Apropos to the Day

Here’s a link to a post I wrote five years ago, which is still my general feeling today:

What I Want for Christmas: Not a Damn Thing.


When Black Friday Comes

A couple thoughts on the most frenzied commercial day of the year.

1. If it’s fun for you, then go have your fun. As you do, spare a moment for the poor bastards who had to show up at the stores at absolutely ridiculous hours to wait on your ass. It’s not an easy gig. Be nice to them.

2. Personally speaking, the idea of lining up in the cold in the middle of the night in front of a store in order to be the first to grab a 30% off blender fills me with the sort of existential dread that’s usually reserved for thoughts about the mocking absence of a benevolent god. So, no, you won’t be finding me Black Friday shopping, ever.

3. What Black Friday has mostly done for me in recent years is remind me of how much stuff I do have, and how little interest I generally have in adding to my already ridiculous pile of stuff. I’m not going to tsk-tsk people for wanting stuff; as already noted, I own lots of stuff, so if I was going to tsk-tsk people for it, they could correctly turn around and smack me in the head with the beam in my eye. I’m saying that personally, I’ve mostly reached a certain level of material sufficiency: I have what I want, and don’t typically want what I don’t have, so the commercial orgy of Black Friday leaves me even more cold than it would otherwise. Yes, this means I am very lucky. I recognize that.

4. One category that makes me a liar per point three: Electronics, because I am a big nerd and, to paraphrase Charlie Stross, I frequently have to make a saving throw against ooooh shiny. Indeed, this is the shiny I have been circling recently, on the (almost certainly arguable) basis that I need a new laptop. Another category: Books. I mean, of course.

5. However, neither of those are going to inspire me to hurl myself into the frenzy of Black Friday. Rumor is, there will still be books and electronics available after today.

6. Which is of course the other thing. I will almost certainly go Christmas shopping to get gifts for family and friends, but I’ll do it on a day where there is not a heedless scrum of bargain hunters bludgeoning each other for savings, because I can. One of the nice things about being a writer and working from home is that I can go shopping for things at 10am on a Wednesday. Or 3pm on a Thursday! The options are endless!

7. All of which means today, my Black Friday plans are stay home, watch some movies, pet the cats and amuse the wife, who still has her foot in that surgical boot of hers. Seems like the better plan.

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