To Go Or Not To Go

Please don’t ask me whether we should go shopping on black Friday. I won’t answer that question. If you have already made up your mind of going or not going, do not plague your friends with your soliciting tone, “what do you think? To go or not to go?”

I know a couple who would review all the deals online and offline each year, mark out what they want to buy, plan the itinerary, set the rule for contingency plans if an item is sold out. Then on Black Friday, they would drive both cars–double the shopping speed–and spend the whole day shopping, buying almost every big item for the entire year. I was all amazement when I heard about this and I know I’m never going to achieve that. They seem to make shopping a research project with clear achievable goals. I always admire people who can treat their life this way, but I just couldn’t. My desire for discount items has been random, my idea of shopping disorganized, my interest in planning close to minimum.

Shopping is not for pleasure, but for necessity. To me, at least. This is probably why I am not motivated in doing it. It is difficult to derive any pleasure from a chore one has to perform.

Shopping is just looking for a deal. This mentality is more damaging than the previous one since one is easily frustrated when a deal is not there, or a better deal is discovered after the purchase.

Once somebody told me that I should do a budget each year and each month, laying out money to buy luxury items within a pre-determined budget just to please myself. It sounds like a very good and reasonable plan, but I’ve never done it. For one thing, this sounds like enjoying a pleasure that’s being sanctioned. Since most of the pleasures in our life are subjected to sanctions of one form or another already, I don’t feel like adding another one to the list. For another, I’ve lived my life happily without brand names or luxury goods. Since I’ve always known that I won’t have too much disposable income, I try not to develop a taste in this direction, which will only brood disappointment.

My Black Friday is all for the purpose of joining the maddening crowd, the inescapable trait of being a human. I remember the football games I watched on TV, the basketball games with Jeremy Lin, the U.S. Open tennis games. I haven’t much interest in the game itself, but being a member of the maddening crowd is infinitely enticing.

“So what’s the chance of meeting a superspreader of Covid19 if we go shopping?”

“If I say the chance is low and you end up contracting the virus, I will feel guilty; if I say the chance is high and you end up missing good deals, you will think I am weak and cautious.”

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