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Hoping for a Black Friday 'black-lash'
As far as I know, it started last year.
Black Friday, that insane day when retailers lure Christmas shoppers out for bargains while it's still dark, started edging into Thanksgiving.
Headlines, store employees and the general public all roared in outrage. And shoppers turned out in droves.
So of course, this year they’re doing it again.
Target opens Thursday at 9 p.m. At Walmart (where many stores, including the Victorville location, are open 24 hours) Black Friday specials start at 8 p.m. Best Buy, more old-fashioned, won't open until Friday … at midnight.
It’s all been said, but we all keep saying it. The need to make a buck is cutting into a family holiday, forcing employees to leave their families to go to work while other family members run off to stand in line before the table is cleared. All for a few more hours of markdowns.
The answer, of course, is to stay away. If enough of us don’t play, the retailers will go back to the old, sane days of opening at 3 or 4 a.m.
But the pressure mounts. That steadily growing certainty that if you don’t get in on the deals … Someone Else Will.
I know it happened at my house last year.
Like everyone else, my husband and I clucked our tongues over the crass commercialism. Then Charlie started eying the store ads.
Year-round, I’m the primary shopper in our household, but somehow my husband got more of the Black Friday gene than I did. He’s always been more likely than me to get up before the crack of dawn and brave the unruly crowds for those bargains. Of course, he’s also bigger than me.
So, you guessed it. By about 11 p.m. he was out the door to see what deals he could round up at Best Buy and other secret shopping destinations he wouldn’t reveal to me.
In the face of such devotion — surely all those DVDs were meant for me, right? — I did what any loving wife would do. I huddled in front of the computer, biting my nails and trying to be quick enough to catch the biggest online deals I could get my hands on. I missed most of them, either because I’m not very good at bargain-surfing or because my hands were quivering. Before the sun came up the day after Thanksgiving, I was half-convinced I’d ruined Christmas.
For me, that’s the biggest loss: a few less hours of peace on earth, traded in for more holiday stress. I want to tell the retailers, knock it off! But I succumbed last year, and I can’t guarantee I won’t cave in again.
If this keeps up, it won’t be long before “Black Thursday” becomes a fact of life.
You know, that day we used to call “Thanksgiving.”
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