Every Thanksgiving for the past few years, my family and I reminisce about a story of me waiting in line for a Black Friday Sale. I desperately needed a new computer and was in college and couldn’t afford one. I convinced my husband’s aunt to go with me at 3 am on Black Friday morning and wait in line at Circuit City.
It was freezing outside and the line was already wrapped around the building when we got there. Not to make myself sound too old, but there wasn’t really online shopping and you used to get all those Black Friday ads in the paper, I think it was like 2007 or 2008. I loved looking through those at all the deals.
I mean you remember, right?! There was mini-magazine after mini-magazine, one pager, and OMG that Target ad.
After looking at all of the ads, I found a huge deal on a computer that I really wanted in Circuit City, so there we were in the line wrapped around the building. I’d never done Black Friday Shopping like that before and had seen the news where people waited in tents at Best Buy or even had been trampled at Wal-Mart.
Once in line, the Circuit City workers came out with a bunch of colored pages. Each colored page represented the “Deal” you wanted. I can’t quite remember the color, but it was like the TV for whatever amount off was blue, and the other tv was green, one computer was one color and another computer was another. I’m sure this helped with all the mad dash trample situations. As luck would have it, I didn’t get a colored paper, they had run out about two people ahead of me.
So, the question became…how desperate am I to get something? We’d been in line forever, was I really going to just go home, there had to be SOME computer there. I decided I didn’t want to quit. We waited until the doors finally opened and I went searching for computers still desperate.
Ultimately, I was able to grab the very last mini-laptop. I actually totally forgot until writing this email that was the type of computer I was searching for. It was obviously way before iPads, but the computer was super small. Here’s the catch, I didn’t get the Black Friday deal they were offering because the last computer was the display model. So, I said YES, because I was desperate remember!??! We waited forever in line to check out, packed up, and I took my very proudly owned Black Friday “Pretend” Deal laptop home.
After getting home, I realized that we were missing a bunch of things for my laptop, like cables and etc. I called my Dad and he came over to help me figure it out, one problem….we had to go BACK to Circuit City….ON BLACK FRIDAY, to get a cable they forgot to give us.
So, let me just quickly finish this story….it was the sh*ttiest computer I’ve ever owned.
Here’s the thing being desperate and patient didn’t mix well. There’s always another deal, it was different then, but now…the Black Friday Christmas creeps was into October. There’s been study after study investigating the psychological effects of urgency and excitement generated by time-sensitive promotions. There have been studies done on consumer decision-making on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the entire weekend. The same goes for impulse buying, the influence of advertising, and the psychological motivations behind the pursuit of deals. I mean, if you’ve ever shopped at Sephora and had to wait in line through their min- impulse maze purchase, that right there will tell you that they know you are going to at least look through it and probably grab one small thing. And, if you didn’t - you have some serious willpower.
So, what does this have to do with yoga? Simple.
Ask yourself, “Where am I desperately trying to force something to work? Where can I add patience instead?”
It could be a pose you’re working towards, a length of breath, a seated meditation, or maybe even just trying to get to the studio 2x per month. We all need to give ourselves some compassion and create more patience for ourselves in our lives.
I ended up having to buy a totally different computer later, that sucked. I should have just had a little more patience and purchased a computer that could have lasted me longer. Before you ask about the warranty….Circuit City filed bankruptcy a few months after I purchased my laptop and every single store was closed by the time I had to get a new computer.