Black Friday lingers

Last year after Thanksgiving JM and I battled the mall crowds on Black Friday. This year, I had to work, but met JM and her boyfriend for lunch at a local mall… I tried to tell them that wasn’t a good idea, but you can’t tell kids anything…

The place was understandably packed. There wasn’t a single table inside, and we only lucked out on finding one outside. The boyfriend told us that his mom and sister had braved the shopping mania, having left their home before sunrise.

I still question the sanity of people who make this an annual trek. I went last year because there was little else to do in Blountsville, Tenn. and I was so over sitting around and just staring at my other family members. I had to get out of that house. I wasn’t gone long and I don’t think I bought a single item.

While at lunch, looking around at the shoppers, I was surprised how many people had brought their children, and I mean little kids, stroller small, with them on their foray into madness.

There were countless news reports of mayhem and bodily damage as normally sociable people became unglued and resorted to pushing, shoving, cursing, and adult games of tug-of-war.

One guy in Destin shoved an elderly woman because she wouldn’t stand aside for him at a local electronics store. She almost whacked him with her cane… did you get that, she had a cane! What was so important for anyone to manhandle someone who has to use a cane?

I heard another report about two guys who got into a wrestling match at Sam’s Club over a trampoline… it did have the protective netting included for the holiday price of $150… but really?

Shoppers wait for hours outside of retailers to be the first in line, only to be trampled by fellow bargain hunters once the door finally open. The sad part is that the craziness has only begun, shopping anywhere for the next couple of weeks will be insane.

I can’t remember anything I wanted bad enough to fight someone over. Last year WK wanted a Wii… they were nowhere to be found. Instead, he got a coupon good for one game system as soon as one came available. We could have camped out at different stores, waited in line and quarrelled with other parents, but why? WK still got the game, not exactly when he wanted it, but he got it.

This year WK wants Guitar Hero for the Wii… he may be getting a familiar piece of paper again. I have a few phone calls to make.

Have we become such a generation - or society as a whole - of people who demand instant gratification that we become barbarians when we don’t get our way? Are we teaching our kids that they are entitled to what they want, when they want it, no matter who gets hurt?

Whatever happened to “patience is a virtue,” or “do unto others…,” or “No, you can’t have that now,” or just plain “No?” All this drama is taking a serious bite out of my holiday fun. I think I will stay out of the malls and do the bulk of my Christmas shopping online, that is if the server doesn’t crash.

If Mom Says OK

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