Letter to the Editor: December 13, 2018 ~ Staying Safe in Holiday Shopping Crowds

By Ruth Bragg

First, I will admit that I love to shop. I consider shopping built into the human DNA, a modification of the hunting-gathering instinct.

On the other hand, the behavior of shopping mobs during the recent Black Friday is almost beyond belief. One can watch these mobs in action via YouTube and we living in the USA may have become the laughing stock of the world due to such bad behavior, acting like crazed swine possibly due to over advertising.

There remains a way to stay safe.

Stay away from the mobs:

Shop in small stores during off hours.  Even ordinary grocery stores offer interesting items all year long.  As do hardware stores. For example, you can find t-shirts and caps with sports logos on them, flashlights, gloves, first aid kits,  candy, pocket knives, hand cream for hard-working hands. If you shop at the gift shops at parks and museums you can find toys, hiking equipment, games and you will be benefiting the parks and museums. Once up in Canada, I found a cathedral that sold hand hemmed handkerchiefs and embroidered nightgowns.  The church was pretty too, especially the windows, although those weren’t for sale.  However, there were photos with postcards with photos of the windows and any non-profit organization whether church, park, or museum can make a few dollars stretch a remarkably long way.

If you shop at consignment stores you might find good things at low prices and you will be benefiting the shopkeeper and the people who consigned the whatevers.  What is more, by shopping in any of these places you will also be benefiting yourself because, according to the nonfiction book Keep Your Brain Alive, talking to people is good for you. “Hello, how are you today?” is enough; you don’t have to try to strike up a 20-minute conversation. Just a quick validation that you are human and the clerks behind the counters are too.

Now, should you want to shop at a shopping mall, I highly recommend that you take an Uber car or any of the variations of public transportation although an Uber car is by far the most luxurious.  By not driving your car you will avoid the aggravation of searching for a parking space, avoid the danger of drivers texting or otherwise not concentrating on the road, or driving by under the influence of alcohol or the newly legalized marijuana.  You will also be benefiting the Uber driver, many of whom drive Uber cars as a second job.

Best wishes to you and to us all.

I didn’t notice before, but now my guess is that the next holiday the advertising industry has in its sights for ruination is Valentine’s Day. Could that ever become like Christmas? Yes, I suppose it could and the whole world could be watching and laughing as we make complete pigs of ourselves.

Again best wishes,
Ruth Bragg

Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: editor@thebedfordcitizen.org or 781-325-8606

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