Thursday, November 24, 2011
Like a recurring nightmare it has returned with a vengeance--Black Friday. I know a lot of people who look forward to this day with great excitement and anticipation--why I do not know or understand. I do not like to shop. Shopping is about the last thing I want to do with my time--ranks right up there with visiting the dentist or scheduling myself for a colonoscopy. The primary reason that I do not care for shopping is because so many people--lots of people--like and enjoy shopping. As an introvert I do not care to mingle with lots of strangers in public places looking for the best bargains--I'll wait for the summer yard sales where most of this stuff ends up. Black Friday is the ultimate shopping day in the United States and it happens every year on the day after Thanksgiving. It is a crazy time in which people seem to lose their minds as they scramble for the best deals that they can find. Civility is thrown out the window and curt behavior is the order of the day. It gets downright nasty at times and it is not for those who are weak or dislike shopping or are introverted. Since I am two out of the three I shudder at this recurring nightmare that shows up each year on the day after Thanksgiving.
There is great irony in the fact that Black Friday comes the day after Thanksgiving--think about it. On Thanksgiving Day we spend the whole day giving thanks for all the blessings we have in life--the whole day! Then we get up early (really early) and go on a gluttonous shopping spree that would make even the Romans in their heyday blush. It almost borders on the pornographic in how easily society gets sucked into the propaganda of Madison Avenue and all the corporations that drive the Black Friday frenzy. From a spirit of thanksgiving to gluttony--in less than twenty-four hours. But I am sure that those who survive a full day of Black Friday shopping are more than thankful at the end of the day. Not quite the spirit of giving thanks we spend all of Thanksgiving Day proclaiming, but to each their own.
Come Black Friday I plan on staying home and watching the University of Nebraska lay their rivals from the University of Iowa--starts at 10:00AM. The only way it becomes a Black Friday for me is if the Hawkeyes thump my Cornhuskers--always a possibility when Big Red plays. If that happens it will be a dark, dark day--a black Friday--for Husker Nation. From the comfort of my chair I will give thanks that I am not hassling with the crowds--the attitudes--and all the craziness that accompanies Black Friday. I will give thanks--despite losing hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of bargains for things I don't need--cheering on the Big Red from the safety of my home. I think that Maxine has a good point when it comes to saving money--especially when it comes to Black Friday:
In our church we offer a prayer of traveling mercies for those who take trips or go on a journey. It is a prayer to protect them and guide them until they return home. Thus it is that I offer a prayer of shopping mercies to those of you who go forth to brave the wackiness and irony of Black Friday. May God protect you and keep you, may you spend your money wisely, and may you return home safely with your haul. Happy Black Friday shopping to one and all!