Bob Barcus > 2014 > November > No Black Friday for Me

No Black Friday for Me

Posted by Bob Barcus on November 28th, 2014

I’m certain that some of my friends are probably throwing a few elbows and jostling for that “sweet deal” over at Wal-Mart right about now.

Today is Black Friday – that most celebrated of holidays. The day we stuff our shopping carts with stuff the day after having stuffed ourselves with stuffing. It is a most glorious day (for some people). Honestly, while I would love to get a few good deals on tech, Black Friday is definitely one day that I’d rather stay away from the regular shopping venues. I put it right up there with avoiding the Blueberry Festival.

I’ve tried the whole Black Friday shopping experience on a couple of occasions. I recall a trip to the old Scottsdale Mall in South Bend once to get a Furby and then there was that horrifying experience buying a Kodak digital camera at the Wal-Mart in Rochester. All I know is that Black Friday shopping isn’t for me. I have enough trouble with stupid people on regular days.

I think our society has a problem. Look back to any release of the new iPhone and you’ll see what I mean. Is it really necessary to be the first one in line? It’s just an iPhone for God’s sake! Sure, I love technology, but there’s a limit to what I will do. The main PC I use to do all of my work was built from parts I ordered online on December 1, 2008. Seriously, the system I use to do all of my work is six years old in a few days. Guess what? It still works quite well. Sure, I’ve upgraded the operating system and added some memory, but it’s still essentially the same computer as when I built it.

A good friend of mine completely avoids the stores. He either sends his wife or orders everything he needs online from Amazon. I have to admit, there is a certain allure to buying everything over the internet. Plus, it sure does feel like Christmas when the UPS driver drops off a package.

Unfortunately, I’m still the type of guy who likes to walk into a store and pick up the merchandise and examine it before I buy it. In fact, even though I might end up buying something online, I’ll still go to the store first to check it out in person. Yes, I like to kick the tires.

When I decided to cut the cord and cancel my satellite TV service, I spent weeks looking at various set-top streaming boxes. I finally settled on a Roku, but it wasn’t the latest and greatest one. I went with the cheapest one and it has worked fine for several years. I’ve considered upgrading to something else at some point, but I’m in no hurry and I prefer to keep my options open.

Unlike some people, I don’t think I place that high a value on “stuff” in general. Thankfully, I grew out of that. I stopped trying to get the latest tech, I stopped buying new cars and I live in an old mobile home. I have no desire to run out and buy a brand new computer or wear expensive shoes. My priorities in life have changed and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, I still splurge on something for myself once in a while. But, it’s nothing that I consider life-altering. There are plenty of things I see that I would love to buy, but I exercise restraint.

Black Friday is not a day when you’ll see much restraint in the stores. I think every retail establishment in the country is probably feeling the strain as millions of shoppers flood the aisles and empty the shelves. There will most certainly be a few incidents today, possibly even a couple of people trampled to death as they attempt to buy crap from China.

Such a glorious day, indeed.


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