Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Threat Of Black Friday Shopping Leaves This Man Feeling Blue

Dear Tazi:

My wife is one of those crazy people who like to go shopping in the wee hours of Black Friday.  I say whatever floats her boat works for me, so long as I don't have to go with her. We have been married for thirty years, and remained so because I tend to go with the flow and not make mountains out of molehills.  I love my wife, and would do almost anything for her, but she has made a request of me and I am drawing a line in the sand.

"Monica" slipped and fell on some wet leaves earlier this season and broke her foot.  She is in a cast and will remain in one until sometime in January.  Because it is difficult for her to get around, I have been doing all of the grocery shopping and other errands that she usually runs while I am at work.  I also promised her I would do the Christmas shopping for her this year; that she could order stuff online and I could pick it up at the store, or she could circle stuff in the sales flyers and I would go find it.  I failed to specify that my offer did not include going Black Friday shopping before 10 AM, and now that is coming back to bite me in a sensitive spot!

Monica is insisting that I hit the stores starting at 8 PM on Thanksgiving night and stay out until past midnight to shop at the places that do not open until midnight.  I say that Thanksgiving is for family and celebrating, not standing in line all day waiting for a store to open so you can save $100 on an iPad.  Monica feels differently, and has been pouting about it all week, threatening to go stand in line herself, in spite of the doctor's orders to stay off of her broken foot!

Tazi, I want to be a good husband to my wife and I feel that I have been over the years, but I also feel that my wife is taking advantage of my good nature.  I know this letter is late, but I am hoping you can print it before Thanksgiving.  If you think I am being unreasonable in not accommodating my injured wife, I will give up my Thanksgiving to do as she asks.

Feeling Like Walter Mitty

Dear Feeling Like Walter Mitty:

Your letter arrived just in time for me to get it posted before Thanksgiving, which I am doing because you sound like a saint!  My ruling is that you are correct: Thanksgiving is for family and loved ones, and not for spending the day in line at Wal-Mart waiting for its 8 PM opening so you can save $100 on a 16 GB iPad (which is the kind that nobody wants anyway!).

I realize that your wife feels like she is missing out on something that is obviously important to her, so I suggest you ask her the following: how much is having the family together for Thanksgiving worth to her?  If she responds that you cannot put a price on something like that, ask her why she is.  Tell her that Black Friday sales may save you a few hundred dollars, but at what cost to your marriage and relationship with your family?

Luckily for your wife, Cyber Monday has just as many great deals as offered on Black Friday, and she can buy everything from the comfort of her own home.  Trust me, she is not missing out on anything.  Retailers hold back items until Cyber Monday so they have great deals to lure people into shopping online during office hours, when the brick and mortar stores are generally very slow.  The sense of urgency that surrounds Black Friday is an artificial sense of urgency, created by retailers to convince buyers that they will be unable to find the products they want at prices that they can afford in the coming weeks.  According to Time Magazine, 10% of Black Friday purchases are returned before Christmas as shoppers come down from the frenzy-doped euphoria of the day and discover that what they purchased wasn't such a great deal after all.  May this information give you the courage you need to tell your wife "no"...and may you and all of your family enjoy Thanksgiving together as a family, around the dinner table as Thanksgiving was meant to be celebrated!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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