Today is Black Friday, which I am sure you are well aware. I want to preface this rant about Black Friday by saying that I love to shop, I love getting new clothes and shoes. I love getting a good deal as much as the next person. That being said, today, I really took a long, hard look at the way that Black Friday’s in store deals have created monsters out of a specific portion of the American people… and I don’t really love this aspect of the holiday shopping season.
My Black Friday partner in crime, Cristina, and I decided to “do” Black Friday this year by driving to near by New Hampshire Thanksgiving evening to get our goods at a Walmart where they opened at 6 on Thanksgiving and shoppers could begin purchasing at 10pm. We thought this was the best idea that we had ever had. We would get in and out, it was brilliant! We embarked around 930 last night, Thanksgiving, and were on our way; I needed a camera for my Mom and she needed a surround sound system for her husband. We love a good deal and always have fun together until 45 minutes later, we saw the cluster from the highway. This Walmart in Hudson, NH was ridiculous. The parking lot was full and then some, there were police and the Sam’s Club parking lot across the road was also filling up. It was legitimately crazy. Three or four years ago, Cristina would have totally taken this bull by the horns and braved the crowd… but not this time.
We almost immediately decided that our “great deals” were not worth the hassle of parking, fighting, waiting, fighting, and depriving ourselves of sleep over. The crowd seemed chill enough, there were just legitimately too many people. We turned around and went home, agreeing to try and just get our goods online and if not? Oh well, worse things have happened. I got my camera online this morning and she got some of her stuff this morning, not all of it but some of it at least. It turned out OK for us. Fast forward later on today when in watching the news or seeing things posted online, that all sorts of crazy sh!t went down today and left me absolutely astonished:
*A woman pepper sprayed up 20 people at a Wal-mart in California, most resulting minor injuries but seriously lady? How important could the deals you are trying to get possibly be… and on an XBox? To top this sundae all off, the woman apparently scooted away, bought her hard fought goods and went on her merry way with no repercussions. Gross.
*Police said a man was shot in the parking lot of another California Walmart after he refused to give up his purchases to a group of thieves. WTF. There were police at the Hudson NH Walmart and there were SO many people there that I couldn’t even imagine someone being able to steal stuff and get away with it. Apparently, all it takes is a gun. Seriously Gross.
*Oh guess what, there was another shooting, this time at a Walmart (surprise surprise) in South Carolina. Thieves were trying to steal her purse because it seems easier to steal sh!t from people when it’s dark and they are focused on one thing and one thing only, AMAZING DEALS! Was anyone aware that this woman was being mugged? Did anyone care?
*Two things I thought would never be in the same sentence together: Waffle Makers and Riots… until today. Check out this video take at another Walmart where people went abso-effing nuts over $2 Waffle Makers. All I have to say is, Crack is Whack… and this video disgusts me in more way than one. We are fighting over waffle makers? Imagine if we were starving and there wasn’t enough food to go around… we would be bloodthirsty aholes with no regard for other human life. This sort of situation deeply saddens me, deeply deeply saddens me.
I am sure there are more instances of hungry, competitive Black Friday shoppers taking the thirst for a deal over that line; I don’t really want to hear about it. I love a good deal as much as the next person, really I do. What I love more is when a good deal is fair and those who are there first get a ticket or something and automatically get the item they came for, because they got there first. Why can’t that be a normal standard procedure for this type of thing? Isn’t there a better way to get a deal? To me, it seems that Walmart in particular, has no more control over Black Friday crowds than it did the year that their very own employee was trampled opening the store’s doors. It’s sort of cray cray.
To me, Black Friday, especially today, was a dark day in my eyes. I feel guilty for ever taking part in early morning deals at any establishment, waiting in line, maybe rushing to get any item which is never worth the fight… and all around supporting the craziness. If I purchase any deals in the future on this weekend in November, they will be online from the comfort of my own home… because I don’t want to be maced, mamed or worse, shot.