Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Monday After

#23 Today I am thankful for: having all that I need (and the ability to buy the extra creature comforts, the safe passage through the Belk shoe section, and the freedom of choice).

No. The irony of Black Friday was not lost on me. This cartoon pretty much sums up the dark side of Black Friday:

I confess: I was thankful on Thursday.

I confess: I had all I needed on Thursday.

I confess: I was thankful on Friday.

I confess: I had all I needed on Friday.

I confess: By the end of the day on Friday, I had some more things I wanted.


I confess: I participated in Black Friday.

I confess: That includes going to Wal-Mart before midnight on Thursday.

I confess: I think it's ridiculous that retailers keep pushing back the start of Black Friday sales, but obviously I am not so offended that I don't participate.

Before you think I am heartless,

I confess:I know firsthand what it's like to work in retail. While I don't work there now, my mom does. She's been a Wal-Mart employee for the past 23 years. And, while she wasn't thrilled about going to work on Thursday afternoon, she did, and if she hadn't been at work, she probably would have been right there shopping with us.

While we are on Wal-Mart, let me admit a couple of other things.

I confess: This picture that was circulating on Facebook pisses me off. To compare working at Wal-Mart to defending our nation is ridiculous. Just take a look at the job descriptions--not even close. Second, Wal-Mart employees and soldiers aren't the only people who work holidays, but then again, most people who work holidays do so because the need for their job is too important to go a day without them (ie. nurses, firefighters, policemen). But, this picture took a jab at people who are just trying to make a living.

I confess:At this point in the post, I am tempted to veer into treacherous waters and go political for a moment about the vilification of Wal-Mart. I won't. (Try hard, Melissa. Think, Melissa--cute babies. Cute babies. Cute babies). Instead, I will just say that while I didn't buy much at my evil, local Wal-Mart, I did buy a couple of items that my local businesses don't sell before moving on to other chain stores that are just as "evil" to me as Wal-Mart. I then took the money I saved and reinvested in my local community--right after I gave my mom and dad a hug--parents who have received pretty decent medical care the last 20 years thanks to Wal-Mart health insurance.

I confess:I waited in a line outside of a store in the mall for the promise of $20 boots.

I confess:As the gates rolled up on the store, there were actually people who climbed under. No judgement here, but as for me, I am too old for that level of aggression. Also, I can't think of anything I need or want that will make me humiliate myself in that way.
Image Credit

I confess: Upon entering the said shoe department, I was able to swiftly swipe, without incident, a pair of Size 7 cowboy boots.

I confess: I have never worn cowboy boots (except for that one time in college when we went to a honky-tonk joint), but hey, for $20, can't hurt to have a pair in the closet, right?

I confess:It might not hurt to have them in the closet, but there were some tense minutes when I thought I might get hurt getting out of the said shoe department. Seriously, people were so rabid, the scene so chaotic, the consumerism so palpable, that I almost dropped my boots and walked out in protest.


I confess:I didn't. Seemed like a waste of the energy and effort I had already expended to get the boots.

I confess: My decision to not drop the boots was not made on moral grounds because I think blaming Black Friday for the evils of materialism is a gross oversimplification of the problem. It's not about when I buy the boots, whether I buy the boots, or what size store I choose to buy the boots. It's about what I do when I am wearing those boots the other 364 days in the year.

I confess:I shopped on Friday--not out of need--but because I like to shop. I enjoy it. It's a tradition. And, I am good at it.


Kerry said...

I totally understand your thoughts on this and I think you wrote it well.
It is the people who do trample others that ruin it, people like you who just enjoy retail therapy and a bargain are doing no harm.
I agree with the picture too, there is no comparison at all.
And yeah, I wouldn't be crawling under any doors either lol for fear of embarrassment hahaha

Carolina said...

Thank you for this. I think Black Friday is absolutely ridiculous. I respect the people that participate in it, but I didn't take part. I just don't want to deal with the craziness, the shoving, the cursing. And that picture did piss me off too. Seriously, how can those two compare? This post was so well written. Thank you for sharing!

Miss Megan said...

Agreed on all accounts. I scored some $20 boots too...
I did a lot of my shopping online, but I did go out too, not because I needed to, just because it's tradition. Okay, and I HAD to get some $1 poinsettias for the fireplace mantle from Lowes =).
Glad you got your boots!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Such a good post, Melissa!

I hope to see you on Sunday at Zoes.

Tami said...

I need you to go shopping for me. I hate shopping! I hate the crowds of people! I like to take my time and find the perfect thing. During Black Friday, I get tense and overwhelmed. I am envious of your shopping ability! You go girl!!!

undomestic mama said...

I woke up at 5am on Friday and laid in bed thinking, "I can waste time trying to go back to sleep, or I can get up and be productive." So I went shopping. And got almost everything I needed in only 3 hours. It's the first time I went Black Friday shopping but it feels good to not have to worry about it anymore.

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