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.
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.