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With the holidays quickly approaching, we find shoppers saving their money for the special deals that will arise at the dusk on the day of Thanksgiving. Black Friday has become a pastime for Americans nationwide. Popular shopping places such as shopping malls, outlet stores, and shopping strips, become flooded with people. There is an extremely evident difference of the mall on Black Friday, than there is on any other day.
We begin seeing Black Friday commercials on TV, and even hearing them on the radio as early as late September, well, early October if we’re lucky. These commercials advertise extremely inexpensive prices on every day items and luxuries that normally are extremely expensive. For example, an Apple iPad that would normally be around five hundred dollars would be on sale for two hundred. Or, if you’re really lucky, maybe even one fifty. Groups of friends and families leave their houses on Thanksgiving with a full stomach, and a full wallet, ready to shop.
But the question is: What is so Black about this Friday? Colors surrounding Thanksgiving include burgundies and browns and shades of oranges, while Christmas colors cast red and green. So where does this black come from? Well, the reason the Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday is because it is a day known for violence and traffic accidents because there are so many swarms of people everywhere. Or at least, that’s how it started out. “The [Philadelphia] Police Department coined the phrase to describe the mayhem surrounding the congestion of pedestrian and auto traffic in the Center City downtown area” (Amadeo 2014). Or the name Black Friday is sufficient in the fact that the violence that breaks out on these special days, results in the black eyes of many people, even the deaths.
On say a regular Friday, we may see shoppers in stores, not crowded, leisurely going about their business. Taking their time looking at clothing, items, playing with displays, shopping is a timely act. Depending on the time of the day, the food court may be bustling with laughs, and cries, and smiles, of the people eating their food, perhaps taking a break from their shopping. Some teenagers even just go to the mall for fun – to hangout; not shopping, not buying anything. Merely, occupying space. On Black Friday, there is no room to walk, stand, shop, or breathe. Coming from someone who shops at the mall on a regular basis, and who has also been in attendance of the last three Black Friday’s, let me be the first to tell you that shopping is one of the last things being done. On Black Friday, people are fighting over cloths, stampeding into stores, and tearing down displays and racks alike. The atmosphere is completely different on a regular mall shopping day, than on Black Friday. I remember back in September of 2014, I went to Atlanta, Georgia with my friend Natalie from Canada to visit our friend Nicole. In Atlanta, we went to a music festival called Music Midtown. I have never felt so claustrophobic and compressed in my entire life. I had no space to move around, to breathe, or to stretch my body. This experience is the only parallel I can draw to the craziness and compaction that is Black Friday.
Although Black Friday maybe a day for fright, or early holiday cheer, we do find it returning every single year. With different atmosphere, and interactions, Black Friday extremely differs from a typical Friday at the mall. But you know what? I’m on a budget, so I’ll make my way out on this Black Friday and pray I make it out alive.
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