Despite what the featured photograph and title may infer, the designation “Black Friday” has nothing whatsoever to do with a racial reference. Instead, the term “Black Friday” is what is known in the U.S. retail industry as the official first day of the Christmas holiday shopping season. It is the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday (always the fourth Thursday in November) which means it is always a Friday. The “Black” designation is in reference to the customary business practice of posting commercial profits in black ink and commercial losses in red ink.
As the Christmas season has long been associated with business success, the theory is that every day between now and the actual Winter Holidays will therefore be profitable and duly recorded in black ink. At least, that is the way it was explained to me by a friend of my spouse, Aaron, who received his baccalaureate degree in business administration. I am hoping that he does, indeed, have all of his facts correct because if he doesn’t, then I am the biggest fool on the internet.
It makes no difference how handsome and muscular the dude in the featured image above is, if my husband’s friend has muddled his information, I will be the biggest fool online today. I may truly need the physical protection of the masculine gentleman above to save me from the irate mob of enraged businessmen and businesswomen who will be clamoring for my blood and flesh!
The second part of this post’s title refers to the general feeling that I have of this particular time of the year. Everyone becomes stark-raving mad this season, acting as though they were possessed demons.
Countless throngs of people lose their minds and sanity during this time of the year. Everyone scrambles around, as if on a human revolving pedestal, clueless as to what needs to happen next.
While driving in traffic, they will come to a complete stop for no obvious reason. When shopping in a crowded urban shopping mall, they will come to a standstill in the middle of the hallway and stare blankly into the distance.
A coworker of mine actually flushed her vehicle keys and fob down into the toilet – serious! Her excuse was that she forgot what gifts she had bought while out shopping between classes! She simply couldn’t wait until she had finished her business in the ladies room and then gone to her car and looked inside her packages? I wondered, but never actually asked, why she felt the need to have her keys in her hand while sitting on the toilet. There are some things that I just do not want to know.
People are just too distracted over the approaching holidays. Everyone has this idyllic fantasy of the picture-perfect holiday that we all know, deep down inside the recesses of our brain, will absolutely never happen. Yet time and time again, year after year, expectations are high and the disappointments multiply. Dreams rarely translate into reality, despite what Hollywood wants us to think.
Aaron, my spouse, and I have a standard policy. Between Halloween (October 31) and New Year’s Day (January 1), we strictly avoid the shopping areas (centers, malls, whatever). We’ll do the food markets, pharmacy and little else during this time-frame. It simply isn’t worth the hassle and inconvenience, not to mention the hazard to our health, of competing with the ignorant masses.
Now, if the both of us had the freedom to enter a shopping mall as the gentleman above, we might re-think our policy and at least consider a revision of our strategy. However, that situation has about as much chance of happening as a snowball has in surviving hell.
In the meantime, those of you who have to shop for the holidays, be aware, be careful and be safe. As for Aaron and I, we’ll be together, be bare and be sane!