Why is this Friday different than all other Fridays? - une femme d'un certain âge

Why is this Friday different than all other Fridays?

For those of us living in les Etats-Unis, unless one’s domicile is a monastery or cave deep in the mountains, there is no escaping that today is Black Friday.

Retailers are doing their very best to gin up shopping frenzy by opening at 4am, 2am, even midnight after Thanksgiving. Look very carefully, mes amis, at the ads for those “doorbuster specials” as often the merchandise sold at the super low price is limited to one or two of each item, and “no rainchecks given.” Can you say “Bait and Switch?”
Une femme cannot abide crowds, especially frenzied crowds and so avoids the retail scene on this day (unless it’s a quick pop to the market for more Reddi-Whip to enjoy with a slice of leftover pie) as the Bedlam it is. And no offense meant, but you people who line up at midnight outside of a store and stampede in when the doors open…y’all are NUTS.
What about you? Do you scour the ads and look forward to scoring Black Friday deals? Do you shop in person or only online? Or do you settle in with a roaring fire, a good book and turkey sandwich and ignore the madness completely? (I’ve added a poll in the right hand sidebar, too.)
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  1. Anonymous
    November 27, 2009 / 2:23 pm

    The roaring fire, good book and turkey sandwich sound wonderful to me!

  2. November 27, 2009 / 2:32 pm

    I’m home today, expecting friends later for a day of hanging out. NO Black Friday shopping madness for me, this year, or ever!

    Come to think of it, I tend to try to avoid Christmas shopping madness completely by doing most of my shopping online.

  3. November 27, 2009 / 3:21 pm

    We have no such craziness here, thank goodness, altho’ our Boxing Day sales are a bit similar — and I’ve never yet been to a Boxing Day sale (the idea of fighting with crowds the day AFTER managing to get through Christmas and the culmination of weeks of shopping?!!! nuts!)
    Enjoy your at-home peace, far from the madding crowds!

  4. November 27, 2009 / 3:26 pm

    Spending the day with my 4 boys is worth more than any bargain. A quick trip to the boulangerie for bread and turkey sandwiches for all.

  5. November 27, 2009 / 4:30 pm

    I’m at work today, which is preferable to Black Friday. Ugh, it’s just not worth the hassle to me. And although we’re open for business, the office is dead today with only a skeleton crew–so don’t feel too badly for me.

  6. November 27, 2009 / 4:59 pm

    I can’t abide crowds either and I wouldn’t even think of going to a mall on black friday.

  7. November 27, 2009 / 5:31 pm

    Hell to the NO, Miss Janey won’t go! Not this day, anyway.She must work from 9 to 11 (if the market is open, so is Miss J’s workplace). This afternoon, MIss J and the Mr. will meet up w/ his relates they didn’t get to see yesterday.

    As for shopping, well, Miss J likes to do as much of her Xmas shopping as she can while sitting at her desk surfing the interwebs.

  8. November 27, 2009 / 6:07 pm

    I would rather stick my hand in the fire than do Black Friday on site. Donnez-moi l’Internet! It’s lovely that more and more vendors are offering holiday discounts online. I’ve already bought 99% of everything I carefully bookmarked over the past year as gifts for family and friends. Now if I can just manage to resist some of those prices for things for myself…

  9. Arabella
    November 27, 2009 / 3:01 pm

    ‘Black Friday’ pushes all my Contrary Mary buttons: scream at me to go somewhere, wear something, you can guarantee I’ll ignore you, yes you, advertisers and trend-setters.
    Playing my ukulele instead.

  10. Marsi
    November 27, 2009 / 3:47 pm

    I think those dead-of-night doorbusters are unconscienable. (Sorry for the spelling.) It feels like employers think they can ask their employers to do anything thanks to the shaky economy, including staffing the store at 2 a.m. to sell $5 shirts. I’ve also been disappointed to see that some retailers have been open as well. I think it’s terrible, and I don’t remember ever having seen so much of this before.

    I have a hair appointment later this morning and will swing by L’Occitane because they’ve got a great offer on their shea butter hand cream. Other than that, I’m sitting this one out.

  11. ~Tessa~Scoffs
    November 27, 2009 / 4:34 pm

    Contrary to today’s Haiku, I am NOT going shopping today. For me this day has always been a day of sleeping in, leftovers and carefully washing all the lovely china, crystal and silver. Although my parents hosted 37 people (not without alot of help from Moi and Lady C) everyone enjoyed a fully appointed place setting complete with cloth napkin and placecard – even the babies!

  12. Mindy
    November 27, 2009 / 5:02 pm

    I think the participants in Black Friday look at it like a sporting event. I’m not convinced its all about bargains. I’m still in my robe, drinking coffee and looking at the internet. I never did understand sports.

  13. November 28, 2009 / 2:08 am

    Never, ever could you or have you been able to entice me to leave the house on Black Friday or any day this weekend. The traffic in Chicagoland suburbs is enough to have one committed. I simply can not handle it.
    I am not one to shop because I am told to, or do anything because I am told to for that matter…but those stores, here in the winterland you walk in with your big coat on but they have the heat on 78, pretty soon you are dying or heat stroke, people are in such a frenzy like this one gift is their ONE CHANCE to show someone they love them!
    C’est ridicule.
    I find it not the least bit holly or jolly. I ate leftovers all day and stayed in my jammies. 🙂

  14. metscan
    November 27, 2009 / 7:41 pm

    I have a v e r y strong dislike for sales of any kinds. I could not do thrifting or secondhand shopping. I am also starting to be very picky on so called vintage and antique stuff too. I avoid stores during X-mas time. I surf online- shops, but actually I have bought only 2 articles from Mytheresa ( which I can recommend ). I know some of you think I´m nuts, but I want to pay full price for my purchases.

  15. Penny
    November 27, 2009 / 7:45 pm

    Sale or not, nothing sucks the holiday joy like going to a mall during peak season. I’ve honestly never participated in black Friday shopping and I hope I never do.

  16. Leanne
    November 27, 2009 / 11:32 pm

    Definitely the fire and turkey sandwich for me and mine. To be honest, I’m having some negative customer service experiences from online shopping lately (on sites I love and have shopped at before, yet), so I’m inclined to sit back and ignore the hoopla altogether.

  17. November 28, 2009 / 3:48 pm

    A year ago, a temporary WalMart employee, Jdimytai Damour, a Haitian immigrant, was trampled to death by the crowds of Black Friday shoppers.

    (you will find MANY stories googling WalMart worker trampled or Jdimytai Damour).

    There are consumer groups who wanted to make Black Friday (even in other countries) “Buy Nothing Day”, but now some say it would be better to call it Jdimytai Damour Day, to remember this worker who was killed by consumer madness, and all retail workers.

    After all, I don’t see why I should refrain from shopping at my local butchers, greengrocers or boulangerie (all of them hard-working immigrants as well – the butchers are Argentine and Chilean, the fruit shop Sino-Vietnamese, the boulanger French-trained Tunisian). So I did that shopping – I’m lucky to live in a place where I can shop on foot at such local small businesses (and they aren’t luxe places either).

    But I think it is criminal to force workers to get up in the middle of the night to open the doors when they are going to be facing a hard month of Christmas rush shoppers, often nerve-wracked and hence rude.

    To say nothing about such disregard for the life of a man who was simply trying to earn an honest living.

    Mr Damour was a big, strong friendly guy – 6′ 5″ and 270lbs – like a football linebacker or the fellows in heroic-worker songs of centuries past – “Big John”, songs about miners and railway builders and their exploits.

    No doubt sending money back to the relatives in Haiti, like so many people in my neighbourhood at those “currency transfer” places…

    So I did do some local shopping, and will again today. Trying to be mindful and respectful of retail workers.

    Paix et amour à Monsieur Damour…

  18. November 28, 2009 / 7:51 pm

    I avoid it at all costs. I don’t understand how it’s become a sporting event to see who can get there first and who can open the earliest.

    I went to one store on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it was nice and uncrowded. I shopped a little online today.

  19. Sher
    November 29, 2009 / 3:43 am

    Good gosh! Seems I’m the only one brave enough to venture out. I’ve yet to experience all the horrors mentioned here LOL!

  20. hostess of the humble bungalow
    November 29, 2009 / 11:20 pm

    I dislike crowds and do like service so I avoid this kind of situation at all costs. I prefer the small retailer and shop carefully and somewhat frugally in a minimalist way. I buy quality not quantity. Black Friday sounds very large and loud!

  21. Kalee
    December 5, 2009 / 11:54 pm

    My husband and I (and my parents) had been up several times in the night dealing with my niece who was a bit fussy (she’s 11 months). So instead of being up at 3 a.m. as planned we didn’t get out until after 9. It was surprisingly relaxing, I carried my niece nearly all day (we were out until after 10) with my husband taking over when she was asleep (awake she wanted nothing more than to play with my raw ruby necklace, so she cried if I passed her off for too long). In the end we had fun, took her to see Santa (no real line, and he looked real) and G and I both picked up some wool blend winter coats for less than $40 each! (much needed since the coats we have are a couple sizes too big this year).

    I do agree however that most who get out way early have a screw loose. We didn’t come across bad crowds, and I thank the late start for that.

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