A comment by Faith sparked this blog post. I was going to post an old article I'd written some years ago as the blog today, but my response to that comment struck a match. (I don't do light bulbs. They are too tame, especially the energy saving ones. grin)
The airways, and Internet, are littered with Black Friday ads. Stores are opening earlier and earlier Friday morning to try and tempt shoppers to come and spend their hard-earned cash on things. Lots and lots of things that we most likely do not need, but heck, our garage isn't quite full of enough sh** yet, right?
But I digress.
Lemmings. Back to lemmings.
One of the ads for a major department store is advertising a $99 Kindle. I had told Charlie, my husband, that I wanted a Kindle. I have a Target gift certificate with $70 left on it. I was contemplating on using the remainder to buy a Kindle. Why? This all stemmed from my latest foray into Target. And that all started with the gift card given to me by Charlie's aunt (whose intent was for me to buy something nice for myself. True to being a mother, I spent nearly $30 of it on my daughter.) The reason for that is another story best told at another time, but you'll follow my reasoning better if I tell the Target story. Okay, you won't, but I am in a verbose mood, so you will have to suffer the tale. (g)
This past weekend, my mother-in-law offered to have a sleepover with the daughter. Her intention was to pick up our daughter around a quarter to ten, take her to church, and we'd pick her up sometime the next day. (Life is rough.) However, our daughter didn't want to go to church (a child after my own heart--grin), so Grandma picked her up after church. Regardless, part of our downtime included a foray to Target with the intent of purchasing a toaster oven. They had several, but we hadn't done our homework and decided against purchasing a toaster oven, especially after seeing more than one review on an oven that several purchasers reported as a fire hazard. :-O
As is typical, we didn't buy what we'd originally went out for. Instead, I picked up three pairs of really cute tights for the daughter, a book for me (not the kind I was looking for either), and something else, which eludes me now. (It's been all of a few days. Obviously, it wasn't that memorable.)
So, what does this have to do with lemmings? I'm getting there. Taking my sweet time, but I'll get there...eventually. (g)
I was browsing the books when I realized that the books all lacked...something. Oh, yeah, they were all NYC published. And most of the books I want to read are published by independents in eBook format. It's not often I have time to read anymore (beyond editing), and holding a solid book in my hand has its appeal, but I looked at the book in my hand and thought, "What am I doing? I don't see Faith's, Sarah's, or Tess's books here. Why am I buying this book that I don't really want?" The answer: I had a gift card to Target, and I was desperate. Desperate for a little R&R reading, but I didn't want to read on my iPhone or my laptop. I can do both, but, you know, I don't care to lug my laptop around all of the time, and my iPhone is convenient, but I want something a little bigger to read on. So, I looked at the Kindle. The Kindle is okay. I've seen one operating before and that e-ink technology bothers my eyes. LOL Yeah, I know. I'm weird. Maybe it's all of my years staring at computer screens. Still, I can justify buying a Kindle for my business. How? I can check out how our eBooks look on the Kindle and demonstrate how eBooks work on it.
But you know what I really want? An iPad. Charlie has one. It's the bomb. Will I play games on it? Probably. (The games for the iPhone are too addictive and suck me in when my brain is too tired to do anything else, although the ability to read and respond easily to email is a wonderful thing. I am sure it will be the same with the iPad.) However, I can use it to see how our ePub eBooks look on Apple's format. (g) Also, I can "check out the competition." You know, you have to read other indy pubbed books to see what they are doing, right? (g) So, yeah, I've been slowly talking myself into one of those too. The only challenge? The price.
And I have to say that as I read the book I bought from Target, it seemed so passé, as if I lived, say, in the 1900's. (g) I told Charlie this, and he rolled his eyes at me. When I told my mother this, she'd thought I'd lost my mind. HAHAHAHA Perhaps I have. (g)
So, fast forward to yesterday, we are sitting in the living room watching TV. A Black Friday TV commercial comes on. Charlie turned to me and said, "You know, I feel like I should be going out there too. If I don't, I might miss something."
"Like what?" I asked him. Most of these Black Friday deals aren't really deals. We discovered that last year.
"I don't know," he said.
So, he doesn't know what he wants or why he should go, but he thinks he should go. Hm...
We did this last year. We were looking for another flat screen TV and talked about the Black Friday deals. Another big chain store had a 40" advertised for $250-300. Two days before, we drove down to the store to take a look at the TV as we were seriously considering going on Friday to buy it. Boy, am I glad we did that! Charlie is a bit of a techno geek (It's one of the many reasons I love him, even as it drives me crazy at times. (g)), and that TV was crap. Well, what do you expect from a 40" flat screen TV priced at $250-300? Grainy, poor picture, poor construction, and more than likely to die on us within a year. A waste of $250-300, but someone will buy it. Just not us. We would have had serious buyer's remorse.
After that, he did a search online for TVs and discovered that there were better deals on the Internet even with the shipping than a number of these Black Friday deals.
Yet, despite last year's experience, he's still thinking about braving the subzero temps to check out these deals. Truly, it boggles my mind. But then it makes me think about the whole lemming effect of social pressure. Do these commercials create social pressure to shop on Black Friday? How many people go because they are afraid they'll miss the best deals? Will they bond and become a lemming clan before rushing into the stores and risking death by stampede? (g)
Yeah, I don't know and probably will never know as I am not usually a lemming. If he wants to throw himself off that Black Friday shopping cliff, he can do it alone. (g) I'm going to stay in my nice warm bed and sleep through it. (g)