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Archive for November 29th, 2008

Black Friday

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What a miserable day, this day, this so called Black Friday. I’m sure there’s a real reason why it’s called that, but I’m unaware of what that reason is. If I had to guess, it’s because everyone hates everyone at around noon.

Let’s say the average person starts the “shopping madness” at six AM. I realize that there are those who sleep out front way before six and that most people probably are up and getting ready, (especially the women) before six as well. I’m using six AM simply because it’s simple math to get to noon. Six hours of heavy traffic, having your foot run over by carts, bumped, pushed, shoved, finding what you’re after is sold out and knowing all of your sacrifice was in vain, and spending more money than you ever wanted too can make any sunshine yellow, happy face black.

I never hear about how restaurants do on Black Friday. Surely they see a surge in business. A little bit at least? Running around, boiling your blood, becoming disappointed and wanting to kill that person who just pulled out in front of you can really make you hungry. Post the biggest, dirtiest dish producing, most bloating, over indulgent meal of the year the last thing you want to do is go home and cook.

The wife loves Christmas and lives to go shopping. I don’t care for either. If I want something I go buy it, I don’t shop. Black Friday is one of the reasons I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. There’s this feeling of pressure and responsibility to buy a present for every person you’ve ever known. A lot of the times the perfect gift for someone comes out of a bin or off the shelf in the checkout aisle. Who knew the perfect gift for your sister’s husband was crammed behind a jumbo bag of Skittles. Nothing says love like “impulse purchase”.

I’ve never understood gift giving. “Hey kids, what do you want for Christmas?” “I want a blank-blank”, “I want a yada yada”, “OK, here you go.” “Wow thanks, it’s exactly what I asked you for. I’m so glad you listened and did what you were told.” Where’s the fun in that? There is none, but that’s the problem, unless you know someone on a military-veteran-buddy or prison-cell-mate level, it’s hard to figure out what they really want. Nothing’s worse that buying something for someone and having them open it and a look of total disappointment is obviously seen, (from outer space) washing over their face. Gift cards and money is almost on the same level. “Here, not only do I not know you or what you want, but I don’t even want to try.”

That’s why I’m purposing that families, couple or friends go out to the stores and shop side by side together, but for themselves. Pick what you want for yourself and buy it, (or have the little ones point it out and buy it). Ask about your companion(s) purchases. Show them off to each other, talk about them and what you’re going to do with them, (if applicable/appropriate). This way, you’ll never get stuck with something you don’t like, the pressure will be off everybody’s back and your relationship(s) with those you take with you shopping will develop and grow due to all the time spent talking.

Or you can just give me money.

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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