What I bought on Buy Nothing Day. November 29, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: Anso, Black Friday, Buy Nothing Day, Coco Before Chanel, Coco Chanel
Silence Dogood here. As most of you know, the Friday after Thanksgiving has come to be known as Black Friday because it’s America’s biggest shopping day of the year, the day when merchants hope that consumer frenzy will take them out of the red and put them in the black for the year. Much of the nation has the Friday after Thanksgiving off (except for those luckless souls in retail sales), so they’re free to shop, and stores offer huge sales, deep discounts, and other enticements to lure people out to the malls, outlets, and other retail establishments.
Apparently, the marketing effort works beautifully. Long lines form at favored stores before dawn, with people waiting in the cold for hours so they won’t miss the hugely discounted gadgets, clothing, and etc. In previous years, people have been trampled and even killed in the stampede to get inside the stores and grab the precious whatever-the-hell-it-is before they’re all gone. Many people try to do all their Christmas shopping on Black Friday; others buy items they’ve been coveting but haven’t been able to afford.
Our local paper interviewed shoppers yesterday, ranging in age from the 20s through the 50s, to see what they had bought, and the results were rather dismaying to me: In every case, the shopper reported buying something on impulse, as opposed to something they needed or had wanted for a while, “because the price was just too good to pass up.” Yikes.
Anyway, this herd-mentality consumerism proved to be too much for a Canadian man named Ted Dave, who in 1992 founded Buy Nothing Day as “a day for society to examine the issue of over-consumption.” (Thanks, Wikipedia, for the specifics.) In 2009, 65 countries worldwide participated in Buy Nothing Day, which is celebrated on Black Friday in America and the following Saturday in the rest of the world.
So, okay, what did I buy on Black Friday, our Buy Nothing Day? Yes, I did indeed buy something. I bought two tickets to the marvelous movie “Coco Before Chanel,” about, obviously, the early life of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. Not only did I want to see this gorgeous film, but I wanted to treat our Thanksgiving-week guest Sasha to the film. Sasha, a college freshman, is the son of my best friend, and the rest of his family is out of the country, so he came to stay with me and our friend Ben for the holiday. (And, I think, fell in love with our black German shepherd puppy Shiloh.)
If you’re wondering why on earth I’d think an 18-year-old college freshman would give a damn about a movie about Coco Chanel, here’s why: Sasha has already created his own clothing line, Anso, with men’s and women’s lines (Anso Mann and Anso Merie), models, logos, and a defining symbol. (It’s ()., Anso period, because after Anso, there’s nothing else. Clever, yes?) Sasha tells me there’s an Anso site on Facebook, so you non-Luddites can go check it out.
Needless to say, Sasha loved the movie, which I also highly recommend to viewers of all ages who love beautiful scenery, fabulous French chateaux, gorgeous horses, and fantastic costumes, not to mention, of course, incredible acting. See it on the big screen if you can, since the amazing visuals demand larger-than-life viewing. Aaaahhh!!!
But to return to the point. I felt great about buying those tickets on Buy Nothing Day, supporting the fine arts, giving enormous pleasure—and possibly genuine inspiration—not just to myself but to someone I love. Did I have anything tangible to show for my Black Friday purchase? Nope. But to me, it was priceless.
‘Til next time,