Alternative Takes on Black Friday

Ok – let’s face it, who really enjoys the shit show people go through on Black Friday? I for one, absolutely hate it. Maybe that makes me a wannabe broke-ass since I am not willing to put myself through hell to save a few bucks, but I don’t care. First of all, the thought of shaking myself out of my turkey coma and waking up at 4 a.m. (in the dark) does not sound appealing in the least. Secondly, driving to a shopping mall (or better yet, a strip mall) to wait in line amongst hundreds of other desperate shoppers sounds utterly awful as well. Thirdly, racing around to get into the store before the others just reminds me of the Running of the Bulls in Spain, if you aren’t quick enough, you’re pretty much a dead man. And, my utmost disgust about Black Friday is the thought of fighting other shoppers for lame things that you don’t even really need. People get all huffy at each other, push each other and straight steal items out from under someone. This shopping nightmare has become more important to Americans than the turkey. Our country is so run by consumption patterns, that Black Friday is more important than the family values Thanksgiving is supposed to be about. I for one, do not agree with this ridiculous day that is such a hype. That’s why I came up with a few alternatives to keep people away from the typical Black Friday madness.

Grey Friday

Many of you may already know about the epic sales thrift stores have on holidays. Black Friday is also observed by the Salvation Army and the Goodwill. Although, this still means digging through racks of clothing for that one dream dress you’ve always wanted – people are not lined up outside of the Goodwill at 6 a.m. The crowds are not that crazy. The deals are better than any mainstream store could ever offer. Plus, for those of you green broke-asses out there, buying used things is a hell of a lot better for the environment than buying new things that are made out of modern materials that are not bio-degradable and wrapped in a shit ton of packaging. I am up in Oregon for Thanksgiving this year, and scored some amazing goods at the thrift stores here in Grant’s Pass. It’s amazing what one can find in a small town, in comparison to the over-picked vintage shops in San Francisco. Plus, the prices are much more reasonable – even if those black pants you just bought are actually a dark shade of grey…

Black Out Friday

After the epic thrift store scores, my friends and I proceeded to the local dive bar in Grant’s Pass called the Wonder Bur. I’m not really sure if they are trying to take an American pronunciation on the German word for wonderful, Vunderbar, or if they just misspelled bar. Either way, this was one of the seediest bars I’ve been to for awhile. We decided we needed some Jameson to accompany our ice-cold Michelobs (which, btw was the only beer they have on tap). Anyways, one shot led to another and before we knew it old Willie was refilling our drinks for FREE and we had a definite buzz going on. We pretty much died laughing when we realized that Black Out Friday was way cooler than Black Friday. The rest of the evening is pretty much a blur, and a couple people passed out before 8 p.m. I think this should be the new tradition for all Black Friday haters.

Jacked Up Friday

On the other hand, if you are not down to get wasted and would rather remember the holiday weekend spent with close friends and family, you could just get jacked up on a lot of caffeine and be the life of the party. In Oregon, there are plenty of drive-through coffee shops with some ultra strong coffee flowing out of them. What if you tried to go to every coffee shop close to where ever you were staying, and then proceeded to indulge in large quantities of espresso shots? Or maybe, you could aim for getting that one FREE coffee you get after you buy 7? I’m sure you would be one hell of a story-teller and your grandma would love you because you would never stop doing the dishes!

Slack Friday

For those of you who prefer downers to uppers, you should just enjoy a slack Friday, where you stay in your p.j.’s all day long and don’t even dare to go out of the house. Forget your sister and your cousins that want to wake up early to catch the sales at the mall, sleep in as long as humanly possible. Watch the Lord of the Rings marathon and eat as many turkey-cranberry sandwiches as you can. I think the goal of Slack Friday should be to gain at least five pounds in one day. If you think you can’t eat anymore, smoke a bowl and make yourself hungry again. There you go! Go eat another slice of pumpkin pie! Slack Friday could technically turn into Slack Saturday and Sunday too…

 

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About the author

Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger

Originally from San Diego, Heidi migrated north to study journalism at SFSU and interned for the SF Bay Guardian writing music stuff. She later embarked on a study-abroad program in both Denmark and Holland, and basically never came home. For six long years, she froze her ass off in Oslo, Norway, pretending to be a viking princess, trying to figure out how to survive in the most expensive city in the world. The other two years were spent frolicking on the beach in Spain - sipping on sangria in between being tossed around Europe working as a stressed-out journalist. Heidi currently works at for a non-profit cultural exchange program, helping others experience life from a different perspective. She is thrilled to be back in SF, magnetizing the obscure, and scavenging the city for fun, free things to do.

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