Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday ... Mental Health Awareness Day

It was an "Ah Ha!" moment ... one of those realizations that strike at a time when you are searching for answers to life's greatest mysteries.

Hmpf ... I was simply determined to visit my local supermarket to obtain ingredients for a sweet potato casserole ... a dish I'd never attempted to create. My nerves were on high alert. This casserole was going to be sampled by those who might forever judge me as a result of their taste buds.

I was self-absorbed in my mission .. and then, as I entered the parking lot of the supermarket, I glanced to my right. Immediately, my focus shifted to the Coleman tent. A tent ... in front of neighboring Best Buy. Not only was the tent a five-person shelter, it was second in line behind two shivering masses who were huddling beneath a blanket on a bench only inches from the locked doors.

What the fuck have we become? Why would anyone, much less a multitude of people, gather at the entrance of a retail store, hours in advance of their opening?

Unless the retailer offers satisfaction-guaranteed orgasms or your money back with every Blu-Ray purchase there is no reason to camp out at Best Buy. I enjoy walking through Best Buy. There are many, many items that I'd love to own that Best Buy sells. But, if you were to ask me, "Hey, Jefftard, is there anything at Best Buy that you'd pitch a tent and piss in a water bottle in order to save a hundred bucks?" I'd say, "Uhh, nah ... "

Instant gratification has reached an insane level. C'mon people ... we're in a time that people don't have money, jobs and health care. Yet, we're waiting in line to buy gifts? For what? To make an impression on the recipient of said gifts in order to satisfy an inner need to prove oneself?

Hey, let's have a Black Friday sale at the liquor store ... Best Buy, Macy's and Toys R Us would be empty. Buy One Cuervo and get one free ... serves the same purpose ... self-satisfying for both the buyer and recipient.

Don't misunderstand me ... I love the holidays. I still call Christmas, 'Christmas'. What I abhor is the marketing of 'love, caring and appreciation' as an early-morning sale that requires camping in order to proclaim, "Yeah! I got a great fuckin' deal!" Personally, I'd return a gift that came as a result of an extreme bargain-shopping jaunt. Why? Because that gift wasn't obtained with my best interest in mind, it was obtained at the expense and gain of the buyer's sacrifice and expected thanks for his stupidity ... eh, sacrifice.

If you arrived at your favorite retail store today at 3, 4 5, 6 or 7 AM ... I don't dislike you at all. I just think that you might need to re-evaluate your priorities. Who is really getting the best deal? You lost hours of sleep and possibly earth-shattering morning sex. You fought smelly, cranky, obsessed shoppers for bargains and compromised the very values and principles that the holidays are meant to promote. Yet, the retailers who spent $2 for the $40 'Bargain' that you must have as a token gift are wide-awake and thanking you for your dedication to the holiday spirit.

We have people that find within themselves the resolve to 'suffer' through crowds, traffic and understaffed stores. People will trample others in order to grab an over-priced, on-sale flat-screen TV. I don't get it. These are the same people that lament the state of the economy and feel sorry for the unemployed, homeless and uninsured. Are the homeless, uninsured and unemployed on their Christmas lists as they storm the gates?

Again, I ask, "What the fuck?"

Once again, another holiday has become bereft of meaning. Christmas is synonymous with extended store hours, low prices and ego-inspired giving. I'm not a religous man but I do see that Christmas is fast-becoming a glorified Hallmark holiday on par with Valentines Day and Halloween. Buy, buy, buy.

Who are those gifts meant to excite? The recipient or the giver? There's a blurry line ...

As for the campers and the stampeders ... well, you folks are more whacked than I am ... ponder on that for awhile. No discount on the latest gadget at Best Buy will correct your mental ailment.

1 comment:

  1. I stood in line at Target to get my replacement toothbrush heads. does that count?