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!)
- The Link between Thanksgiving Gluttony and Black Friday Insanity (psychologytoday.com)