A far cry from the Black Fridays of old
Published 02/12/2015 | 02:30
Perhaps this comes from leading a sheltered life but up to very recently, I had no idea what Black Friday was or what it meant.
Having deleted endless emails from various businesses offering me special deals on their products, I just couldn't avoid references to the term.
Up to now, I assumed it had some sort of religious significance. I even thought it was perhaps linked in some way with two of my late grand aunts who used to eat only black toast during Lent. After enduring that, I would imagine by Easter they had no need to go to Slimming World or partake of Operation Transformation.
They must have been as lean as greyhounds. They even drank black tea (without sugar of course) and I must admit, albeit from my dim childhood memory, they weren't exactly a bundle of laughs. No surprises there.
What was, to my young eyes, even worse was the fact that they were very well off and could easily have had champagne instead. What a waste. Oddly, in those days austerity was quite fashionable.
Widows along with priests and nuns wore black and the uplifting sight of a bit of colour was apparently, in some way almost sinful.
This Black Friday is however quite the opposite and is a shameless exercise in encouraging the nation to spend as if there is no tomorrow.
No prizes for guessing it originated in America where advertising and the hard sell are infamously aggressive. Why we have to imitate everything the Yanks do is beyond me but clearly they have the edge when it comes to getting us to part with our money.