by Mackenzie O’Guin
Normally, this is where I would express the unwavering regret I feel after completing this week’s challenge. But not this week. This week, I regret nothing. Because when I bought two sweaters, I got a third sweater completely free. And that’s what America’s all about.
Black Friday for me has always been somewhat like a mythical pegasus: something beautiful and terrifying that I have never actually experienced firsthand but would definitely like to. Why hadn’t I ever attended Black Friday before? I asked my parents this question and their response was as follows: I descend from a generally impatient family, thus waiting in line for two and a half hours for 40% off my purchase at Yankee Candle has never really seemed that worth it. Additionally, my parents are generally apprehensious in regards to dragging me into massive crowds because I am “approximately 2 inches tall” and “easy to lose track of” (thanks, mom and dad).
As I walked into the Independence Center around 10 AM Friday morning, followed by my half sister Monica and sophomore Christina Kirk, I genuinely didn’t know what to expect. I was first shocked by the amount of middle-aged mothers. I’m not sure why I was so shocked that moms formed the majority of the population; perhaps I had expected more broke teens and young adults. I was also startled by the aggression being displayed by said mothers. In Bath & Body Works, a particularly testy woman pushed me into a rack of Vanilla Bean Noel soaps simply because I was blocking her daughters favorite hand sanitizer scent. Frankly, I couldn’t care any less about “Jenna’s Winter Cranberry hand gel”, but I felt threatened enough to leave the store nonetheless.
Another interesting aspect of Black Friday: it didn’t seem that anyone was actually gift shopping. Most people, myself included, were simply taking advantage of the discounted prices to buy clothes and goods for themselves, somewhat defeating. the ultimate purpose of the sales. However, I’m definitely not condemning those who practice it, because who did I purchase gifts for Friday? Oh, that’s right, myself.
Furthermore, I noticed that many of the stores didn’t actually have that great of deals. Sure, there were several over-generous gems here and there, but many of the stores offered pseudo-benevolent deals that I would hardly call a sale (my personal favorite being, With a purchase of $200 or more, get a free leather jacket!). In that case, why do buyers continue to sensationalize Black Friday? Here’s my theory. The overblown Black Friday culture has overrun the actual purpose of it. Essentially, having a massive hype around Black Friday has caused consumers to settle for worse deals for the sake of attending the sales themselves.
Clearly, the Black Friday promotion permeating every advertising surface available is effective. That’s why I spent seven hours scouring the mall before finally retiring from my first Black Friday excursion weighed down by several bag of discounted commodities. Overall, I would say that this Black Friday was a roaring success. It’s nice to not feel incredibly regretful whilst writing a NPKITC post, for once.
Thank you so much for reading. I know I’ve been severely neglecting my responsibilities on this blog lately, and I’m so sorry. As you know, this time of year is horrifically overwhelming, but that’s a really pathetic excuse. Thankfully, with the holiday season fast approaching, I have some super fun surprises planned for us, kids. “But, Mack! That sounds pretty sketchy!” Indeed it does, reader. Indeed it does.
So long and goodnight,
Mackenzie Nicole O’Guin
Special thanks to Christina Kirk for being involved in yet another NPKITC post, Monica for transporting my license-less friend and I, Böhme for the free sweater, and the woman who bullied me over hand sanitizer. When I write my memoir, I will explicitly express my disdain for you.