Black Friday brings out the worst in people

Jen Steer

Credit: Steve Schirra

The day after Thanksgiving is infamous for its sales and massive mobs of people flocking to the stores. As most people know, it’s the biggest shopping day of the year.

For the last few years, my friends and I have made it a tradition to go out to the mall early in the morning to enjoy the festivities. We don’t really go for the sales – we just go to watch the craziness and get in the way of mothers who just want to get the Elmo.

There are some token situations we always seem to encounter. There’s the grandma who is standing in line to hold a place for her teenage granddaughter. There are the two older women in matching Christmas vests and hats who have planned out their Black Friday agenda to the minute. And of course, there’s the idiot who just doesn’t get it.

While searching for a parking spot at the mall, we went up and down the aisles, following the big yellow arrows like normal people do. Then, this lady (in the ugliest jacket I have ever seen) flew around the corner in her huge sport utility vehicle, driving in the wrong direction. Not only did she almost remove the front end of my crappy little Neon, she also refused to move. Our front ends almost met, and now my car was stuck between this jerkface who doesn’t know how to obey basic traffic laws and the car behind me.

We sat still for about five minutes, so I took advantage of the situation. I slowly mouthed out the words “You are driving the wrong way,” while acting out the words with my hands. Of course, because I stated the obvious, the woman in the SUV gave me the finger. After she finally decided to move her ginormous vehicle, she ended up parking right next to us.

As the woman in the ugly green coat walked into the mall, she continued to glare at us and make comments about “kids these days.” I just made fun of her. It’s not an issue of respecting our elders. Sometimes even the 30-something crowd can be wrong. It’s an issue of not backing down when you’re right. Yes, I didn’t act very mature, but I was frustrated by her ignorance. My guess is, about a million other people experienced similar occurrences across the country on Friday.

Holiday shopping brings out the worst in people. My advice: If it’s that stressful, don’t do it. Give everyone cash and call it a day. No, that’s not personal, but if it saves you from getting in a fight over some silly gift, then it’s worth it. No one wants to get arrested for assault during the holiday season. Nothing says Christmas like having a mug shot for your family holiday photo.

My group of friends went out to cash in a few deals and steals, but, as always, we just saw how stupid people are. This won’t detour us from going out to the mall at five in the morning next year; it will only make us think about how the holidays have lost their meaning.

Aside from the vast commercialization that has made us all forget why the holidays are so important, December just makes people mean.

Jen Steer is a junior broadcast news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].edu.