I don’t do Black Friday.
Maybe I don’t mean that like most people mean it. I’m not bitter about it or cynical about it, although I do laugh at the photos (and videos, below) of those fools stampeding over each other – elephants, rhinos, gazelles, antelope, hyenas – so they can desperately save money while spending money.
But I laugh because they look silly. They look silly in the way an anchorman does when you see him fixing his hair in the mirror, or in the way a 20-something woman does when she’s walking in heels down cobblestone streets in Gastown.
I don’t avoid Black Friday for any philosophical reason. I don’t scoff at materialism to make a statement. I just snark at it because all people, at some point, look like they’re crazy, sometimes like they’re in complete pain and only due to themselves. And I’m happy I’m not.
And that’s why I avoid Black Friday. Physical pain.
I don’t want to wait in border lineups or wait for the doors to some department store to open.
I don’t think there’s anything out there I want that bad – at least, not something you could buy in a Macy’s.
But I don’t want Black Friday to stop. I love how crazy it is. I love how it now bleeds into Thursday, in the same way that Boxing Day sales have now become Boxing Week sales. I think the insaneness of Black Friday is enjoyable. It’s entertainment. And I don’t want my entertainment to disappear.
I enjoy the stories, too.
In 2011, I played in a Rugby Sevens tournament in a little city called New York, traveling down with friends and teammates from Toronto and London, Ontario and setting up shop at some hostel at the northern-most point of Central Park – essentially Harlem.
On Thursday, after getting back from the bar, one of my teammates took the subway at three in the morning and rode it 70 blocks south, getting out at 34th Street where, if you’ve even been to New York or watched a Christmas movie, you might know Macy’s is.
He must have waited in line, must have went inside, and must have bought a laptop. Real cheap, maybe $400. He got back on the subway, took it 70 blocks north again, and went to sleep in hostel, passing out with the laptop in the box on his chest.
When he woke up, he had no memory of the whole thing. He was that drunk. It was a hilarious story, and he had apparently been trying to buy that exact laptop for some time.
So, hey, I enjoy Black Friday.
But I enjoy it through others, and if they want to sacrifice themselves to “save” some money and give me a good story in the process, I’m not going to be the one to stop them.