Since Cyber Monday is officially over, I think it’s time I discuss the degree of binge shopping I engaged in over the Thanksgiving holiday. Moderation has never been my strong suit and I’m surprised my credit and debit cards didn’t ignite!
My family and I went to Huntsville, Alabama for the holiday (one of the many places I’m from, and a personal favorite). My cousins and I organized a plan of retail attack that began at WalMart at 10pm on Thanksgiving night, went on to Target for a playstation deal JM was invested in, taking a break around 3am before hitting the mall Friday morning. I’m not going to lie… Amy and I both shopped online as well.
Now, typically I do not participate in Black Friday just because I’ve been a broke ass college kid who crafts everyone’s Christmas presents, like the very thoughtful street urchin I am. Thanks to Amy, I have actually purchased “real” gifts this year, but I don’t know if I could ever brave the crowds on my own. It was a scene I had never witnessed before. There were hundreds of people in lines that were miles long, workers were passing out free five hour energy shots and luna bars to keep all the frenzied shoppers at top performance… the only respite in WalMart was the book aisle. Among throngs of people scooping armfuls of items blindly off shelves there was not a soul in the lonely book department. Naturally, this struck sentimentality in the hearts of John Michael and I and we took a gander at what was available. Turns out WalMart has terrible taste in books anyway so it was understandable, but striking nonetheless.
Now fundamentally, I don’t think the masses should be given the option to shop on Thanksgiving, because… obviously, many of us can’t resist which means that many retail workers will be kept from their families and celebrations of their own. And as someone who would not have been above crying had I not been granted my time off for traveling I can’t imagine being told I couldn’t see my family over a holiday for something as meaningless as… retail. I know I am a raging hypocrite for holding this view and shopping anyway… but… I’m an asshole. I got sucked in and the deals were a little intoxicating.
Amy, John Michael, and I actually have a grim vision of what this tradition of black Friday has the potential to become as America becomes both increasingly destitute and increasingly superficial… and we believe that Quentin Tarantino should direct it.
In the new world Thanksgiving will simply be the precursor to Black Friday, known only as Gray Thursday. On Gray Thursday people gather to form teams and plan strategy for an optimal retail haul. The one weekend a year where everyone indulges in some version of extreme cuoponing as they spread the ads across the kitchen table and smear black under their eyes. There will be murders in parking lots, razors attached to shopping carts, people scalping their door buster tickets and gangs jumping them for it.
It isn’t totally IMPOSSIBLE.
I’ll still sleep soundly tonight after I finish up my Christmas cards and start wrapping my glorious mountain of gifts I have to bestow on my loved ones though.
Just another cog in the machine.