Plans are being made. Watches are being synchronized. Soon Black Friday will be upon us.
A co-worker just referred to it as Good Friday. There’s a Freudian slip for you, depending on your point of view.
I was a little surprised when I learned that the Black in Black Friday referred to profit — in the black instead of in the red. I always thought it was a phrase coined by downtrodden retail workers, pulverized by an unreasonably large rush of customers, few of whom exhibit that goodwill to men we’ve heard about. I often want to say to people, “If it makes you so unhappy, why are you celebrating it?” But I never would, because I don’t want to hear the self-pitying tirade about how they HAVE TO, not very subtly implying that I am an idiot for even asking, as well as a philistine (not that they know that word) for even obliquely (or that one) suggesting that they NOT celebrate (I’m certainly not suggesting that; what I am suggesting is — but that’s a whole other blog post).
That phenomenon goes on all season. I was ranting about Black Friday (I had a couple of other Christmas rants in mind, but I just thought why have one blog post when I can sleaze three or four out of the season?).
I’ve been to the mall on Black Friday. In my defense, I was there to work, not shop. I found it scary, which given my Halloween obsession should have been a selling point. The scariness began well before I reached the mall. There could not have been a single car left in a single driveway in the Mohawk Valley! I had allowed extra time to look for a parking space, but by the time I was sitting through the third red light outside Consumer Square, I wondered if I had allowed enough.
I hate parking lots in the best of times. I like to drive in and park right away. That way I spend as little time driving in the parking lot as possible. And I like to get a little extra exercise by walking further to the door. There was no spending little time in this parking lot. Not only were there no spaces, there was almost no space between the spaces because people had added extra spaces where none belonged. I eased down a row, praying nobody would be trying to ease in the other direction, because one of us would have had to back up and I didn’t want it to be me. What a day for my brake light to go on for the first time!
Of course, you don’t inevitably run out of brake fluid on Black Friday. It only happened to me once, and my Dad nicely helped me out of that fix. But you can see why the day might have bad connotations for me.
This rant started when a co-worker mentioned a good price on towels. “Ooh, where’s that?” I asked. She told me where and when, and I said, “Never mind.” Another co-worker wondered how much Black Friday merchandise makes it under the tree — I mean, isn’t that the POINT? — and how much winds up in the purchaser’s closet. I said, “I’ll pay more and keep my sanity.”
Oh well, to each his own, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow. Some people enjoy the crush. Perhaps their competitive instincts are aroused. Or they just truly love a bargain. I know for some it is a family tradition. I say to them, enjoy! If it’s fun for you, power to ya! If it’s not, for heavens’ sake, STAY HOME!