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A New Reason I’ll Avoid the Mayhem That Is Black Friday

Whack FridayMany of you will rise out of bed at 3:00 am Friday, grab some coffee and head out the door to go stand in line at your favorite retail store, hoping to get a jump on the holiday shopping season. It’s an annual tradition, this Black Friday shopping trip that gets so many people worked up into a frenzy. I’m sure many people love the action and excitement of it all.

Me? Meh…I find it not enthralling. I’ll take my extra hours of sleep.

There are a host of reasons I chose not to shop on this day. Thanksgiving turkey hangover. The crowds. Getting prepped for the OSU/Michigan game (yes…I do this a day early…Go Bucks!).

But this year I’ve added another reason why I’ll just never go shopping on this day.

The Safety Issue On Black Friday

Anyone remember these headlines posted on Drudge Report last year on Black Friday?

Main Drudge Headline: “Whack Friday” – the link associated with this headline led to a video of a fight inside Walmart…all over a TV.

Some other headlines on Drudge last year included:

“Mall Mayhem”

“Woman pulls stun gun in fight over Walmart shopping cart”

“Man stabbed over parking spot”

“Suspected shoplifter shot after dragging cop through Kohl’s parking lot”

“Man shot walking home with big screen”

“Shoppers trampled in race for $49 tablet”

“Salvation army kettles stolen”

I didn’t make any of those up. All of these headlines linked to stories that actually happened. Really? Fighting over shopping carts and $49 tablets?

Is it just me or is the Black Friday shopping experience producing too much emotion and getting way out of hand?

If money has become this powerful a force in our lives that it drives us to commit these kind of acts, then we have real issues as a society. Nobody should be fighting over anything that costs $49. We shouldn’t have to risk our lives finding a parking space at the mall. Salvation Army volunteers shouldn’t fall victim to theft.

What do we have to do next? Have a policeman guard the kettle?

I’m aware that crimes can happen at any time and I never know when I might be the victim of one. But on days like this where there are masses of people whose emotions are running high, I’d just assume not put myself in a situation where I might come face to face with some whacko who wants that last Lego Star Wars Tie Fighter for his 8-yr. old.

“Here man…you can have it. You don’t have to stun me.”

I’d rather not have to say those words. So I’ll be relaxing on my couch this Friday afternoon playing Lego Star Wars with my kids on our not-bought-on-Black-Friday PS3. That sounds likes a lot of fun. Saving money is simply not worth the hassle and risk to me.

Will you be shopping at a retail store this Friday? I obviously don’t know…are the deals really worth it? Have you ever had an incident where you felt unsafe shopping on Black Friday? Will you do any shopping online?

Next Post: Reasons I’m Thankful to Be a Stay at Home Dad

Prior Post: Statistics Show People Turn to the Internet First For Their Job Search 

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  1. I decided to do the opposite of black Friday shopping, and wire the last payment to my mortgage company instead. It was much more fun. 🙂

  2. I don’t like crowds at all so I have no plans to venture out on Black Friday. I also need to work that day!

  3. I went once and will never go again. Most items can actually be bought cheaper at different times if you watch the sales.

  4. Safety is definitely an issue, and I do think emotions get way out of control over nothing! My mom was actually just telling me the store next to where she works was robbed last year; two guys came in with guns near midnight. The managers of the stores in that shopping center are trying to get a police car to hang around. It’s awful.

  5. I have never and will never shop on Black Friday and stories like this are just part of it. I like to think of the holiday season as a special time for bringing out the best in humanity and it just doesn’t seem to be present in the malls and stores on Black Friday. So I would rather spend the time with my guys, where I know the best of humanity exists.

    • The best of humanity is definitely not on display when you look at some of those video clips. I’ll be tuning in again this year to see what craziness happens.

  6. I stay away from stores on Black Friday for the same reason. There are just too many crazy people out there and saving a few bucks on something is just not worth it to me.

  7. I will not be shopping on Black Friday except for maybe the 10% off Target gift cards, but we can get those online. I like to avoid it for those reasons. It seems to bring out the worst in people and that is certainly not what the holiday season is supposed to be about.

  8. People do go crazy on Black Friday and it’s absolutely bonkers that they would resort to violence over tablets or stuff period. Going to date myself here, but the first item I really remember adults fighting over for their kids were Cabbage Patch Dolls. It was insane. It’s a doll, folks! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving, Brian!

    • “…Cabbage Patch Dolls.” I remember that Shannon. I never did understand what was so special about those. I thought they looked kind of silly.

  9. I stopped participating on Black Friday years ago. The only place you will see me at 3am in the morning is at home in the bed. Sending money is a good idea, but can get pretty pricey.

  10. I’m with you – I don’t need the stress and I DO need the sleep. The types of gifts I give are generally not big Black Friday steals (I send plants to my relatives who are far away). I could probably save a little money on some gifts, but it’s not enough to outweigh the stress of being in crowds. Not my thing.

    • It’s not my thing either but I know many people who thrive on it. I enjoy shopping and saving money but not enough to deal with all the hassle.

  11. Nope. Never have, never will. I just have no interest in buying “stuff.” It seems like there was a time right around the heart of the recession when we came to our senses and stopped buying so much, but it seems we have short term memory. 🙁

  12. It does seem like we have a significantly lower class of people these days, and I don’t mean economic class. The best thing that happened for me is online shopping. I do it almost exclusively without leaving home or dealing with crowds.

  13. I’m just fine with staying at home on Black Friday. Many times I’ll wander out later in the day. While most of the doorbusters are long over with, there can still be some good deals, and by that point, many of the diehards have finally gone home.

  14. You like football and so do I, but… what about… just this year…

    The melee on the stairs at the, 49ers-Cardinals game, the brawl in the stands at the Redskins – Eagles game, or when cops cleared out 3,000 people and arrested over a dozen crazies in a tailgating area at a Nebraska game, or the LSU game where a handful of dudes put a beat-down on one guy at the parade grounds before the game, or that tailgating riot that broke out before a UTEP football game…

    I know retailers are the whipping boy du jour for societal ills, but I think it’s more a simple function of putting a bunch of people into a confined space who are brimming with adrenaline, testosterone, estrogen and maybe even a dab of alcohol.

    Humans. Funny creatures!

    • You make a good point there Chaz. I’m not sure how much I’m willing to blame retailers for this. All they are doing is offering a product at discounted prices. They can’t manage how people react to that.

  15. In Canada we have a similar Black Friday to the US and I won’t be going anywhere near it! The amount of time it takes to find a parking spot far outweighs any money saved. I also have everything I could want and don’t need yet another tablet or TV. I usually avoid the malls all through December as well, way too busy. In all honesty, if I do any shopping its usually online now. I can’t stand the crowds and the disrespect people show each other all for a $400 TV. Disgusting.

    • I love that online shopping is growing in popularity. It’s extremely convenient. We have purchased some of our presents online in the past but some things I like to see and touch before I purchase them.

  16. I do go shopping every Black Friday with friends of mine. One year we were among the masses standing outside a Toys R Us, being soaked with sleet, in hopes to find a certain toy. We don’t do that anymore. We shop but at a mall that is near us. When they first open, they aren’t extremely busy. We shop, get coffee, eat, people watch, shop some more, then head to other stores were the masses aren’t. The year at TRU was also the year that the police had to be called because people had thought they would try to merge in with the people who were the first in line. Needless to say that caused a problem and a fight started. Unfortunately for some people, they lose all of their common sense. I know some people who go to the big box stores and live for that thrill. I don’t.

  17. I went ONE time with my daughter and after seeing the chaos decided nothing was worth it to me to deal with such a mess.

    We stopped the buying for Christmas several years and only give money so the parents of our grandchildren can purchase what the kids need. Almost all of us are at an age that we do not need or want more. It wasn’t received kindly when we first announced the decision many years ago but now everyone is relieved that don’t have to budget, shop, or agonize what to buy.

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