Black Friday Makes for a Black Holeby Mary Sheehan Warren on 11/27/12
After a weekend like this last one, where does one even begin?
"Black Friday" 2012 has been proclaimed a wild "success," with its 247 million shoppers spending $59.1 billion in the U.S. alone. Of course, something like this must start in the U.S., and, of course, it must be placed the day after we give thanks for all the stuff we got last year.
But why delay getting more stuff at the end of 2013? Let's skip the thanks and make Thanksgiving Day "Black Thursday."
No wait: I didn't mean that. Besides, I can't take credit for the suggestion that we ease the blackness backward into Thanksgiving. Retailers already did that this year, with some shoppers springing into action only moments after filling up with turkey and pie.
You'd think that this would be the perfect recipe for a bad case of indigestion.
The only people who seem happy about this are the"they" in the retail world who get to make these sorts of decisions. That lady on the floor is no longer happy. The guy who had his "deal" pulled from his arms is reconsidering his decision to spend the night in a parking lot. The associate who has to ring up the mess is fuming because she's missed a holiday she's taken for granted as sacrosanct. Not very surprisingly, the Internet is buzzing with opinions which range from disgust that we've stooped (or fallen) this low, to regret about where to stash the junk for which we've put ourselves into debt.
And this is why a woman like me (i.e. one who is concerned with a seriously wonderful wardrobe) would venture an opinion on ugly shopping.
Black Friday (and the like) makes a closet into a black hole. Instead of a sanctuary of sartorial possibilities, you now enter a vast vacuum of nothingness each morning as you dress. As far as you can remember, there's the dress "you couldn't pass up for the price," the tennis shoes that "were insanely discounted," the handbag you'd "never get any other day of the year," and all those sweaters that were "too good to be true."
Well, they were too good to be true. The hysteria which came with the blackest Friday of the year, induced the old delusion that you could die without the fix that a Walmart offers.
Where's the stuff now? They're mixed into that chasm of despair you've been calling your closet. You've just got too much stuff. You can't remember what you own because some law of physics out there has caused everything to fuse into one big black hole, sucking your time, money, and emotional energy into its gravitational force of darkness.
Okay, that's a little negative.
But there's an upside to all this.When the next black day approaches, you can use an easy, time-tested guide before you pitch a tent in front a Walmart. Tell yourself:
1. If my loved one or I really needs it, I don't have to wait for a sale. I can buy at my convenience because it's worth the price.
2. A thing is really worth its price. If it's only $9.99, its worth is probably at about that price. I'll go for the higher quality at the higher price at my convenience because I'm worth it.
3. If, over time, I've chosen higher quality (needed) items at slightly higher prices, then I will own less stuff to kick in that law of physics which turns closets into black holes.
4. If I own a closet and not a black hole, I will be a happy person.
5. If I am a happy person, I will no longer be inspired to camp overnight in the parking lot of a Walmart.