I vowed I would not, but then I did. The allure of 1/2-price paper towel was just too great a temptation! This may well be my stupidest thought EVER: “How bad can it really be?” Bravely I entered the large department store close to us during the dreaded Black Friday.
It was worse than I imagined. Shoppers who had not managed to procure a cart or basket were making piles in the the aisles, waiting for an available cart, or other family members to come and help them check out.
In the midst of all the mayhem, I made an important observation. As I walked around, I watched what people were securing in their baskets and carts. In the hour or so of time spent in the store, I noticed only one man waiting to pay for an other-than-food-item, a small counter-top appliance. Everyone else was frantically trying to be the first to grab cooking oil, rice, flour, and other food staples. Basically we are talking every day living, no extravagances. Eating for a while longer is evidently very high on everyone’s Christmas wish list this year.
I have not lived in the First World for some years now, so I don’t know what sort of Black Friday nightmare is going on there. While you’re shopping (if you are) this weekend, be observant. The items in people’s baskets may tell you a lot about the real state of your particular economy right now.
It appears that this is a Real Life Black Friday, in the aftermath of two years of questionable political decisions and strategies. I do mean that worldwide, by the way, not just in South America. News is leaking out about supply chain breakdowns up north due to pandemic restrictions, and possible food shortages this winter due to this past summer’s extensive droughts.
I often wonder lately if any of the politicians know what real life actually is for most people… Or maybe they do, and they just don’t care. (Personally, I’m leaning towards the latter.) For me it was good to save a few dollars. For many people I observed yesterday, it was essential to keeping going.
The lesson? We are now living in times where being observant, using critical thinking skills, being more prepared, and building local community support are not optional. They have become essential.
Real Life Black Friday © Susan L Hart | Friendly comments welcome | Photo courtesy Peggy_Marco, Pixabay