Having grown up being a bargain hunter, I strangely enough have a tremendous disdain for Black Friday. Struggle with crowds to get $20 off something? No thanks. Not anymore.
Many years ago I used to live for this day, long before it was called Black Friday. I remember that we used to call it "The Day After Thanksgiving -- The Biggest Shopping Day of the Year." So yes, I remember going out to stores like Circuit City, Best Buy, and Walmart when it was still dark outside. I remember going to a mall toy store when the kids were little since just about everything on their Christmas lists was onsale. It opened at 5:00 a.m., which was unheard of back then. We got in the store, grabbed all the gifts, and stood -- unable to move for 45 minutes as we were crowded in that store like sardines in a can -- waiting for each customer to get checked out in an agonizingly slow fashion.
Somehow, however, things changed over the years, or at least in my perception. The day seemed to be less and less about the joy of getting a good deal, and more and more about greed and materialism. Over the years I have really come to hate crowds and am loathe to put myself in a situation where I wait ... and wait ... and wait with throngs of other people. The long lines on Black Friday also seem to bring out the worst in some people. Civility often seems to go out the door, and heck, how many stories will we hear this year about someone getting trampled to death at a Walmart Black Friday opening?
I imagine that my perception has changed as I have gotten older and become more financially secure. I just can't see waiting in line for hours at Best Buy (a store I hate, by the way) to buy that great deal on a television. In general, I also think I have lost desire for a whole lot of posessions. My family hates to buy me Christmas presents because my usual answer to "What do you want for Christmas?" is "nothing."
That kind of leads me today -- Thanksgiving. Being a recent heart attack survivor has had an effect on how I think about many things. I am very fortunate that the attack was mild and that I sought help quickly -- at least as quickly as a guy will do that sort of thing. I am luckly to live in a community with outstanding medical care.
One of my co-workers always tells me that I am a lucky person. My take on that is that I always seem to skate even when bad things happen to me. However, I do feel very fortunate to have a great, if not goofy, family and extended family. I have a great job and work with some of the nicest and best people one can imagine. I have met many people, including poker bloggers, that I am proud to call my friends.
So, on this holiday of Thanksgiving, I will spend a leisurely day at home, have some turkey, watch some football, and just loaf around in general. Yes -- it is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful.