the door, but everyone was about 3 feet away from the door.

But when the doors opened, those seemingly calm, friendly people became rabid shoppers pushing and shoving other people so they could get one of the 75 coupons being passed out and then they ran off to their items destination. It was like watching vultures fight for roadkill. I just stood still until I could move over to the side, out of the way until the madness was over. When I entered the store I was handed the same coupon the animals had just raced for and walked over picked up my sheet set and checked out. There wasn't even a line at the registers yet. When I made it back to the house I realized that was exhausting and really not worth it.

I saw one of Target's Black Friday ads today and thought it was spot on although a little sad. Its the one where the lady is hauling two carts full of packages behind her and she says "I'm doing calisthenics to get ready for Target's Black Friday sale."

Yes, Black Friday is not for amateurs. Its for those hard core deal seekers willing to put up with early hours, traffic snarls, parking nightmares etc. all for the deals. And there's nothing wrong with that I admire you to some extent. But why we try and make it a little more civil and while we're at it give it a better, happier Dealicious Friday, something more upbeat. And for those of you heading out Friday morning please be careful, there's no deal out there worth getting injured or causing injury to someone.

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