There is a lot of media chat today regarding Black Friday. A day that the world, mainly State-side, stops dead in its tracks and all its inhabitants clamber over each other, participating in pavement rage, scratching and near-death experiences to get a TV for half its normal price.
Already this morning I have heard of people being hospitalised due to fractured ribs from ‘assertive neighbours’. Obviously queuing together for what feels like three weeks, took its toll when the doors were finally opened and all just to get into the store first. There has also been a crushing incident at a pharmacy! Yeah, you get em, get those half price paracetamol that are worth risking your life for. Literally.
I suppose I can sit here and wax lyrical about the weird and wonderful things that we humans get up to, all from the comfort of my lovely chair but I won’t. Deep down we are all adrenaline junkies of some sort. Whether it’s climbing Everest, motorcar racing or gathering momentum to elbow through the sales amid shopper sweat, tears and the occasional bloody nose.
It’s not for me.
Since becoming a parent, I relish every time I shop alone and I don’t mean the banal and life-zapping weekly food shop, a chore that all my friends and family know I detest with a passion.
No,the shopping I mean is the peaceful walk into town, the slow meander through the wee nooks and crannies of Edinburgh’s New Town that harbour little craft shops or bargain hideaways I have found over the years. THOSE kind of shops. Ah, I hear you say. How nice.
There are no ‘Mum, I REALLY need this battery-operated pencil doodaa that is priced the same as one of our mortgage repayments and that WILL revolutionise my entire being’ (take a breath) conversations. And no, the baby blue fluttery eye thing will not wash with me. There are also no ‘can we go home now, I really don’t need a new pair of school shoes, even though my current pair are talking to me through the big holes at the toe-line’ chats.
Instead I languish in the peace and tranquillity of the quiet road ahead. Normally accompanied by my friends Newton (not first name Isaac but surname Falconer) and Nina (Simone not ‘& The Neurons’). Their melodic voices in my ear sooth my 100 mile an hour mind and help me relax to a mere 20 mile an hour gentle breeze.
I might add that this kind of shopping is ALWAYS followed by the 3 C’s: coffee, cake and chapters of my latest read. It’s always a sad exhibition to leave. I close my book and place it in my bag. The cup before me has gone cold and the remnants of cocoa and froth from the milk surround the rim, a pathetic plea for me to buy another one so they can disappear again into the hot drink that has filled their home.
I salute all of the bargain hunters out there today but I shall remain in my comfortable home, limbs intact and a good book on my knee.
Happy Black Friday everyone!