Is Black Friday the holiday now? It’s the same every year: half of America laments the dismissal of a holiday many of us consider sacred, while the other half eats their turkey in line at Walmart. Either way, it’s all anyone talks about. Plus, all the normal people without a commerce-driven god complex more or less consider malls closed on Black Friday, and a closed mall = national holiday.
Personally, I would pay three times as much for all my Christmas shopping if it meant no one else was allowed in the mall, but I’m an old and battered ex-retail employee. I’ve seen things that would make a man weep. I’ve had customers unflinchingly ask for my own personal possessions. I’ve been called fat. I’ve been called stupid. I’ve been called Conan O’Brien, right to my face. I’ve seen co-workers physically assaulted. And while I deplore that a reverence for American greed seems to be replacing a reverence for good ol’ fashioned American gluttony, I see what could be a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is American sloth.
Why fight crowds on Friday when you can sleep in instead, and then get the same deals on Monday, when the most effort required is that thing where you try to reach your laptop without getting out of bed?
While Thanksgiving as a holiday has gone largely unchanged, Black Friday has crept out of the confines of its assigned 24 hours, backing into Thursday evening and creeping across the entire weekend. Then came the birth of Cyber Monday, where Americans could shovel their money to retailers from the comfort of their office desks. I’ve even seen a few Cyber Tuesday emails in my junk folder, and while some people may see this as the Black Friday beast growing and growing, I see it dissipating.
Black Friday just doesn’t pack the same punch as it used to. Online sales for Thanksgiving weekend are up 17% from last year, while many brick and mortar retailers saw thinner crowds than they expected. Though this could be due in part to the complete violation of Thanksgiving with many stores opening this year at 6PM on Thursday, I’d venture to bet it’s that sneaky vixen, ecommerce. You can lay in bed with her and she gives you anything you want. Who could resist?
Cyber Monday is the answer to all the problems. I implore all to embrace it. Stay home next year. Honor Thanksgiving tradition AND be greedy assholes. Spend a full day cooking more food than you could ever eat, AND buy yourselves shit under the guise of holiday shopping. Yell at your computer screen instead of a real human person with feelings on what is undoubtedly the worst day of their year.
You can have it all. What a time to be alive.