Friday, November 27, 2015

...Coffin up the cash on BLACK FRIDAY...

When you read “Black Friday” you most likely think of shopping. If you do, you can thank the retailer in the 1980s who successfully transformed a very negative phrase into the positive discount shopping day. You may have heard that Black Friday references the “in the black” that retailers used in their old ledgers… in the black meaning that they were making a profit and in the red meant that they were losing money. I even remember learning about checking in middle school and being told to use red ink if you ever overdraft your checking account. I remember my parents correcting my teacher by instructing to never ever do this. If you don’t have the cash, don’t write the check… but I digress.

The first recorded “Black Friday” comes from 1869 after the American Civil war during the Reconstruction era. The U.S. gold market crashed. James Fisk and Jay Gould planned to profit from buying up all of the U.S. gold and basically hoarding it to drive up the prices. It worked for a while until President Ulysses S. Grant released the reserves flooding the market with gold. Prices dropped within minutes with thousands left financially ruined, and one even committing suicide. Come on! We’re seen It’s a Wonderful Life; we know that financial ruin can be awesome if Clarence isn’t around. Wheat and corn harvests also decreased in value by 50%, and the entire U.S. economy for years.

Nearly a century later, “Black Friday” was a term that related to the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, PA. “Black Friday” was used by police officers to describe the chaos from tourists visiting the city before the big game.
It took decades after this to spin a chaotic event into an in the profit/ in the black kind of day.

I normally don’t go out shopping on Black Friday anymore. Without little children who require big ticket items or designer toys, I don't worry much about major savings. I do go to the mall, just as I often do right before Christmas, because I love watching the madness especially when I do not need a thing. Two years ago, I spontaneously got engaged by looking at jewelry on Black Friday with my fella *giggles*. So, Black Friday is another one of our anniversaries :D

This morning with my fella as his mom's nursing her back to health for the last few days, I have been on my own. I miss him but it's been a full semester since I've actually been alone in my house... or alone for a few days! I've had a great day. I went to get a haircut and then headed to my folks’ to have my car oil changed. While this might sound weird, oil changing days are major father-daughter bonding times for me. It's where we share stories and come up with car problem-solving solutions. I wouldn't change these times for anything.  After that, I went to two graveyards from my youth that I’ll post about later this week, and then I went to the ABC store (Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control… e.g. you can’t buy alcohol anywhere else in this state) which does have a Black Friday sale. So now I’m having a peppermint chocolate martini (apparently the drink of the season for me!) while I write this. Umm, excuse any tipsy typos :D

Did you go out shopping on Black Friday?


  1. Sounds like a quiet Black Friday, fortunately, I was working avoided the shops, as I joined a group on Friday Buying nothing on Friday in protest against Black Friday. Unfortunately, i failed I had to buy food never mind. I wish the UK would adopt Thanks giving as another bank holidays rather than another commerical excuse to sell stuff

    1. I'm sure if food technically counts; I mean, one must eat! :D

      Fewer and fewer places actually close for Thanksgivng day. Grocery stores close early but most places or many retailers even open on Thanksgiving day. While I don't go shopping on the day, I don't get too fussy about that because I do find the holiday a bit complicated and also first responders work.

  2. I didn't know all that stuff about black Friday, how interesting! I didn't go out shopping either, unless they are gifts I have banned myself from spending...

    1. Yeah, I hear ya. I have a tendency to buy gifts for myself :p

  3. Grocery shopping, if that counts. I put my first dollar of the season into a Salvation Army kettle ... tis the season when I feel that I must pay admission to shop, for a good cause, of course.

    Learned another freaky-similar thing about the two of us from this post. One of my favorite things about the days before Christmas is going to the mall, with my own shopping and wrapping finished, to sit back, have a nice meal, and watch the chaos of the last minute shoppers. Not in a judgmental, catty way, you understand. Never thought about using Black Friday as one of these opportunities.

    Today, I plan to take advantage of what's supposed to be a pretty day. I plan to take my Mustang out for a ride to do a bit of small business shopping.

    Tipsy Typos! Pray tell, what is the formula for your magical martini?

    1. At Short Pump I didn't see any Salvation Army volunteers. Weird. I had t thought about that until now.

      Ha ha we need to plan a date to sit and stare :) I had seen a ridiculous elf ugly sweater that I had decided to go back to buy but apparently everyone had the same idea so no weird elf sweater for me (unless I buy it online).

      I'm going to go to Refunkit and Jezebel's in Ashland for Small Business Saturday :)

      Godiva Chocolate liqueur and Peppermint Twist Smirnoff vodka. Easy peasy!

  4. What a nice Black Friday! :) I spent my day in the NYPL grading papers and hiding from the crowds. Granted, Manhattan was INSANE -- there were people everywhere, but not where I wanted to be. The only money I spent was on food at a local pub and at Pret.

  5. Hahahaha our ABC store is a tv channel store that sells DVDs of Period Dramas and Dr Who!

    We don't have Black Friday in Australia and I am glad, I heard someone died again this year, what an awful thing! When I first heard of Black Friday I did think it was a tragedy day, but given that people get injured every year, I guess it is a little!