Black Friday, you sure look fine

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’ve got to make a confession. Why? I don’t know, but it seems my years writing first-person pieces for an alternative newsweekly has given me an addiction to self-disclosure.

Are you ready? OK, I know this makes me less-than-human in many eyes: I don’t like acquisitiveness.

I’m sitting here on Black Friday. I’m the only person in the office, and it’s preternaturally quiet, except for the wind. It’s my intention to go out and drink some wine in a few hours. And no, I won’t be driving home.

I thought as I drove to work today that the streets were unusually quiet, considering today is supposedly the busiest shopping day of the year. But I know I’ll read how successful it was for retailers tomorrow. The shopping is always overblown, and the story almost always changes by Jan. 1. We’ll see.

I believe shopping is a totally instinctual reflex, by the way. Maybe that’s what I don’t like about it. People know that it makes them feel good, so they come up with all kinds of reasons to make it not just gratifying, but somehow beneficial. “Oh, I’m shopping for other people.”

I think shopping is related to that reflex that makes squirrels store nuts. For many people, it’s sort of like bagging a deer, searching for just the right item and price, then tagging it and taking it home. Shopping is hunting and gathering all in one behavior.

But I personally don’t need anything. I’ve got shit (a lot of people would call it valuable) that I store in closets. I hate it. It’s little bits of cataloguing brain cells that add to my basal stress level, just by virtue of the fact that I must subconsciously keep track of it. Ownership makes us fat and worried.

So anyway, if you chose to shop the day after Thanksgiving, I understand. Please shop at locally owned stores. But if you chose to work that day, I understand that, too. And please understand me when I say, I sympathize.