Earnestly Looking for Something I Don’t Need – A Look at Black Friday

DJ industrial average 1929 Black Friday
Image via Wikipedia

I ran into a store a few days ago with a specific item in mind to buy. I quickly found the area of the store and the right size and began narrowing down the decision. As I looked up from my task,I caught the eye of a woman across from me. She hesitantly smiled and shook her head.  “I am earnestly looking for something I don’t need!” She exclaimed “But isn’t this cute?

“Earnestly looking for something I don’t need”. What a great and descriptive phrase! She’d probably wandered in off her lunch hour and the more she looked the more earnest she became. How do I know this so well? Because I’ve been there too many times to count. Those times when I wander in, knowing full well I don’t need anything, but how can I not get something with a 25% Friends and Family coupon burning in my hand? It’s getting hotter just waiting to be used on the thing that I don’t need.

And that my friends is Black Friday. Millions of people earnestly looking for something they don’t need. I rarely break out in judgement the way this will sound, but if Black Friday isn’t a picture of a schizophrenic society, I don’t know what is. A society that on the one hand worries about unemployment, personal budgets, and the economy, while the other hand is earnestly looking for something it doesn’t need. A society holding its money close, for fear it won’t have enough to pay for that which it doesn’t need.

I am the first to fall in this area. For years I would bring home things that languished in closets or drawers, but I had picked them out so earnestly that I couldn’t admit that I didn’t need them.

I am sure that some people find this fun. Some people love the excitement of standing in line at midnight with their lattes and pillows. They bond with the crowd, until there’s someone who cuts in line and the bond is quickly broken with a curse and shove. At that point it could begin to resemble Tahrir Square. They bond until they are both fighting over the same 52″ flat screen TV selling for mere pennies. It will replace the 40″ flat screen TV that they got a year ago at a Black Friday event. They bond until someone is killed in the stampede, trampled to death from people earnestly looking for something they don’t need.

Interesting that this day should follow one of America’s favorites. A day devoted to thanks. A national holiday specifically set aside to give thanks, to remember. What happens between pumpkin pie with whipped cream and midnight, when our base nature breaks out and we pummel the pavement in search of stuff?

So – I’m finished. I will say no more about Black Friday. But I will post this right when Black Friday begins, at the stroke of midnight, to remind myself that as I earnestly look for something I don’t need, I’m completely missing all that I have.

And with that…A Happy Black Friday to you. May you earnestly find that which you are looking for! (And at least try to find some savings with this Lenovo coupon!)

13 thoughts on “Earnestly Looking for Something I Don’t Need – A Look at Black Friday

  1. Honestly have never understood the concept of buying things because they are cheap. I do wait for sales, buy summer clothes at the end of summer and winter clothes in spring and honestly fashions have really not changed all that much for it to make a difference, but that is about it. Something like Black Friday would never make any sense to me.
    I think people try to fill the emptiness in their lives with things. It gives you a high for a short time till you put that thing away and go out to buy something else. It is never ending.
    I was out shooting ducks and swans today (with my camera of course) when the sounds of music took drew me to the museum and I stumbled on to an Advent market, help outside and inside the museum. it was really interesting as mostly there were handicrafts, being sold by the artisans themselves. I found three revolving snowmen carved from wood and painted, being sold by the man who had made them and his wife. I bought them, a whimsical buy no doubt but I was thinking of the man carving all year to make a little money at this market. They also make a good memento and are really cute, certainly not something that will be put away.
    There is another thing I wish to share… I see many shops with the word Potřeby (hard to pronounce but it means ‘needs’) I also find ads on facebook with the words need new shoes or need new clothes, the concept of asking the customer if they ‘NEED’ as opposed to brain washing a person into thinking they absolutely cannot do without something, which is what present day marketing in most parts of the world is all about is a totally new one to me. Yes and I must say I am impressed with it.I am totally enjoying exploring the many facets of this new world I find myself in..


    1. Your shopping description sounds totally the opposite of Black Friday. Wandering appreciating, talking to artisans…all that is such a gift as opposed to cramming our cart full of stuff that is just like what everybody else has. This is one of the gifts of growing up in Pakistan for me – limited choices. Thanks so much for this great comment and picture of the pleasure of markets like the one you describe.


  2. This is spot on, Marilyn! The Black Friday phenom has made it`s way to Canada, as our retail stores struggle to keep up with folks heading south to grab your bargains. Stompin`Tom Connors, a Canadian country and folk icon, wrote a song called `The Consumer`. The refrain is `and we`ll save a lot of money, spending money we don`t got!`


    1. Ha! No… Unfortunately I know myself all too well and I tend to be the chief of all guilty:). And I will be the first to love a bargain. It’s been in more recent years that I have realized a bargain isn’t a bargain if I’m buying something I don’t need.

      Sent from my iPhone


  3. Excellent, excellent post, Marilyn–the best thing I’ve read about Black Friday. I hope you don’t mind that I posted it to my Facebook page.


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