Black Friday Frenzy

Thanksgiving is the time of year when your family coordinates to meet at someone’s house, to assign who brings which dish, and to catch up on the times. It’s also the time of year when the biggest deals hit the stores and everyone gets excited for huge savings on their favorite products. Personally, I have never been interested in the Black Friday capitalistic culture, but this year I gave it a chance. I wanted to see what the big deal was and I finally wanted to experience this part of our society.

9:45pm Best Buy Columbia, MD

My mother, our friend Mark, and I arrived at the store to join in on what we thought was the adventure of the holiday shopping season—and it sure was! The line started at the door and wrapped around the building to the back of the store. There must have been close to 4 to 500 people already in line trying to get the 42″ LED TV for $199. A few moments after standing in line at the back door we realized that we weren’t going to get our hands on one of those TVs. There were plenty of other deals to be had like memory cards, printers, tablets, blue-ray disc players, etc.

12:04am

The three of us walk through the doors and already, people are urgently pacing from one department to another with arms full of merchandise that can be said to have been marked down by up to 50%. There was a line to get into the store, a line to get a sales rep at the computer department, a line for TVs, and a line of people to check out. An “end-of-the-line” place holder was strapped with a bouquet of balloons who guided customers where to stand so they can make their purchase. This line reminded me of the answer key to a maze puzzle or a line that you would stand in when waiting to ride the most popular roller coaster at the amusement park. This was pretty insane that people were so intent on getting their stuff and getting the hell outta there.

1:26am

We have collected all of our merchandise on a cart and finally made it to the check out counter. The line went through the isles of CDs, DVDs, and main path ways that displayed on-sale items along the way. It was so tempting to pick up an item that was severely reduced and throw it in the cart—but we held on strong and didn’t pick up anything we didn’t need (for the most part).

Not only did I get in on the Black Friday at Best Buy, but I also got in on some shopping at Home Depot, Lowes, REI, and Target. WHAT THE F**K! After all that shopping and consumer mayhem, I had to come home, regroup and figure out what the heck just happend! There was running around from store to store, looking for “good deals,” swiping my credit card, and getting things that I really didn’t need. I thought that I would purchase some cheap gifts for people that I probably wouldn’t have bought gifts for unless I paid a relatively small price for.

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! So after sitting, breathing, and contemplating, I got myself (and STUFF) together and sifted through the items that I took home. I realized that some of the things were completely impulse, an item was purchased at its full retail price (not the idea), and that I really didn’t need it and it was thrown in the basket because I was high on this consumer craze. I’ll be returning a bunch of merchandise to their respective stores and get the cash back that should’ve been saved.

After all was said and done, I felt shameful, guilty, regretful, excited, spontaneous, and exhausted. I got a bunch of neat things, things that I wouldn’t have bought unless they were on sale, and enough experience to admit that I should never keep the things I buy impulsively. This was just too much for my mind to handle, but I am glad I was able to experience what people go through to get a good deal. Would I ever go to another Black Friday event like this year’s? Not if I don’t have to.

Things I Saved:

  • Power Tools + Accessories
  • Camera
  • Flash Memory
  • Running Shoes
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