HEY. THAT’S TODAY.
If you’re one of my several American readers, first of all, congratulations. Not just because you’re reading the greatest blog in the history of the universe (TM) but because you’ve waded through more Canadian jokes than an episode of The Rick Mercer Show to get to this point. That takes a special kind of dedication.
For you special readers, yesterday was Thanksgiving. (Aside: I saw somebody tweet “if you celebrate Thanksgiving, have a great one.” Who in the 9th circle of hell doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving? An excuse to eat my weight in dead turkey? WHO SAYS NO?) Up in Canada we’ve already long celebrated it, probably because November is too much like winter to celebrate a bountiful harvest. And because we hate four day weekends. What? Uncle Frank gets drunk and takes his pants off.
And, of course, after Thanksgiving comes the much contested Black Friday, which is important enough I’m apparently capitalizing it. For some folks, Black Friday is pretty okay. They get to go to the store, maybe get some exercise, and score themselves a tablet for $59. I sure as hell wouldn’t bother, but I’m not about to begrudge someone who does. What they do with their time in none of my business, really. This may come as a shocker to you, but I really don’t care what you do in your off time. As long as you come to Financial Uproar 3 times a day, I’m good.
But, at least among the other personal finance type bloggers, my thoughts on the “holiday” are in the minority. I think Black Friday is a stupid distraction, and maybe a chance to save a few bucks on something you were going to buy anyway. Them? They think it’s a representation of everything that’s wrong with our consumer driven society, dammit! Don’t buy things, they say, buy experiences!
One the one hand, Black Friday haters have a point. Collectively, most of us have too much stuff. And once you delve into it, exchanging Christmas presents is silly. I buy you something worth $50 that you may or may not like, and you do the same to me. Chances are one of us picked poorly, but even if we didn’t it would still be more efficient to each take the $50 and buy ourselves a present.
But on the other hand, try telling that to your mother. You know, the nice lady who thinks long and hard about the perfect present to get her little angel. The lady who really wants all her kids back at home for at least one day a year, doing nice Christmas-y things together. The lady who will spend hours and hours to make your ungrateful ass a delicious turkey dinner. I suspect that exchange would go something like this.
“Hey mom, I’m not giving anyone Christmas gifts this year. It’s stupid.”
“GET OUT AND NEVER COME BACK.”
So, yeah, I don’t think your little show of not doing any shopping on Black Friday is really going to matter. Like most forms of protest, all you’re really accomplishing is making yourself feel good. Do you really think Alice Walton cares that your average personal finance blogger/reader is sitting out Black Friday? She’s probably too drunk to know what day it is anyway.
But wait, you say. It’s even worse this year. Did you know the EVIL WAL-MART BASTARDS are opening on Thanksgiving Day? And because of them doing it, so is every other retailer? GOD I JUST WANT TO SMASH THINGS I’M SO MAD. I SWEAR TO GOD I’LL PUNCH THIS BABY.
Does it suck that people with crummy minimum wage retail jobs have to show up to work on Thanksgiving just to show some dumb 76-year old man how to work a 2007 flip phone? Sure. But guess what? It’s part of the territory.
It’s kinda like when a professional athlete tears out his knee. We all feel pity for the guy when it happens, but 20 minutes later we’re back watching the game and not giving two craps about his welfare. Why? Well because we know it’s a risk of pushing your body to its limit. It comes with the territory, so to speak.
It’s the same concept for folks working in retail. When business is good, you have to be there. This is the time of year business is good, thus this is when you have to show up the most. Instead of blaming the evil capitalists who want to make money, how about getting a different job? It isn’t that hard.
In 2014, Black Friday is a terrific holiday. You can literally roll over, grab your laptop, and be buying crap without even having to leave the comforts of your bed. When it comes to shopping for stuff, you really can’t beat that.
(Edit: The following deals are mostly only good for Canadians. Sorry, U.S. readers)
In literally five seconds, I found plenty of great deals on Amazon. Here’s a $79 Kindle, on sale for $64. And it’s better than the one I bought for Vanessa back in June.
Want an iPad? Walmart has them on sale for $228, Plus a free $20 Wal-Mart gift card. Oh, shipping is free too.
Need a new TV? Want a TV for your bedroom/basement/kitchen? Here’s one for $148. That’s a great price for a TV. Who cares if it’s only 720p. It costs less than a speeding ticket.
How about a travel deal? You all know I heart the Hotwire. Well for Black Friday all you need to do is click here to get $10 Off at Hotwire.com. Use the coupon code Thanks10, and you gotta spend at least $100. That’s on top of the already fantastic deals offered.
Anyway, you get the point. I’ll say it again — if you’re going to be buying this kind of stuff anyway, you might as well do it on Black Friday, and from the comfort of your own home. You guys know by now to stop wasting your time buying unnecessary stuff. So go ahead and save some money on the stuff you’ll end up buying anyway.
And then, when everyone else drones on about the evils of Black Friday, you can ignore them while playing on your new iPad. Everyone wins, especially Steve Jobs’s ghost.