Black and Blue Friday
I’m sitting here trying to make sense of the recent news regarding the most popular (or -- depending on how you feel about crowds – most boycotted) shopping day of the year. While it was nice to hear that the economy got a jump start from Friday’s pre-holiday sales, I’m in a quandary as to what would cause a person to snap to the point that she felt it necessary to shop armed with pepper spray in order to “get an edge on the competition.” I’m baffled by the notion that a deal on towels could be more important than a fellow shopper’s welfare. Clearly, I have missed something. When did Black Friday turn black and blue?
I’m not a big shopper, so perhaps I don’t understand the sport as well as others. Perhaps I’m a weenie. When shopping begins to make me feel a little unhinged, I just go home. I don’t punch anyone. Nope. And if someone slides in and steals my parking spot, I might say a few choice words under my breath and maybe wave my arms in the air, but I’m not gonna puncture their tires. So, what am I missing here?
Honestly -- how do you justify pawing, clawing, and climbing your way to the front of the line for a marked-down plastic object from Walmart? Isn’t it already cheap enough? And just how good does a deal have to be to invoke violence? Would we solve the problem by raising prices? Or is it more about raising values?
I grew up in a household of four kids, and -- trust me – we fought over stuff all the time. We’d wrestle one another to the ground over a football, a TV channel, the last cookie, or more often than not, the last word. But we would never be so rude as to challenge a complete stranger! Oh, no, we had ethics – we reserved our violence for each other.
Maybe some folks didn’t get the memo: unless you are related…no pinching, no spitting, no butting in line, and, for goodness sake, no hair pulling! And pepper spray is out -- blood relative or not.
In all seriousness, isn’t this the season for giving? Isn’t this the time of year that we slow down and take time to think about others and their needs? I doubt anyone on your shopping list really wants you to go to bat (literally) for their holiday gift. Rather than a headlock, maybe folks would prefer you offer a homemade scarf or a helping hand.
Don’t get me wrong -- I want our economy to improve as much as the next guy. But holding midnight sales designed to bring out the worst in highly caffeinated shoppers might not be the healthiest approach after all. Maybe our New Year’s resolution list should include anger management classes and a new plan for taking the blue out of Black Friday.
For a few weekly fun and entertaining suggestions on how you can help others this holiday season, keep up with Charlottesville Inside-Out on Facebook.