The American holiday among holidays. For 365 days, our culture sits and waits for the one night of the year that the lights come back on at midnight in every single Walmart and Target across America. The pent-up anxiety just fills each house, taking over any enjoyment of the real holiday at hand.
Now, I don’t know about you but getting trampled to death in Walmart is not on my bucket list. For hours on Thanksgiving night, Americans line up outside of big-name department stores with sales flyers in hand, waiting for the lock to click on the other side. Some people take it to the extreme and camp outside the shops for the entire day. It is an unexplainable phenomenon that I have been trying to comprehend for many years.
The first time I ever experienced this horrific yearly ritual I had gone with friends. They promised me that we would have a great time. We were going to have hot chocolates, walk around the outdoor mall and visit a handful of shops. We went to this outdoor outlet factory that was not too far from our hometown. I had no idea what to expect, or what I had signed up for until we got to the exit on the highway that entered into the mall. The traffic was just stopped, and so were we- for forty minutes.
So we carried on, parked and walked to one of the signs with the “YOU ARE HERE” maps. We picked a couple of stores and tried to remember where they were. Our first store was just ahead of us, but the line was clearly visible and going all the way around the next row of shops. The attendants at the front estimated two hours before we would even get to the front of the line.
I was astounded. I just couldn’t believe people were this into shoes around here. So we decided since we would be here for a while that we would go check out the lines at the other stores first. We went into a clothing store that I wanted to check out. Of course, no line. When we got inside though, the place was trashed. It looked like people just took the nicely folded piled of shirts and pants and just threw them in the air for fun. I walked around, stepping over clothes and hats and shoes and everything you can imagine that one would find in a store for men and women’s apparel and accessories. I was started to get irritated because I couldn’t find anything and left the store shortly after. There were people outside of stores arguing about children’s toys, cops were breaking up a brawl in the courtyard and I had enough of the festivities for this night.
I knew that I was stuck in this mess to the end so I just kept going until I found a coffee shop where I split from the group and nested until they were completed with the live version of “The Purge.” I never again went to any Black Friday events after that. I decided that I valued my sanity, warmth, and comfort so much more than a $25.00 Nautica sweater.
The entire concept is flawed from top to bottom. After waiting a couple years, the internet caught up and now we have Cyber Monday so I’ll meet you for an extra-hot latte and we can go shopping my way.
– Hazel N.
P.S. I am so excited for Cyber Monday and I can’t afford to be excited.