I will admit: I got up one Black Friday morning several years ago to buy one specific item. It was a DVD player (yes, I'm dating myself) being sold for about $20.
I braved the long lines at Circuit City (which has since gone out of business) and bought the darn thing. Yeah! I felt special. OK, not really, because later that day, some of the same sorts of players were being sold for about the same price there and elsewhere. And the one I bought wasn't really all that great and probably wasn't worth the combined time, money and effort I spent to get it.
That's the full extent of my Black Friday background, except as a young reporter sent out on assignment to talk to um ... spirited people who were happily in those long lines before the break of dawn on cold mornings.
My questions: What makes sane people flood malls and other shopping venues every Friday morning the day after Thanksgiving - and now beginning on Thanksgiving - for a bunch of cheap stuff most of us probably won't remember for long after the end of the year? Why do we feel so much pressure to spend a ton of money on Christmas gifts? When will we grow up? Ever?
The bills end up lasting a year, or years, while the memories and excitement don't.