Here’s our guide to the emotional (and financial) rollercoaster that is Black Friday…
1. Moral highground
“It’s just hype,” you say a few days before. “I’m not going to get sucked into buying things I don’t need. Most of the sales are a con anyway, you can get stuff just as cheap all year round. I don’t want the kids to grow up in this consumerist culture, maaan.”
Midweek, an email or ten arrive promoting the “once in a lifetime” Black Friday offers from some of your favourite shops. Some of them are small businesses that make really cute baby clothes; you want to support small businesses that make really cute baby clothes. And then you remember that the kettle has been a bit temperamental recently. And you should probably think about making a start on your Christmas shopping. A bit of research never did anyone any harm…
OK, so now you have a list. A list of items it turns out you NEED… but, y’know, you’ll be totally chilled if it doesn’t work out.
The day arrives. Your plans to rise early and log on to your websites of choice at 6am are thwarted by the baby’s seemingly secret plan to rise at 5.55am and mess up your whole day. You try to shop while doing their breakfast but end up with porridge on your phone. By 8am, seven of the eight items you decided you NEED are sold out and you are the opposite of totally chilled.
Screw it, you’ll just buy a play kitchen, three pairs of Converse in questionable prints, a toaster and some folding chairs anyway. They seem to be good deals and, more to the point, they are AVAILABLE. Unlike the stuff you actually, you know, wanted.
You need some air. So, when you finally get organised enough to haul the kids out of the house and go to actual physical shops instead of online ones, you’re sick of Black Friday and back to feeling morally superior. “Ugh, look at all those people queuing up to buy new laptops,” you think. “Sure, I bought a couple of tiny things online earlier but I wasn’t desperate… ooh, that’s a nice top in the window. 40% off? Four sizes too big? GIMME!”.