28 November 2008

The day after Thanksgiving has been labelled “Black Friday.”  Everybody knows that term, now, but I remember when that was not the case.  I just did some research, and it seems the phrase only goes back to the late sixties—which would explain why I can remember the beginning of the usage. (Yes, I am that old, and I do remember back that far!)  And, originally, the term was a completely negative one—meant to describe the way the working folks felt about the day.  Roads jammed with extra cars, parking lots too full, lines at check-wrap stands, long, hard work days in every retail venue, police and other peace officers needing to direct traffic and deal with frustrated, harried people.  It was not fun.

It was not until the 1980s that the term took on it’s now-accepted reference to retailers looking forward to the day that would mark their operating in “the black.”  Did it change to encourage shopping?  Or did we do that because in a society obsessed with political correctness it was “wrong” to use the word “black” to describe something awful?  Either way, unfortunately, this shopping day from hell, now has a new reason to be labelled “black.”  I am shocked, saddened and embarrassed to be human, when I read of a crazed horde of shoppers breaking down a Wal-mart door and trampling an employee . . . to death.

And on that note, I will confess that in the throws of the final weekend of the Texas Renaissance Festival, where we too, are forced to be open on Black Friday, I took no photos today.