Reclamation of a holiday.
Black Friday is a Clay Aiken concert. A bunch of estrogen cases waving their flabby arms to grasp at what they think is a piece of happiness. Unlike a flat screen, at least Aiken has talent, even if he transmutes it all into gayness.
Before I start sounding too much like a Marxist, it’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with the market system that causes a tsunami of teacher arm—or the legality of the fast food that causes the teacher arm itself. But there is something wrong with the mentality that glorifies thrift, especially when it takes precedence over productivity.
Not that saving money is bad. No point in paying full price for a Mexican prostitute, especially when it’s really easy to convince her you’re a professional hockey player.
But rearranging your life to save money is never worth it. You’ll end up boring friends about your money-saving escapades, which are only interesting if your friend is also your accountant.
Aside from making you seem like a dork, your thrift will only be roughly proportional to the amount of money in your bank account. Warren Buffet saves millions when he buys stock at a good deal. So if you really want to save more money, then you have to make more money. You also have to make more money if you want to enjoy the holiday tradition of giving without being at the whim of Black Friday.
Most importantly, making money assuages the making of more money. As long as you’re not buddies with a congressman, making money is the creation of value, and the more value you make the more people will want to be around you, which offers endless opportunities to make more money. Charlie Sheen, for example, spends more on prostitutes (full-price) than your Aunt Bertha will save in her entire life of Wal-Mart bargaining. But Sheen will always have more money because he figured out how to do something that people like, even if he doesn’t do it that well.
Saving money only leads to a flat screen, which will distract you from the life-threatening disease that is your teacher arm. A penny saved is just a penny.
Plus, when you think you need to be at Best Buy at 5:00 am, you’re telling yourself that you’re not good enough to make more money. It makes you think value is scarce, and life is only possible through a series of one-hit deals, unconnected, and resulting in a stampede.
So how about this: Instead of a holiday based around saving money, let’s have a holiday based around making money. We’ll call it Money Friday. Instead of stores offering deals, they’ll host fireside chats that tell tales of how their business made money in order to offer inspiration and perhaps a lesson.
Instead of waking up at 5:00 am to save $300, we will wake up at 5:00 am to ask ourselves one of the most important questions in the universe: How can I make more money?
I’ll bet the Friday after Thanksgiving, once it’s Money Friday, will no longer be the heaviest drinking day of the year. When people realize they aren’t forever stuck in a certain kind of life, they begin to act less like they’re from Pittsburgh.
Go ahead and save as much money as you can, but always remember life is much bigger than that. And if ruining a good night’s sleep doesn’t get in the way of making money, then you're not making enough.