That said, I haven't left my house (which is less than a mile away from probably the busiest mall in the greater metro-Detroit region, purely based on my speculation). I don't want to leave my house. Yet, I know I will end up heading to at least one store today.
As much as I like to sneer at the tradition, the reality is, this is another tradition that I just don't get. And I like to make an effort to "get it." So this year, I will go with my sister to REI and Barnes and Noble because I like those stores.
I've made the mistake in the past of trying to go to one of the busier stores to experience the day. All I end up experiencing is chaos. If I go to a mall, I find myself endlessly circiling the cosmetics mirrors trying to find my way out of the perfumerie onslaught and getting into the actual mall. Eventually, I fail and retire back to my car to sit in mall traffic.
My other tactic has been to try one of the independent stores (i.e. not part of an internal mall), such as Kohl's. When I went clothes shopping Kohl's was my destination of choice. However, on the day after Thanksgiving, I would usually select one item I thought would be good to purchase, walk towards the register, realize purchasing the $10 four-pack of uber-nice socks would cost me not only Alexander Hamilton's likeness, but part of my soul (as I waited in line for hours, and attempted not to let the 17 year-old female conversations drive me insane).
But the reason why I can't exclude myself from the craziness is because I feel like Black Friday (which term I just learned two years ago) is a cultural rite of passage. Something everyone simultaneously hates, complains about, gets fired up for, and in some form or another deliberately participates or non-participates.
So when that pile of ad sits on my kitchen table, I can't help but rifle through them. I find myself desiring to purchase peacoats and accent rugs that I know I'd never actually use. I'll peruse the Parisian ad, before devouring the deliciously stimulating ABC Warehouse ad/sensory onslought on newspaper form (the Parisian to ABC Warehouse transition is like reading the National Enquirer after the New Yorker, by the way).
All that to say: I don't get this day. I don't want to get it. But when its all said and done, I need to take a brief foray into the estrogen-driven madess (thats right, I had to slip in a sexist shopping reference) just to remind myself why I shouldn't feel like I am missing out when I am sitting on my couch watching bottom-tier college football today.