There was a trend on my Facebook feed of people swearing oaths to not shop on Black Friday. In some cases it was in solidarity of retail workers, in some cases it was a moral choice, in one case I think it was done to impress a girl.
Someone asked me why, if I'm a nice person, I didn't agree to not shop on Black Friday.
That's because I will be shopping today.
First, we're going to a little hardware store up the road that has a really good sale on artificial Christmas trees. We really need a new one. They were open the day after the Thanksgiving last year and the year before and generally always are. Failing to go get this tree will have no effect on their business.
Incidentally, I'm willing to bet that it will either be Alan or Owen who'll ring up my purchase. Alan is a younger guy, maybe in his late twenties, working his way through school at the Tech for computer design, but he really likes robotics and rocketry. His dream job is working for NASA. Owen is old and curmudgeondly, built like a scarecrow - like half of a Wilford Brimley. He's also amazingly helpful and kind to people who're trying to fix a leaky faucet.
We'll also be going to Myriad Games. They have three stores in New Hampshire, all with common ownership. They have every board game, card game, dice game and RPG you can imagine, and a few you can't. They're amazing, the kind of business I really want to see prosper. They sent out a newsletter to their loyal customers asking them to come in today.
What with it being Christmas season, I'm happy to oblige.* They're good people.
So, this is why I don't make oaths. They seem like a good idea at the time. They're comforting and give one a sense of moral rightness, but in the end, for us it would mean a year with a decrepit tree and paying more Christmas presents.
* Yes, that means that if I know you and you're reading this, I might be buying you a game for Christmas. But you know me - this shouldn't surprise you.