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Does anyone remember when this whole "Black Friday" thing caught on?

I feel like all of a sudden, so many people are eating early on Thanksgiving so they can catch a nap and then get up at 3AM to get 10-packs of $1.99 tube socks from WalMart. It's become a new family tradition, like the big giant meal is just a pre-game to the main event of rampant hysterical shopping.

Granted, many of my Thanksgivings were marred by the occurrence of a very large Irish Dance competition the next day, requiring me and one or the other parent to pack it up and drive to Philadelphia on a tryptophen hangover. So my remembrances of delicious Turkey Day are a little skewed as to what might pass for "normal".

But I feel like this whole Black Friday As Main Event is kind of the new family tradition, no? Isn't lying flat on your back with your tummy full of good stuff enough anymore? There will still be sales to get a good deal on Christmas prezzies, people. You should rest up tomorrow.

Date: 2009-11-27 06:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know! When I was growing up, the family would all merrily venture to a store or two to see if we could find anything good. But it wasn't ever a frenzied thing to like, have a game plan for. What is it that people need so friggin badly? Are the deep discounts really so satisfying? The last time I went to look at Macys or whatever on black friday all there was left were all the weird, picked over sizes and colors. I don't need a XXL chartreuse pullover.

Date: 2009-11-27 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm really starting to think, if things keep going the way they are, by 2025 Black Friday Shopping will be officially recognized as an Olympic Sport. I think people get a big adrenaline rush from the running and the grabbing? I have a friend who picks a deal every year and he's dead set on getting it. He got a laptop one year for something like $200. Another year he got an ipod for like $45. But he has to sleep outside the store starting at something like 6PM the night before, so he misses all the Turkey deliciousness. Deliciousness is more important to me than a cheapo ipod.

Date: 2009-11-29 05:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So it really is the whole black friday experience as opposed to just the low prices? Like the community of sleeping outside the Best Buy with all your fellow conspicuous consumers? Like Woodstock, except different!

Date: 2009-11-27 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't get it at all. I remember as far back as 1996, wondering why there was a huge line outside a sports goods store at the ungodly hour of 7am the day after Thanksgiving. I had to get into work before everyone else to open the bookstore where I worked but why would anyone voluntarily get out of bed early TO STAND IN LINE?! That was when I was introduced to this Black Friday nonsense. I hope I never understand the appeal.

Date: 2009-11-27 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So it started some time in the mid90's, you think? Maybe it's backlash from the Tickle Me Elmo travesty of '95? Before that, I can't really remember any "I GOTTA GET IT FOR MY KID!" toys except for the Cabbage Patch Kids back in the early 80's (by the way, I got one that year. My mom was on tour and the bus was driving through some backwoods hick town, she saw a ToysRUs from the window and made the driver stop and she ran out and grabbed one for me and one for my cousin, and Phyllis Jodie and Gracie {middle name I can't remember} traveled with the instrument cases for the rest of the tour. I think we were the only kids on the block who got them that year).

Does it count at Black Friday Shopping if you did it online? Two of my regular shopping sites had free shipping only this morning, so I did that. But it was from the comfort of my own bed, and I didn't even crush anyone to death, so it might not be validated as legitimate Black-Fridaying.

Date: 2009-11-27 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A mid-90s origin sounds about right. At that time, my aunt and uncle spent Thanksgiving night clipping coupons. They'd get up early for Black Friday but not 3am or, as it seems people are doing now, pulling an all-nighter.

That's an impressive story about your mom getting you a Cabbage Patch Kid! I was living in Japan at the time and watching the store fights on TV...while we had tons on the shelves there that no one wanted. I was horrified by my American peers. I'd rather miss the deal of my life than be in those crowds.

Date: 2009-11-27 07:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My first job out of college in an engineering office, I (and most others) worked the day after thanksgiving. That was the early-80's. Interesting as well is how many colleges have break the entire week. I had classes Wednesday and had to get my ass home Wednesday night. Ahhh, the good, old days.


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