Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a pleasant thing that some people liked to do the day after Thanksgiving – go to the mall and do a bit of shopping, look at all the holiday displays, and listen to the Christmas Carols being piped over the sound system.
Then something awful happened. Marketing people came up with the idea of calling the shopping day “Black Friday” and encouraged the retailers to compete for the shoppers’ money by having huge sales. And while you’re at it, why don’t you open earlier than your competition?
“But Sears is opening at eight in the morning.”
“So, open at seven.”
And thus the war over opening times started, resulting in earlier and earlier opening times until Thanksgiving day was lost for anyone who works in retail.
The fun also stopped when the desire for a bargain became a compulsion, and people started camping out in front of stores days before the sales started. I didn’t realize how bad that compulsion had gotten until I read about two women who have been camping out since November 7th in Louisiana. To get a television. They are willing to go through all that to save a hundred dollars or so? Weird.
The actual day – Black Friday – shoppers are almost manic, and those who have not already lined up to enter the store, push their way in, desperate to not miss a deal. Maybe there is still one more TV left that is on sale, but, oops, that other lady wanted the TV. No problem, we’ll just push her aside. After all, we probably deserve that TV more than she does.
“Oops, sorry about that. Need help with that bloody nose?”
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I am not at a shopping mall today. I stopped going to the stores the day after Thanksgiving many years ago after being jostled by a crowd when a store announced a special sale on sweaters for the next fifteen minutes. I happened to be next to the table, so I turned and picked up a sweater, only to have a woman snatch it right out of my hand. I was so shocked that she would actually do that, I let go, and I let go of the desire to be any where near a store on Black Friday.
I’m spending more time with my kids and eating more pumpkin pie. What about you? Are you out fighting the crowds? Do you enjoy the experience?
And now about that free book. I didn’t forget, honest. Starting today I am offering my latest mystery, Doubletake, free for Kindle and Kindle apps through December 1st. The book normally retails for $3.99, so this is a bargain. This is the last time the book will be free, so grab your copy while you have a chance, and if you do get the book and read it, I’d love for you to leave a review on Amazon. Those reviews help authors so much.