-When did Black Friday start to begin in October?
-Why is our inbox being bombarded with thousands of emails from every store we’ve ever dared to simply breathe near?
-Will this madness ever end? Do you even want it to?
It’s finally here. . .the Super Bowl of Shopping. Time to suit up, do your best to score the best bargains while simultaneously trying to avoid sustaining a career-ending injury. . .over a half-price tv. Where do you stand (or do you sit this one out)? Are you a Black Friday aficionado or do you avoid it like the plague?
Amanda (30-Something Millennial)
Black Friday: a day when the deals are the same as they’ve been earlier in the week but now you can burn off all the turkey you ate by fighting your fellow shoppers for the single TV they have on special or the year’s hottest toy. Why can’t the elves just work a little more overtime to make sure everyone is happy?!?! Even more wild is you don’t even have to wait until Friday now – take this year for example, Amazon has dubbed it Black Friday WEEK. And I’m pretty sure Target has been showcasing Black Friday deals since October. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bargain but if I have to elbow out my fellow shoppers for it, I’ll pass. Even online, I won’t be setting my alarm to make sure I secure the limited quantities of the cyber deal of the day. More mind blowing to me is that the deals aren’t even that great. MOST of the time, if you’re a savvy shopper, you can get the same deal or better at another point during the year. Heck, even during the same week.
Online shopping has changed the game and Black Friday now has a little sister, Cyber Monday. We’ve also added Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday into the line-up. Giving and shopping local should be things I do all-year-round, but no one is perfect and boy is Amazon Prime easy.
‘Tis the season for shopping but if you’re looking for me, you won’t find me at the mall on Black Friday – I was there last week. If you need me, I’ll be shopping from my phone or strolling down my local Main Street trying to mark off everything on my list.
Lindsay (Fabulous 40’s)
I am of an age when I remember the day stores were closed on Sundays. I also remember when the stores were closed on Thanksgiving. Everyone had the day to stay at home, overeat, be with family (good or bad), and remember what gratitude is all about. For some, it was also a day before the Christmas shopping deals started in the wee hours of the morning and labeled Black Friday.
Now Black Friday starts on Thursday and yet we still call it Friday. I guess thankfulness and family was just too much for most humans to tolerate, so we started opening stores on Thursday. Spread out the insanity and tick off your mom ‘cause you are leaving at 6 to rush to Walmart to save 5% on a chia pet, wrapping paper, fake gold earrings, and bath bombs.
None of this is for me. It’s pandemonium, and I can accomplish the same thing sitting in a comfy chair, with a cocktail, and surrounded by family. No lugging, sweating, searching a store top to bottom, waiting in line, sitting in traffic, listening to people sighing out loud, or arguing with some over-exhausted mom over a Tickle Me Elmo.
So, during Black Thursday and Friday, you know where to find me. Hot Toddy in hand watching the news to see grown-ups do all the things they have been teaching their kids not to do all year like running in the store, not waiting patiently, using their outside voices, not sharing, driving like maniacs, using colorful language, and getting into hair-pulling fights. All the while someone else is finding my items, packing up my order and shipping it to my doorstep.
Brooke (60-Something Baby Boomer)
Who says our blog lacks intellectual content? I just learned about Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday. Never underestimate America’s penchant for taking a concept and beating it to death. May I suggest Passive Aggressive Wednesday? How about Deficit Spending Sunday?
Lindsey suggests a view shared by many, but I ask you: who are the psychopaths who would actually opt for the bone-and-soul-crushing ordeal that is IRL retail and eschew the hot toddy/roaring fire experience afforded by on-line shopping? That’s right: NO ONE.
Because we have an innate ability to swing the pendulum like a wrecking ball, Black Friday 2021 could become my favorite shopping day of the year. No people anywhere! Lindsey and her ilk will be curled up in their cozy chairs staring at their phones, leaving me to wander the aisles unmolested, humming carols and snapping up bargains from the untouched mountains of merch. I predict a dystopian world of shopping centers resembling post-apocalyptic ghost towns. Strip malls stripped of any evidence of humankind. Yes, please!
Karen (F’ing Fifties)
I was never a fan of shopping or crowds long before Covid. I have always avoided going anywhere near any type of mall or retail outlet on Black Friday. I have spent the last few years trying to get rid of things, not accumulate more. I have been letting go of those things that, as Marie Kondo puts it, do not “spark joy.” Do I really need 17 pairs of black leggings? Yes, as it turns out, I do. A collection of mis-matched silverware or those sweaters I haven’t worn in 10 years? Not so much.
There is one item, however, that is on my wishlist this year: A Roomba. I know, I know, I’m late to the game, I mean, even Judy Jetson had one back in 1963!
Yes, I have decided it’s time and I will be in full bargain-hunting mode this year, albeit from the comfort of my couch, and the anxiety has already kicked in. How will I know if the best bargain is actually on Black Friday? Should I pull the trigger now or will Cyber Monday offer the best options? Maybe I should wait until Wednesday when the pre-Christmas sales start? Or should I hold out for the actual-Christmas sales? Wait, aren’t the after-Christmas sale prices actually even better? I don’t think I’m up for the challenge, perhaps I should just wait to see what bargains come flying at me thru Facebook Ads since I’ve now put it in writing and their algorithms will be all over it. Who knows, maybe if I wait long enough, Judy Jetson’s all-in-one drive-thru-car-wash-like automatic shower/wardrobe/hair and makeup machine will be available. A girl can dream, right?
Do you love or loathe Black Friday shopping?
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