“Black Friday,” reads a meme making the social media rounds. “Because only in America [do] people trample each other for sales one day after being thankful for what they already have.”
Thankfulness is vital, I agree. But I’ve been up at the crack of dawn to “cash in” on Black Friday sales, and I’ve never witnessed any violence of any kind. Not a smidgeon. Not that it doesn’t happen — we’ve all seen the videos. It just isn’t the usual experience.
In fact, the camaraderie of strangers is one of the endearing aspects of standing in line waiting for a big box store to open at some forsaken hour.
Trust me, I’m decidedly not an enthusiastic shopper, so participating in Black Friday wasn’t my idea. My youngest daughter wanted to experience it. And taking a businesslike approach to Christmas shopping, she needed the savings. I liked her interest and initiative and so I said, yes, to getting up at 5:00 am.
But after staying up late talking with friends and relatives, that early alarm hit hard.
What I liked, in order, were: being with my daughter, our sleep-deprived sense of humor, the rush of doing something new, and a comforting visit to Starbucks.
For years, I rode this father-daughter Black Friday fast lane. But not this year. At age 17 (her, not me), with her social life and work, she’s got better things to do than partake in dawn shopping raids.
Still, if she ever asks me to go with her on Black Friday, I’ll be up and at ’em, thrilled for the opportunity.
Why? I know what I’m thankful for. What really matters.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.