Trying to get everything done….Trying to buy as much as you can…Trying to fill all your needs. Standing on long lines with all your purchases. Feeling pressured, feeling rushed. Trying to do it all before the end of the day.
They call it Black Friday. I call it every Friday!!! The venue, of course, was different. I was purchasing jackets and boots. While usually I’m purchasing flanken and matzah balls. But, otherwise it was all too familiar to be racing around the store, looking for everything I need, trying diligently to cross items off my list, all within a limit.
In some ways, the experience of doing this every week, makes us good at Black Friday shopping. In other ways, a bit confused. Especially, when you need to come home and double down on your pre-Sabbath efforts. I personally, came running through the door, and in my haste, threw my flanken in the closet and my new boots in the crock pot with the chulent beans and potatoes. Tell you the truth, it still actually tasted pretty good. I guess when you use high quality leather, you just can’t go wrong!
Still, trying to do it all, get the Black Friday bargains and prepare for shabbas, can be overwhelming —-It’s not so easy to look and cook, speed and knead, take and bake, shop and mop!
Then came cyber Monday. This too was quite distracting for those who took full advantage. Many commuters failed to look up from their on line shopping and totally missed their subway stops, office workers were found to be responding to e bay instead of emails, and preoccupied judges were heard calling for “order in the – computer, instead of the courtroom ! Actually, till I was alerted, I inadvertently sent in my Amazon order to be published instead of my article. After all, it was equally as voluminous, interesting, and humorous!
Is looking for a bargain as money saving as one might think? After all, when it says “2 for the price of one”, don’t many buy it just to get the bargain, even when they don’t even need the “one”! Is it possible people get kind of lured in to spending what they wouldn’t, just cause it’s such a good price? After all, if sales were going along just fine, would stores sell stuff for less. This seems to be a way to get you to buy things, that a week ago, you were perfectly fine without!
I’m not saying everything people buy is superfluous. Probably the first 3-5 items were things they really were hoping for. It’s the last 20-75, that might have been a little over the top!
Everyone thinks Chanukah was always in December, however my research hints that the Rabbis might have moved it there. This was so that people could gift away some of the “over-buying” they did in November.
After all, the one thing we hate, more than we love a great price, is getting buried in clutter! We are always trying to clean out or give things away!
That’s why every lecture about Passover has to remind us that this is not necessarily a time for spring cleaning, it’s really symbolic soul searching. Of course, we have to ignore this, or we’d be stuffed to the rafters with all the excess we’ve accumulated. We dread and cherish this activity. Yet, we know it’s necessary in order to be able to refill the next time a giant sale rolls around!
Such is the cycle of life. Fill up, empty out. It plays out on many levels. We eat, we diet. We shop, we clean out. We fill our homes with kids, they move out. We buy a big house, we down scale to an apartment.
Whoops, let me revisit the reality of the cycle:
-We eat , we diet, we eat!
-We shop, we clean out, we shop.
-We have kids, they move out, they have kids they move back in.
And then when that happens, it’s actually impossible to downscale to an apartment. On top of that, they even make you add on more rooms for all their kids!!!
Before you know it your spending a small fortune on a renovation!!! Oy – You can barely afford to buy anything else!
And then you realize no worries – another Black Friday or cyber Monday is on the way. And the cycle begins all over again!
Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org