Saturday, November 30, 2013

Not buying anything

I’ve learned we have the famous city of brotherly love to thank for giving us the shopping day name Americans know as “Black Friday”. 

This day one of Christmas shopping season, early retail store openings, bargains-galore prices and much glitz and hype is a day for which many Americans patiently waited.  They wasted not a single shopping moment when Black Friday 2013 finally arrived yesterday. 

Supposedly, the name Black Friday originated in Philadelphia over fifty years ago to describe heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic occurring the day after Thanksgiving.

For many Americans, this traffic now takes place in large indoor shopping malls providing a comfortable shopping experience with protection from outdoor pre-winter cold weather and vehicle pollution that yesteryear shoppers painstakingly endured.

Now, the day after, Black Friday 2013 has come and gone but many Americans are at in again for day two.  

Others are exhausted from their marathon shopping day and are choosing, instead, to relax and give witness to us non-Black Friday believers about their previous day shopping-mania experience.  They like to overwhelm us with detailed accounts of the great deals they begot. 

Women, in particular, like to engage their husbands in a friendly aftermath game of “Guess How Much?”  This is a game where wives showcase their great bargains while husbands are supposed to guess how much it cost. 

Sometimes if the bargain is clothing, wives will don it and walk the fashion ramp during the guessing game.  In their sharing excitement and glee, they’ll often flash a giant smile so blindingly bright that husbands can barely view the bargain.       

For us men, it’s a delicate and volatile experience because if we don’t want to play, it’ll get us in the doghouse.

If we guess too high, it’ll offend our wives’ shopping skills and get us in the doghouse. 

If we guess too low, we’re accused of not being interested and, that too, will get us in the doghouse.

This show and tell ordeal, besides competing with our manly desires to relax and be silent, is living proof of married life challenges.  It’s a “heads I lose and tails I lose too” phenomenon.

Well another Black Friday has come and gone and that’s fine with me.  To all those bargain shoppers stewing in their juices and basking in their glory about all the money they saved, guess what? – I did better. 

Tell me all day long about the fifty percent you saved and then let me tell you about the one hundred percent I saved by not buying anything.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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