The Black Friday experiment

Erin George, Staff Photographer

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Consumerism hell in t-minus 24 hours.

Thanksgiving is a time to give, to be grateful and spend the beginning of the holiday season with loved ones.

Not anymore it seems.

I decided to do an experiment: Go to the mall at 6a.m. the day after Thanksgiving when doors open on Black Friday and subject myself to the masses of crowds that runneth over for 50 percent off a frying pan. I have never wanted, nor needed anything so bad that I would subject myself to dealing with shoppers on this day.

Nervous and ridden with anxiety, I lay in bed the night before doors opened.  I imagined all the horrifying scenes that were to play out in front of me the next day. Maybe I would get a great photo of someone punching another patron over a microwave.

Five o’clock wakeup as my alarm blared taunting me for the days events to come. I drug myself out of bed, dressed and rushed out the door. I pictured the parking lot to be massively full with lines already out into the street. I arrived at my turn into the garage and found a surprise.

What’s this? Not even ¼ full, I slid easily into a parking space and made my way to the front door of Macy’s. A few people were  scattered here and there but not many as I had imagined.

I headed straight to Zara, one of the more expensive brands at the mall. I stopped dead in my tracks as I entered the maze of clothing.

There is no one there.

I snagged a shirt for $14 made of the softest fabric from Portugal. Take that Black Fridayers.

On to the next.

I headed to Forever 21 thinking about how much crap they have in that store that they’re bound to get rid of a ton of non-essentials. I approached a man with eyebrows that were more groomed than mine and I asked him about the sales for Black Friday. “21 percent” off he says. I blankly stared at him. “You’ve got to be kidding,”  I turned on heel and headed out the door to the next shop on my list.  I saw sign after sign in each open store’s window, “20 percent, 15 percent, 30 percent off.”

Where are the deals? Isn’t this Black Friday?  Confused I approached a friendly looking salesgirl by the name of Oprah.  I explained my confusion and she sweetly said, “Oh honey, the sales are on Thanksgiving now, you should have seen the lines out the doors yesterday.

Now I have had it and this is just too much. When did the day of thanks and appreciation, turn into the day of buying crap that you really don’t need!?

Appalled, I left the mall feeling defeated and headed straight to the beach.  My smart-alec smartphone kept pinging me, notifying that the sales were not over and would continue through the weekend to Cyber Monday.

Enough is enough people.  Put down the blenders, tablets, Xboxes and PlayStations. Enjoy what really matters the most: time spent with our friends, families, and loved ones. Make memories that can’t be returned after the sale is over.

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