For those of you who are Canadian, Black Friday is like Boxing day except right after American Thanksgiving. People line up in front of store for days, sometimes more than a week. Then at 5AM all the stores open and people shop till they drop (which isn’t that long because they haven’t slept in a week). There are usually amazing deals and there is usually also a lot of buying of just stuff in general because people assume that everything is on sale even though it isn’t. It is called Black Friday because this is usually the day when stores finally get out of the red zone as far as sales go.
I got about an hour and a half of sleep last night and then got up at 2:45 to drive to Sioux Falls, the closest shopping center. I wanted to get Christmas shopping done and I had never had a “Black Friday experience,” so I decided to go with a few people who stayed here for break. We waited in line at Best Buy for about half an hour until the store opened and then stampeded in with everyone else. Actually, the getting in the store went very smoothly, but the amount of people in the store and, consequently, the length of the lines kind of made for a little chaos. We ended up not buying anything, but it sure was an experience!
Then, at about 5:30 we went to the mall and shopped there till about 10 (I think). I didn’t get any Christmas shopping done because there weren’t any deals on what I wanted to buy. Anyways, we got back in time for lunch and then I took a two hour nap.
Anyways, I was struck by something today. I went just for the experience and I was with a really fun group of people. Although I was so tired I felt sick and it was an “unsuccessful” shopping trip, it was really fun because of the people around me. I was struck by the people around me though. There were lines of people that sometimes went around the entire store twice before ending at the cash register. And do you know how many of those people were enjoying themselves? Do you know how many of them were so stressed they were about to cry? And how many of them would fight someone else for something silly like a TV? Do you know how many of them were not able to buy happiness? It was just another example of consumer America and how unhappy it was. I could almost see the stars in people’s glazed-over eyes. They thought that if they could just get in the store first, then they could get a good deal on something they didn’t need and couldn’t afford, and then they would be happy! I hope they learned that that’s not quite how it works. I mean, I hope they’re happy (and maybe they just seemed unhappy because it was an unearthly time of day)…but I also hope that they are happy because of the things that count, not the crock pot they bought for $9.