Monday, November 28, 2016

Okay, so maybe I am a lemming

They tell me that today is Cyber Monday, but who gets to decide these things? If I officially declared this entire month No-Shopping-Vember, would anyone listen? Probably not, and yet apparently millions of people listen to the mysterious forces who have declared this Cyber Monday, the forces behind the Facebook ad that keeps telling me to go ahead and shop at work today because my boss is shopping online too! (A statement, by the way, that demonstrates utter lack of understanding of both business ethics and my boss.)

The only way Cyber Monday would tempt me would be if Amazon offered a Get-Out-of-Cyber-Monday Free card, but then I would have to indulge in Cyber Monday Madness to order it, which would defeat the purpose. 

Which is what, exactly? Why resist an activity that millions of cyber-shoppers find irresistible?

I don't resist online shopping. In fact, in the past week alone I have dedicated a significant number of minutes (not hours) to perusing my children's Amazon wish lists and oohing and aahing over all cute things at the Melissa and Doug Toys site. But I employ a similar shopping method both online and off: write a list; dash in and buy what I need; and then dash out again as quickly as possible without being distracted by shiny pretty things. Since this kind of shopping is incompatible with massive crowds, I've never shopped on Black Friday, even though I know this makes me un-American. (So sue me.)

What I resist is the herd instinct, that desire to shop simply because everyone else is doing it, lured by "deals" that really aren't that great. Here's an example: I love to visit the local shops on Small Business Saturday because they offer special sales and holiday snacks, and I always get a chance to chat with interesting people. However, I did not participate in the local promotion: buy something at 15 different downtown shops in one day and earn a gift card. Why not? I had only three items on my list and I do not know how to spread out three purchases over 15 different shops, especially since all three items were available in only one shop. To earn the gift card, I would have had to find some small thing to purchase in another 14 shops, many of them specializing in the kinds of gift items I resist. I do not need any more smelly candles or "primitive" crafts or festive flags to hang in my yard, and I'm not going to buy them for others just so I can earn a "free" gift card.

So I may be a crank and a Grinch and un-American to boot, but when it comes to shopping, I am not a lemming! Of course, scientists tell us that even lemmings aren't lemmings in the metaphorical sense either, so I'm in very good company. 

1 comment:

Bardiac said...

Good on you!

I went to a painting thingy on Friday with my sister-in-law, which was fun. It was WAY better than endless football games, for sure.

I don't really get these things (they walk you through doing a specific painting that someone has "designed" especially to be easy for basic beginners to do). But I enjoyed trying, so there's that.

Happy Holidays. May the season be filled with peace and great papers (which make for easy grading).