Black Friday

Let me start by saying if you found $50 dollars on the floor at the Short Hills Macy’s last night (around 1am) then do the right thing and give it back to me. Black Friday has become such a phenomenon that you don’t even have to buy anything to lose money, as I found out in the waking hours of Friday’s early morning. We (Me, my sister, and my two friends) pulled up outside the Short Hills mall around 11:45pm Thanksgiving night to find out that we were late to the party. Security guards were already filling the lot with car after car. This came as a major surprise to me as I was still in disbelief that the mall would truly open at midnight. Clearly I underestimated the American phenomenon that has become black friday. The line stretched from the Macy’s entrance all the way down to the newly opened Cheesecake Factory (I hate cheesecake, cheese is not a desert food). As we stood in line, the mood was that of excitement and anxiousness. People were clearly getting a kick out of the idea of spending large quantities of money at insane hours of the night (a mentality usually reserved for drug addicts). When the clock struck twelve they released us into the department store like a bunch of refugees filling the Superdome. If I could classify the mood in the store, I would say it was “intense”. People were hell bent on getting 25% off their Levi’s and were willing to cut somebodies throat to do it. I was really amped to see a fight but security kept all the rowdy shoppers in check. These people weren’t your average Short Hills mall goers (i.e. rich jewish housewives), they were the bargain hunting brigade, mainly comprised of girls and their whipped boyfriends, housewives and their ball-less husbands, teenagers with low allowance, and Asians…a lot of Asians. This came as no surprise to me, Asians know a good deal when they see one, and aren’t nearly as wasteful as American’s. I did my best to not part from any cash (albeit still losing a 50), while my sister and friend spent a combined $600. “Holy shit” I thought to myself when they told me, I thought black friday meant great savings. “It does dude, I saved 90$” my friend told me (clearly satisfied with himself). That statement is the essence of black friday. People feel good about themselves because they feel as if they are being sensible by shopping on black friday. But there is nothing sensible about spending 600$ at 2am. We have become such an insane consumer culture that we created an unofficial national holiday to give us an excuse to go out and spend under the guise that we are getting great deals. Just because your buying a 2$ waffle maker doesn’t mean your saving any money, you just feel good because you only paid two dollars. You can save so much money that you’ll go broke. If you were at the Short Hills mall friday night you wouldn’t even thing this country had any financial problems. It’s simply reckless consumerism justified by 25% off stickers. Besides, who really wants a waffle maker anyway. You’ll give it to somebody for Christmas (or Chanukah), they’ll use it twice (probably December 27th and 29th), and then they’ll say “fuck this” and go to the IHOP down the street.

 

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