The title of this entry is a bit of a stretch, but I didn't want to use Steely Dan's "When Black Friday Comes" because everyone else is already using it - even the squares.
The biggest, baddest, meanest shopping day of the year is right around the corner, and I wanted to get my piece in here, too.
Now, I contemplated a tirade about the evils of rampant consumerism in the name of family and togetherness, but - while that would no doubt have pleased many of the fans of this blog - I have decided against it.
I thought about linking to stories and embedding videos of the violence and inhumanity that occurs among "holiday shoppers" on previous Black Fridays (and even the days following), but, frankly, it turned my stomach a little, and I would not wish that upon you, my little cherubs.
Instead, let me just impart a few rhetorical reminders.
What do the holidays mean to you?
What's your favorite thing about the holidays?
Is your relationship with your significant other predicated on what you can get for one another?
Is your relationship with your children or other members of your family predicated on the same? Do you want it to be?
If a child's sense of self worth depends upon whether or not that child has the same toy or other item that their friends have no later than December 26th, does giving the child that item help them or hurt them?
And a big one to keep in mind through the weekend and through the entire season:
Which is more important: a thing or a person? Even a stranger? Even an inconsiderate or mean stranger? Is that inconsiderate, mean stranger not still a person and not still more important than any electronic device?
I don't want to rain on anyone's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade here. While I am not a big fan of holiday shopping or crowds, I know that some people just love it, and I wouldn't want to take that away from you. (I will most likely be barricaded in my home until Sunday, however.)
I would just ask that you not let your "zeal for the deal" turn you into one of a particular crowd of people lined up for an early morning Black Friday deal outside of a big chain store. Another woman in line collapsed, passed out, and was left to lie there without any assistance at all because no one wanted to lose their place in line. (That's not even the worst story I read.)
Oh, and be nice to the salespeople. Working that day is usually a result of drawing the short straw, and I can pretty much guarantee you that they are not paid enough to put up with all of your drama.
So be patient, be considerate, don't let other people's bad behavior dictate your own, and have a happy Black Friday. Hey, like John Rock said, "Black is beautiful." (Yes, I know he didn't actually use that phrase.)
Here's a little video to occupy your mind when you are standing in one of those long lines (I saw it on the show of my TV girlfriend, The Bonnie Hunt Show):