Not My Idea of Camping
It’s a week before Black Friday (for your balance of timelines, I wrote this last Saturday), which this year I am referring to as Blacker Thursday, and I just heard the news that people are already camping out in front of stores, ready to pounce the sales clerks the minute the doors open. Seven days they will be sitting in that spot. They will sleep there, eat there, and - well, hopefully, they won’t go to the bathroom there. This is extreme. Too extreme.
While I thought the people who got in line a day before the sales began were missing the point of Thanksgiving, I think these people need a mental check up. How do you take a week of your life to sit in a chair and just wait? Okay I can see me doing it just to escape for a bit since I love sitting and staring at nothing, but not for a whole week and not in front of a department store or even a book store. What product is worth that type of insane commitment? Did they use vacation time? Take a leave of absence? Do they even have a job to begin with? If they don’t have a job, are they on welfare, and if they are they need to get out of the line and go get a job. If they took vacation time for this madness, then their priorities are really skewed.
How do the department stores tolerate people living on their front walkway? Do they just ignore the “No Loitering” signs? If I was a homeless person, I’d be pissed and scream discrimination. Or I’d lie down in the line and sleep unmolested for a week. By the time the doors opened everyone would look and smell the same, anyway, and the stores should then refuse service. Of course, the retailers are probably using the campers as free publicity. “Spend Your Money Here has such great door busting sales, people are lining up a week in advance to scoop them up.” Their store made the news thanks to a few misguided consumers.
I can imagine those in line think they sound noble during the post-holiday chatter. “I hope you like that new iPad. I sacrificed a week of my life while being stared at by normal people just so I wouldn’t miss a chance to buy that for you.”
“Um, Dad, I’m a Microsoft kind of guy.”
Ridiculous. How on earth could anyone believe any merchandise is worth a week away from their family? We have become a confused people as to what is truly important in life.
As parents, we want to give our children the best. I can totally understand that and I may even sit in a line for an hour or two to get it and work a few extra shifts to afford it. However, I will not sacrifice that kind of time away from them in order to do it. I will not sacrifice family dinners and tucking them into bed in order to buy them an Xbox 360, which they will later use to ignore me with, anyway. I would hope that they would not be that selfish and greedy as to expect me to.
We have truly missed the importance of the holiday season. It is not about the gifts under the tree or in the stockings. It’s about the gift of oneself to one’s family and those you love. If you’re going to camp, make it at a national park and take them with you. Don’t camp out alone in front of a department store where they have to bring you food and hold your place. I promise, your family will remember the national park far longer than the television or computer you’re planning on buying them. They need memories, not merchandise, and the good thing is you don’t have to buy a warranty, because memories don’t wear down. They actually become more valuable with age. Make your family a collector of memories, instead of useless paraphernalia. Your home can only hold so much clutter, anyway. Your mind, however, has unlimited shelf space.
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