What Happened to Black Friday?

23 Nov

Okay, let me be frank here.  What the hell happened to Black Friday?

Oh it’s still there, sure.  But it looks funny this year.  Don’t be fooled: November 25th is not what it seems.

Every year, my brother and I have a Black Friday tradition.  We get the flyers ahead of time and scope out the deals.  My brother is a total nerdy nerd so for him this means assessing the tech needs of the family.  Need a new television? Mike’s got it covered.  Want to watch your favorite movies on Blu-Ray but can’t justify replacing your DVDs? No worries: Mike will heed your concerns in November.  Heck, last year he got three DVD/Blu-Ray players for 20 dollars each just in case the family decided they wanted them.

The year before, we stood like ice statues outside Best Buy at 3am to be one of the first in line for Mike’s most coveted item of Black Fridays past: The Logitech Harmony Remote.  This baby is a fully programmable remote that suits all your entertainment center needs.  You program the step by step process for everything from your old school Nintendo to your shiny new DVD/Blu-Ray player (courtesy of Mike, perhaps?) and when you’re finished, it turns on everything you need for a single task with one beautifully orchestrated ballet of genius.  Simply push the button beside “play a game” and the correct sound system boots up, the TV turns on, and your video game console emits a soft glow that whispers it’s ready.

That’s a beautiful purchase, my friends.

It’s not just about paying only a fraction of the price for life-changing goods.  It’s a hardcore bonding experience.  There’s nothing like forcing yourself into a vertical position and prying your eyelids open with your fingers on a still-digesting stomach full of turkey to reinforce that brother-sister love.

Mike and I are highly evolved species in a capitalistic society.  It’s a test of evolution, do you understand?  We have to stand in line looking like hell frozen over, shaking with coffee that was cold the moment it was put in our hands and yet keep our limbs warm enough to dart through aisles to nab those deals before nimble and ever-persistent soccer moms.  Success means we’re at the top of the food chain.  And we’re always successful.

But this year it’s different.

What a sham.

Some stores are opening at midnight.  That means that there’s no scraping our skins out of bed – we simply have to go to bed late the night before.   There is no early morning coffee and driving home as the sun comes up, laughing at our delirium and celebrating a wagon full of gadgets.  There’s no test of evolution.

Even worse, some folks are opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day.  It isn’t enough to test your ability to get out of bed in the morning or to stay up late at night; now we must test family loyalty.  In order to get the brightest and best catches this holiday season, you’ll need to skip the egg nog around the fire or the sneaking of cold turkey throughout a good game of cards.  You’ll have to end the festivities of one day to embark on the capitalistic traditions of the next.

So thanks, but no thanks, Black Friday.  You’ve been a great, unexpected festivity born of exhaustion and early morning laughter.  But I’m not forking over conversation with family and late night board games for bright flyers and percent-off signs.  You’re in uncharted territory.  You can’t compete.  I wish you nothing but failure this year.  

Next year I want my Black Friday back. 


22 Responses to “What Happened to Black Friday?”

  1. Rob Rubin November 23, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    I think the last time I ventured out on Black Friday I was partially responsible for putting some old lady in an ambulance. But then again you can’t expect to be safe at Best buy at 5am with a walker now can you?

    Rob, The Mainland


    • Jackie November 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      Seriously?! What a fantastic story that must be (and a poor old lady). No one should be out in the shopping storm but healthy adults. No elderly without assistance and certainly no babes in arms.

      You’d think she’d have used that walker to her advantage, what with the natural shielding properties and all.


      • lys810 November 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

        Bwahaha. My boyfriend’s mother has a disability that means she has to use a cane (she’s only 40-something), She has a cane with an ice-pick on it.
        Beware, black friday shoppers, beware. 🙂


  2. Jules November 23, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Black Friday? Really?

    It sure doesn’t feel very capitalistic when the majority of the goods on sale come from the largest communist nation in the world. *cough* China *cough*

    jus sayin’


    • Jackie November 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      oh Jules. Happy Thanksgiving to you. 🙂


      • Jules November 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

        Same with you Jackster! I’ll eat an extra slice of pie (or two, maybe three?) just for you. It’s my way to show appreciation for the many LOL’s that you deliver in my inbox.


  3. pegoleg November 23, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    I always want to be part of that great American experience, but without camping out in the cold, missing sleep and risking being run over by avid bargain hunters, foaming at the mouth. So I go out at 10am on Friday morning when all the deals are gone and the store employees are comatose.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jackie!


    • Jackie November 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

      You miss the thrill of the hunt. You should experience it just once. Maybe even work up a dollop of toothpaste in your mouth to help match the rabid look of the other customers. It’ll scare ’em off.

      Happy Turkey Day to you as well. Think of how skinny you’ll be in those family pics! WOOHOO!


  4. wtfhappenedtomyreallife November 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Agreed. Enough said….


    • Jackie November 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

      No, not enough said. Happy Thanksgiving to you 😉


      • wtfhappenedtomyreallife December 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

        To you too! Black Friday and Dark Gray Thursday deals kind of sucked this year anyway. Hope you found some cool stuff. I amazoned and ebayed everything and picked up a few here and there things. My shopping is DONE. YAY!


  5. Tara November 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    I have to agree. Black Friday is not exclusively about the deals. It has become a holiday in and of itself and the stores have missed this concept in their greed. I hate it. I think they’re killing it and it botches my desire to go. I don’t want to go Thanksgiving night, but knowing that all the good stuff will probably be gone by morning makes me not want to go then either. This could backfire on them big time… I hope.


    • Jackie December 4, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      What a great way to put it – that it’s a holiday in itself. I didn’t end up going but it appears they did just fine even with the midnight openings. It’s kind of a bummer but I guess I just won’t get my Black Friday game on any more. It’s a thing of the past perhaps 🙂


  6. whatimeant2say November 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    I hate to sound pessimistic, but I think the days of the true Black Friday are over. It looks like it’s going to be Gray Friday from here on out.


    • Jackie December 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Yeah it’s a big let-down. Love what they did with Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday though.


  7. Katherine Gordy Levine November 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Well done. I avoid traveling at all on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. just a Crainky Old Lady. Used to give gift cards, old enough now that need only give to the little ones and the little ones are too little or get too much already. Said I was a Cranky Old Lady today. I am. Stay strong.


    • Jackie December 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Nothing wrong with Cranky Old Ladies. I hope to be one myself someday 😉


  8. egills November 24, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    I wondered what all this black friday stuff was all about when Amazon kept emailing me saying it was black friday week…… suffice to say I have taken full advantage of it from the comfort of my own desk.. gotta love the internet.

    I have once (many years ago) stood outside a furniture shop from 3am Boxing Day queuing for the beginning of their sale to start. Never to be done again!

    Happy Thanksgiving


    • Jackie December 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Ah – see now Black Friday online, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are certainly things I can get behind. Yes to them all. 🙂

      Boxing Day – now there’s something I’d love some insight on.


  9. sanetes November 24, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Thank you for the insights into a foreign culture. 😀

    I’m definitely a member of the “stay away from the crowds and find bargains online” club. We have no Black Friday, but there are the Saturdays in advent when peaceable people like me are only safe at home.


    • Jackie December 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

      A foreign culture indeed. I wish we would just stop with the Black Friday madness. So many people get injured every year. It’s stupid.


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