When it comes to Black Friday, we tend to be rule-breakers. For one thing, we did our Black Friday shopping this morning, on Thanksgiving Thursday. For another , we did it from the comfort of our house. I woke up early and was browsing email, and noticed that the Amazon Echo Dot (2nd generation) was on sale. I thought it might be nice to have one of those sitting in the living room. But I didn’t buy it. I wasn’t sure it was something Kelly would be keen on, despite the Black Friday price of $39.99.
Kelly woke up, I played with the baby for a while, the kids came into our room, and eventually, Kelly started browsing her email. She said, “What exactly does an Amazon Echo do?” I explained. She thought it would be a good idea to try one out. So I ordered one. It arrives Saturday. As the cool kids say, “Achievement unlocked!” Our Black Friday shopping is done!
I have never understood the appeal of Black Friday. Why black Friday, for instance? According to Wikipedia, the “black” in Black Friday is an indication that it is the day that many retailers go from operating in the red to operating in the black. That makes sense, but it still makes me think of a stock market crash every time I hear the phrase.
While I don’t hate shopping, I’m not fond of the experience. Finding a parking spot, navigating through the complex maze that is the modern box store, waiting in long lines for checkout. Or waiting in seemingly short self-checkout lines that take just as long because no one can ever use them correctly. When the lines are long in store, the extra seconds it take for the chip card reader really begins to add up.
When I go to the store, I tend to go early. I try to do the Sunday grocery shopping before 7 am. I never have a problem finding a parking space. There is rarely a line. I get to chat with Paul, the fellow who checks out my groceries. About the only drawback is that the deli isn’t always ready for me at 7 am. The store is quiet, I have the wide aisles all to myself.
Our neighborhood is right next to a Target. We can walk there in five minutes. I walk more often than I drive because I don’t have to find parking. But the crowds still bug me. When I go to Target, I go in, get exactly what I came for, and head out. I try to see how quickly I can do it. Target opens later this afternoon for Black Friday (even though it will still be Thanksgiving Thursday). When I walked by yesterday, I noticed that they had the metal barricades all lined up against the outer wall in preparation for what I assume are the vast crowds of people they expect to shop on Black Friday.
Hey, if you enjoy it, if you get good deals, and don’t mind the crowds and the parking, and the race for the last deeply discounted Vizio television, then good on you!
We’ll be spending our Black Friday hiking around a local lake. But don’t think for an instant that I won’t pull out my phone and check three or four times during the course of the hike to see if our Amazon Echo Dot has shipped.