At around 10:30PM on the way home from a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt’s house, my sister and I were stopped in our tracks as we drove past our local Wal-Mart & Target stores. In unison, our mouths dropped open and we shouted, “What the hell?!” as we witnessed the ludicrously long lines composed of tons and tons of Black Friday shoppers standing in line waiting for their very own chance to spend money on crap that they don’t need.
Wait, sorry. Calling them Black Friday shoppers is completely inaccurate because these people couldn’t even wait for the clock to strike midnight before they had to get in their cars and race to the store so they could battle their neighbors for flat screen TVs and X-Box 360s. Who are they, Cinderella or something? Are they going to turn into pumpkins if they don’t greedily consume every single piece of unnecessary junk before Thanksgiving is over?
I think me and my sister were both so blown away because of course we’ve watched reports of such behavior on the news before, but we’d never actually witnessed anything like it in real life. It was almost like, until then, we had just written it off as something that exclusively occured in the far away land of That Only Happens On TV. We were so blown away at just how many people were willing to stand outside in the frigid, November air on the night of Thanksgiving, so that they could save a bajillion percent on a copy of the new Call of Duty game, that we felt the need to drive through the zoo-like parking lot and
see make fun of such an intriguing cultural spectacle up close and personal.
But the thing is, why do I care how other people are spending the end of their Thanksgiving? If you want to stand outside of some shitty store with the rest of the stupid world, then be my guest. I’m in the car rocking out to Beyonce with my sister, on my way home to a hot cup of tea and a cozy bed. Really, I shouldn’t give two flying farts about what you’re doing.
But I do. I give a few flying farts because I know that this sort of crazed, competitive consumerism took place all across America and that’s not OK with me. As a society, as a country, as human beings, we need to ditch this “More! More! More!” mindset and convert to a mentality that’s more like, “Wow, I’m already so fortunate to have a bunch of really nice things, maybe I don’t need a 7th iPad.”
How about ,next year we all decide to consume just a bit more rationally? That way, when the stores are all, “OK guys, we’re opening at 7PM Thanksgiving Day so make sure you don’t eat any good food or make any fun family memories and just stand outside of our doors ready to hand over your hard earned money to our greedy Corporate Overlords,” everyone will be sitting at home, eating good food and making fun family memories.
And then, when there’s no one barging down the Wal-Mart doors, the Corporate Overlords will be like, “What the hell? What happened to all of our good little, mesmerized minions who used to stuff our cash registers full of money, no questions asked? Where did they go? How will we keep the True Spirit of the Holiday Season alive if people don’t spoil themselves rotten by buying more things than they even know what to do with?” It’ll be so great!
Good, so it’s agreed. Next year, on Thanksgiving Day- and yes, the day following too- you won’t go near that shopping cart. You will not form eight-million-people-long lines or pepper spray fellow humans so you can get your paws on the last X-Box. Instead, you will stay home, be thankful for everything you do have and laugh with your family about people occupying Wall Street or something.