With another Turkey Day behind us, the American public can now get on with the very important business of spending money. Lured by the deal dangling of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, my husband and I fell prey to the advertisements for televisions on sale.
By design, we have only had one TV in the house since we got married. It is in our appropriately named TV room. Imagine that! While I know this is not the American norm, our reasons for not having a TV in every room of the house have been two-fold.
First, I didn’t want to have some monstrosity of a flat screen messing with the aesthetics and the sanctuary of our boudoir, and second, because my husband and I have both lived in countries outside the United States where excess and over-spending are not the cultural norm. Having that experience, gave us some perspective on gross, mass consumerism. It’s not like we were trying to make a statement. We just didn’t NEED another TV because the one we have works perfectly fine and our family has been able to share or compromise using just the one (so far.)
That all changed last week when we entertained the thought of getting one of those Black Friday deals. Maybe it was because we hit our five-year anniversary of living back in the U.S.
I started to think about it.
There could be some benefits to waking up and turning on the news in the morning…and it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the TV wasn’t enormous. .. and maybe we could have a movie night in bed and just cozy up afterward. And….and…and…
We were in.
I had seen some comparison reports on TV showing where the best deals could be found. Wal-Mart was going to be selling a 32” inch Emerson for only $198. I mentioned it to my husband and he said that he would go after work (he was on third shift) and fight the crowds – selfless man. Sounded good to me.
Black Friday morning I woke up around 8:00 a.m. and went downstairs to make breakfast for the kids. There in our laundry room was already a huge TV box. Score! But, it wasn’t an Emerson. He must have gotten a deal. There was also a Wii box.
When my husband woke up, I asked if he got some even better deal than we expected. Of course he said “yes,” and went on to tell me how he found an “even better” TV with all these “even better” features and “even better” quality and got it for only $100-something more which made the Wii – technically – only $60. It was an “even better” deal.
I was confused. I didn’t want or need an “even better” deal. As I saw it, we had definitely had a communication breakdown and I was initially pretty peeved.
How did we go from agreeing on going to Wal-Mart to instead going to Best Buy, buying one piece of technology instead of two pieces of technology and from spending under $200 to instead spending over $300? Was it a woman-thing or was it just me?
As they say, Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus.
What I remembered us agreeing to was going to Wal-Mart and buying the Emerson for $198.
What my husband heard us say was that we agreed to get a TV in the bedroom.
He was quite proud of the fact that he got a very nice TV with better resolution and quality.
I was annoyed because it was only meant to be a TV for the bedroom – not a home theater. That extra money he spent could have gone toward other things.
In the end, we compromised. As it turned out, someone we knew really wanted a Wii to buy their son for Christmas and we were happy to sell ours. They got a deal; we got some money back and now just have a TV. We all won.
But the real winners are those retailers who successfully manage to sell a totally unnecessary TV to Black Friday suckers like me.
- Black Friday Sales Rise 0.3% as Shoppers Await Better Deals (businessweek.com)
- Thanksgiving Weekend Sales Rise as Shoppers Nab Deals (businessweek.com)
- UPDATE 2-U.S. shoppers come to spend on Black Friday (reuters.com)
- Black Friday Chaos and Costly Medical Bills (lockergnome.com)
- ‘Black Friday’ shop-a-thon draws bargain-hunters (msnbc.msn.com)
- Wal-mart Black Friday Deals (socyberty.com)
- Wal-Mart’s Black Friday starts busy, but peaceful (money.cnn.com)
- Black Friday After Thanksgiving Day Sale (shmula.com)
- Wal-Mart’s Black Friday starts off busy (cnn.com)