Our Black Friday experience

Black Friday is a strange American phenomenon: millions of people line up in the middle of the night in order to take advantage of the opportunity to shop in a giant crowd. I don't really get it:

Here in Los Angeles, the sparring opened with a civilian re-creation of the recent UC Davis protest fiasco:

But not all went smoothly. Ten minutes after the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch opened, a female customer used pepper spray on other shoppers at the Black Friday sale, injuring at least seven people and forcing employees to evacuate a portion of the store, police said.

Is any of it really worth fighting the crowds, the traffic, or the insanity?

I understand the draw to great bargains, but I don't get the event-ness surrounding it... why are people so crazy about getting out on that particular day? In my experience, the sales are predominantly on items I wouldn't want in the first place. This year, especially, everything I've seen advertised is stuff that stores are trying to clear out of their inventory. This is about clearing the warehouse of all the crap nobody would buy earlier in the year.

J and I did go out this year, because she wanted to see the mayhem first-hand. We were actually surprised at how empty the shopping mall was. Most stores didn't have much in the way of bargains, just a few items heavily discounted so they could claim they were having a Black Friday sale. Yet people were lined up to get in Old Navy, and Best Buy looked like a tornado had come through. It was trying to be an event, but instead it was basically a dud.



I've never been to the store on Black Friday. I don't relish standing in line and getting trampled to save a few bucks, but I'll admit that I do browse around online to see if anything catches my eye. There are enough good deals that it makes me wonder whether folks standing in line have heard of the Internet.

It's probably not worth the trek out. But it was fun for Janet.

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