Bean Bomb Friday

No shopping for yer fav-o-rite blahgger today. Unless you count sending the GG over to Zingerman’s @Plum Market for coffee to go this morning (aka, I don’t need no stinkin’ coffee maker!). I’m not all that crazy about the whole Black Friday thing but I see it in RGB, not B/W. And my thoughts here are disorganized, random thoughts after a day spent organizing ancient photos and negatives so don’t getcher undies all into a blasted bunch.

I understand the idea that people should be able to stay home and spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. But sometimes that sentiment seems a bit false (or at least overdone). What about people who don’t have families or don’t have any family members that live close by or don’t get along with their families or whatever. It isn’t always all puppies and rainbows and glittery stuff. That’s why there are always gazillions of articles about how to avoid getting into fights with Uncle Archie on Thanksgiving.

I once worked retail on Thanksgiving Day. Actually it wasn’t that bad. I got paid three times as much as I usually did and I was also able to have Thanksgiving at Radical Betty’s after work. Granted, that was long before people were lining up outside to get their Black Friday “specials” and whatnot. The money was really nice and those of us who worked that day were all upbeat and having fun.

On the other hand, rampant consumerism (or whatever you want to call it) makes me a bit sick. I have too much stuff. I do not need anything more. You’ve heard me kvetch about that a few times before. I have absolutely no interest in anything Woldemort or Tarjay or Kohl’s has for sale. Woldemort in particular has been known to make me dizzy although I do shop there occasionally if it seems to be the most expedient place to obtain something I need. Oh that’s not that I won’t occasionally see something uber-cute there that I covet. I’m human, after all.

I have shopped on Black Friday in my life. Actually, for about three split seconds, I kind of felt like shopping today. I do a random kind of Black Friday shopping, walking around downtown Planet Ann Arbor or Petoskey or someplace, buying (or not) things that catch my eye — hopefully useful things. I have shopped on Thanksgiving Day in my life. In fact, I spent several Thanksgiving afternoons during high school going across the river to Canada with a friend and her family to buy shoes. My friend couldn’t get anything in her size on our side of the river and her mom didn’t drive and her dad was a small business owner who only closed on Sundays and holidays. I’m sure they were thankful that Canada was open on our Thanksgiving and I was thankful for the outing on an otherwise long, often boring afternoon. I shopped yesterday! I walked to the Plum Market and bought orange juice and dessert. Everybody was in a good mood over there and I thanked them for working on the holiday.

I can’t imagine ever lining up in front of a store at 4 AM or midnight or 6 PM on Thanksgiving to get bargains. If people didn’t line up like that, maybe Woldemort wouldn’t open. But I am not about to get judgmental about people who do. In *my* perfect world, people wouldn’t get so excited about the latest big-ass TV (or whatever) that they have to line up to get some special price. With my luck the dern thing would die the day after the warranty ran out. Still I can understand how people could get into the whole thing and develop their own traditions that incorporate Black Friday expotitions.

Does Woldemort (et al) pay its hourly employees a living wage? I don’t want to go too deeply into that subject tonight but I think not. It was okay for me to earn $1.75 / hour working retail all those years ago when I was a kid because I didn’t have to pay for housing or food or transportation or [ahem] *college*. I am disturbed by (admittedly anecdotal) reports that Woldemort and McDonald’s, etc., are providing information to their employees about how to obtain government benefits to supplement their income. There’s a lot of political talk floating around about reducing people’s “dependency” but if we refuse to pay people who WANT to work a living wage, I do not see how we can reduce “dependency”. Alas, I do not have any answers, at least not comprehensive ones.

Dum de dum de dum… How about them thar Lions? What did I write? I dunno. Between the last paragraph and this one, we went to Matt Watroba’s annual Day After Thanksgiving concert at The Ark and maybe I’ll delete the whole thing tomorrow. Or not. But I’ll probably edit. I often do, at least to get rid of typos and awkward phrasing, etc. Anyway, the Ski Ranch posted on facebook that today is not Black Friday, it’s Bean Bomb Friday. Even though the GG and a few dogs I have known adore Bob’s Bean Bomb, I have always been a bit suspicious about it but I am all for renaming it Bean Bomb Friday anyway.

One Response to “Bean Bomb Friday”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I lean more toward the anti-Thanksgiving opening. I think next year(and years after) stores will be open the whole day on Thanksgiving with all sorts of FANTASTIC deals on STUFF which seems to lure people away from spending time with family. Maybe they don’t really want to anyway. I don’t know. But I know that if I hadn’t been forced to, I would have never experienced some of the wonderful/not-so-great holiday times I had. Nice to be close to Canada though since they celebrate Thanksgiving on Columbus Day! I hate Walmart and never shop there. My mom does though, although she could easily afford to pay more if she shopped elsewhere. Costco is closer and pays their employees a fair wage, but it’s not as comfortable for her for some reason. They were also closed on Thanksgiving so their employees could have a day off.