Today is Cyber Monday. It’s the equally frenzied but far less violent cousin of Black Friday for the coffee-cup-and-pajama-shopper set. By now, most of us have at least heard of the crazy woman who pepper sprayed her fellow shoppers in order to get to those killer deals. Sadly, I’m afraid “killer” is the operative word.
But you know what? People who know me in real life tend to describe me as Pollyanna-ish. To a certain degree, yeah. But if I’m behind the wheel of a vehicle? I am SOOOOO NOT. I can’t stand traffic. That alone is a good reason to avoid the day after Thanksgiving insanity. But I don’t want to be a Moody Judy and dwell on the negativity and bad behavior of Black Friday. Thing is, I don’t do Black Friday.
Well…um…wait. That’s kind of a lie and I know a certain someone is watching. (Santa, please don’t hold that against me! Hear me out. Pretty please? With extra whipped cream and marshmallows in your cocoa?) Okay. Here goes. (Deep breath in.) I shopped on Black Friday, but I’m not the up-at-the-butt-crack-of-dawn, credit-card-slapping chick. I’m more of the sleep-off-the-tryptophan-coma, mimosa-in-the-morning, show-up-at-the-mall-after-dinner gal. Seriously. I went to the mall with my daughter at 8:30 PM on Friday. Parking was plentiful. Store shelves were being straightened. No danger of being trampled, shot, or pepper sprayed just to be the first to snag some buy-one-get-one-free deal. With the exception of a few specialty items, most of the sales go on all day long. So we only had an hour and a half to shop. (A half hour for a few stores.) So what? I had 90 wonderful minutes of mother-daughter bonding time without fearing for our lives or rushing to get home in time for lunch or dinner. (We bought some cool shades, those holiday theme pajamas from Old Navy, and super comfy slippers.)
While I wish I could claim some holy anti-commercialism puritanical trait was at the root of my lackadaisical approach to Black Friday, the truth is that I’m a slacker. I come from a family of slackers. We are last minute shoppers to the nth degree. Black Friday frenzy + slacker last minute shopper = TOTAL WASTE OF TIME.
You know those people who put up their Christmas lights before Halloween? That’s not us. If our lights are up before Turkey Day, it’s because they never came down in the first place. Those jokes about people who leave their lights up all year? Totally my parents. No joke. Okay, so they only leave up SOME lights and consider it “landscape lighting.” Yeah. Right. Whatever. They’re red and white. And the lighted green triangular tree design on the front of the garage? It’s there year-round and the only difference is that it’s plugged in in December. Point is, I was raised to be a Christmas slacker. No one over the age of 18 in my family even thinks much about Christmas until you’re slapping mayo on your post-dinner turkey sandwich and the traditional Thanksgiving day loss by the Detroit Lions is in the books. What good are Black Friday deals if you have no clue as to what anyone in your family wants or needs for Christmas? As fabulous as a $79 flat screen TV might be, no one I’m inclined to spend that much money on needs another TV. Either that or those iPads aren’t the exact model, size, or color my loved one wants. (The electronics nuts in my family are very particular about their toys.)
Want to know another secret? Most of my adult family members prefer gift cards. A $20 Applebees gift card on Black Friday or Cyber Monday still costs $20 on any other day. This totally cancels out the whole Friday freakiness, so why bother?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a little jealous of some Black Friday shoppers. The ones who are organized. The ones who have a battle plan which doesn’t involve blood, guts, or any weapons carried by those vikings in the Capital One commercials. (Love those dudes, by the way.) The ones who meet their fellow early birds for lunch and trade stories of their fantastic finds. Especially the ones who are kind enough to include their sleepy, mimosa-drinking, “I’ll shop later when the crowds die down” friend to that lunch. In short, the ones who still have FUN.
No matter how you choose to do Black Friday or Cyber Monday, I’m sure you have a clear opinion about it. Just put down the pepper spray and no one gets hurt. Besides, I saw those hot red shoes first! 😉