Andrea of "Bedtimes Are for Suckers": Before the last bit of Thanksgiving gorging has been digested and firmly implanted as cellulite on our thighs, millions will head out to the stores to partake in another gluttonous American ritual: Black Friday.
As retailers whip the public into a shopping frenzy, might we step back and remember:
A) We're in a recession.
B) Most of us don't need anything. On the contrary, people could stand to get RID of some sh*t -- myself included.
Oh, and let's not forget this bit of Black Friday trivia: In 2008, in an early-morning stampede of ravenous shoppers at a Long Island Walmart, a worker was killed and 11 customers were injured. Damn, there must've been some deep cuts -- I mean on the prices, of course.
When did shopping turn into a blood sport? And when did Black Friday -- which sounds ominous enough -- turn into "Doorbusters"?! Think about it: "Doorbusters" is synonymous with throngs of people pushing through a store entrance to get the best deals on electronics. Why not call it "Fractured Feet" or "Skull Bashers"?
Beyond the safety factor, there's the inconvenience aspect of this buying frenzy. Doors open at 5 AM -- some even at midnight! WTF?! Does that mean you need to start lining up at 11 PM Thursday to get your hands on a $12 coffeemaker? Nope. I foresee a new Thanksgiving tradition: Tailgate! Eat your Thanksgiving dinner IN the parking lot at Walmart!! There's nothing like carving a turkey on asphalt.
If you must jump into the shopping mosh pit, is it worth it financially? That depends. Let's do some math:
Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who is able to snag a $3 toaster at Target. A regular one might go for about 25 bucks. That's a savings of about $22 (88 percent off!). That's nothing to sniff at. But let's check out what you'll have to do to EARN that $22.
- Get up at the crack of dawn -- possibly rousting your bleary-eyed, pissed-off children out of bed, too. "Wake up, kids! Mommy's gonna kick some shopping ASS!"
- Sit bundled up in blankets on lawn chairs next to a bunch of other families with pissed-off kids.
- Continue to wait.
- Doors open! Stand in a throng of impatient/tired/stressed-out people who would sooner kill you than miss out on a deal.
- Stand in a checkout line.
- Continue to wait.
- Wait some more.
- Come home exhausted. Spend the rest of the day tired and stressed out with your tired and stressed-out kids.
- Hours spent: 12.
- Brain cells destroyed: 500 million
- That's 22,727,272 brain cells killed per every dollar saved.
Moms, what do you think? Is Black Friday worth it? Read more from Andrea at "Bedtimes Are for Suckers"