Everyone’s got an opinion on Black Friday. I don’t bother with it. I have to work at my day job, anyway. I think the shopping is kind of ridiculous, I mean, I even have the night off from UPS. I COULD work, but I get paid for being off, and I despise working there (the work itself is fine, it’s just full of a-holes), so I feel my mental health is not worth the double pay.
I know I’m probably in a better position than most. I have two jobs when a lot of people don’t even have one (but it’s not like, nepotism, I work hard to ensure my employment status remains solid). Yeah, my cats are expensive lemons, but I realize they’re not nearly as expensive as children. So maybe if I was counting pennies that closely, I would be more apt to wait in line at ungodly hours to get a good deal. I’m not rich. In fact, I’m a shopaholic. I don’t save enough. I like to buy things. I like to buy things way too much. But I also work an awful lot to afford whatever luxuries I enjoy.
But here’s what I think.
I don’t care. I don’t care how good of a deal it is. Just like choosing to not work for double pay, I can’t possibly imagine that there is a deal good enough for me to brave crowds. Crowds of PEOPLE. You know what I really hate? Waiting. I have no patience. I like efficiency. I can be in and out of a grocery store in 15 minutes. I don’t try on things at stores, I only buy things I know will fit or that I know I can alter to fit. And frankly, I’d rather pay the extra money.
This may shock people, but I don’t shop at Wal-mart. Ever. Why? I don’t like their business practices. I don’t like the way they treat employees. I don’t like what they do to small businesses. And honestly, have you SEEN the people that shop there? I feel dirty just walking in one. I don’t need a deal that bad. So yeah, you know, I could probably quit my hated part-time job if I pinched pennies and got the lowest price everywhere. I guess I just take “caveat emptor” a little farther than most. I don’t want the big box stores of the world to be my only option.
To anyone reading this that frequents that store, it’s not my intention to offend. I just hope that you think about who’s getting your money.
Here comes the pitch: shop Small Business Saturday. I challenge you to spend your Saturday shopping ONLY at local businesses. You’ll help your local economy, you’ll help the little guy, and most of all, you might find out that the guy who owns the hole-in-the-wall pet store has some really amazing advice. You might pay a little more. But I’ve found some jewels trying to avoid PetSmart. Nothing against PetSmart employees, but most of them are there for a paycheck. You’d be amazed at what you can find when you check out businesses that are in business solely because they truly care about what they’re shilling. They’re actually knowledgeable about their products. People who do what they love are inspiring…when that rubs off on you, it’s worth whatever you would have saved shopping with the giants. I know I’m old fashioned. Sometimes I want to have kids just to force my old fashionedness on them. Dying breed, we are.
I find it slightly ridiculous that “Small Business Saturday” is sponsored by American Express, but you know, it’s a damn good idea. And you don’t have to use your Amex to partake. So don’t.
And if you’re feeling really snazzy, make your presents this year. I am. I might even make the cats presents. Maybe I’ll finally get around to making that cat tree.