Black Friday

Thanksgiving anne taintor 819b0e2d979ab69cb9ccdd56c54e7108The day after Thanksgiving in 2005, I nipped into a gourmet candy store to buy a hostess gift. I was a Black Friday innocent, and I was discombobulated by the crowd.

Since then, I’ve avoided shopping on Black Friday.

Black Friday is relentless.  This week, during the two-day, five-hour finale of Dancing with the Stars, dance routines were interspersed with loud ads for stores that opened as early as 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Dorp Dead 16093416It used to be nice, if boring, to know nothing was open on Thanksgiving.  When I was a child, we read quietly in the morning (I remember reading Julia Cunningham’s Dorp Dead one year), then zoomed across town to Grandmother’s house for dinner. The guys watched football.  The girls did girl things.

There was no dashing off to Penney’s or Wal-Mart.

As adults, we’ve had many quiet Thanksgivings, and a few chaotic big family holidays.   But it’s usually low-key, and I read an amusing book like Valley of the Dolls while the dinner cooks.

This year, however, it was 12 degrees, with snow on the ground. We all have colds, and we were trapped indoors.

Perhaps that’s why people shop.

It’s not that I’m a stranger to sales.  My mother used to take me to sales the day after Christmas (or was it New Year’s Day?).  We’d line up in front of Seiffert’s, which opened at the usual 9 a.m., when dozens of women would rush inside to rifle through the racks.

A sale at Seiffert’s was just a sale.  There is always violence on Black Friday.

There’s so much hype about holidays.  If you are lucky, they are pleasant.  If you are unlucky, they are nasty and distressing.

But Black Friday is Too Much.