That blackest of Fridays

Black, defined as lacking hue and brightness, absorbing light without reflecting any of the rays composing it or – in this case – gloomy, pessimistic or dismal. And Friday, known across the nation as the sixth day of the week, payday, or – for you literature buffs – a character in Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe.” Combined, however, those two words represent the most sinister and inherently wicked non-holiday ever conceived by humankind ... Black Friday.

Unless, of course, you’re referring to the Steely Dan song, a favorite of mine.

As for that blackest of Fridays – November 25 this year – I refuse to participate, no matter what’s on sale, who’s selling, where it’s being sold or – most importantly – when it’s going to be up for grabs. Not me, not ever ... no way.

In fact, this dastardly dose of stress – offered up slyly in the form of holiday shopping and the never-ending search for that elusive, perfect deal – is nothing more than capitalism (see greed) in its most innovative, yet clearly obvious, guise.

The worst part? People still fall for it ... year after year.

Personally, I think it’s downright pathetic. Others, however, seem to disagree and – sorry to all you early-bird-gets-the-worm holiday shoppers – all I can do is laugh (hysterically, I might add) as you jockey for position at some ungodly hour, lining up like cattle for the inevitable crush of humanity as – insert your favorite retail store here – finally opens its doors, whether it be midnight, 2 a.m., 4 a.m. or 6 a.m.

Me? I have better things to do, like ... a) sleep ... b) get ready for work ... or c) use one of my precious vacation days so I can video the chaos and madness, later posting said video – which will soon go viral and make me a million bucks – to YouTube for others’ viewing pleasure.

I think I’ll go with that first option.

Nowadays, I’m fairly certain that most people out there realize the materialistic nature of the holiday season (not to mention the opportunity for retailers to increase their profit margins). And, for the most part, the true meaning has been lost. What can I say? It’s tough to focus on family and good fortune when stores begin advertising and decorating for Christmas in October (if not earlier) and cable networks begin advertising incredible deals on diamond jewelry, the latest line of must-have designer clothing and that new car one must absolutely purchase for one’s spouse (even if it’s only for that new car smell).

Personally, I can’t afford any of the above and – now that I think of it – neither can anyone I know. Which begs the question ... who the hell buys their significant other a new car for Christmas?

Granted, it must be nice, but I’ll stick with some new socks, boxer shorts and maybe a nice tie or two. All three items are typically in short supply come this time of year and – obviously – are much better on gas.

Even better, why risk a stress-induced stroke and/or heart attack just to save a measly $200 on the most up-to-date, high definition, 24-inches-bigger-than-is-really-necessary flat-screen television set? Wait a month or so and I can guarantee you’ll find the same set, at the same price, with much less hassle involved.

Unless, that is, you like being herded like sheep through the doors of your favorite retail store at the crack of dawn.

Regardless, Black Friday will rear its ugly head next week and – for you crazy shoppers out there – I wish you luck. Personally, I’d rather stick my head in a pot of scalding hot water than set foot anywhere near a retail store of any sort on that blackest of days.

In fact, I think I’ll do what I did last year. Wait until the last minute, probably Christmas Eve, and postpone my yearly dose of pre-holiday stress syndrome until then. Chances are it will be just as bad but, hey, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow, right?

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunbrian.

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