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MIT student blogger Michael C. '16

Who needs Black Friday anyway? by Michael C. '16

a slightly different take.

^“Every patch is a memory, every tear has a tale. These are the stories we wear.” – Worn Wear

Buying new stuff is fun. It provides that instant rush of novelty that consumerism thrives on.

And hey, I’m not immune. But there’s also something sentimental about celebrating stuff you already have. It becomes part of you.

My favorite (and well-used) fleece or puffy jacket will always remind me of certain backpacking trips in the Sierras, or favorite climbs in Yosemite. Gear becomes attached to specific memories and stories, the same way that a certain song can conjure up memories of middle school.

That’s something that a shiny new parka will never provide.

Yesterday, instead of lining up at midnight for the Black Friday frenzy and buying new stuff, I decided to take a different approach. I first went with my friend Emily Y. ’15 to a Worn Wear gear swap hosted by the local Patagonia (you may have heard of their prominent anti-Black Friday ads). Later I dropped by the local climbing gym with a new friend.

^ hey Steph, you’re blog famous!!!11cos(0)

Instead of swiping credit cards, we enjoyed free food, refreshments, and music. At the Worn Wear event, I traded stories with some grizzled climbers about our favorite places in Yosemite, and swapped some old gear I had for other people’s used things. At the climbing gym, we climbed until our forearms burned and our fingertips wore out, then refueled the stoke with some ramen at Shabu&Mein.

That sounds more in line with the spirit of Thanksgiving than a shopping spree.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, every year our lovely Simmons Hall housemasters John and Ellen host a giant Thanksgiving feast, buying lots of food out of their own pocket. So, a shoutout to them, and all the wonderful volunteers who helped make the feast possible!

^I can’t find my photos from the feast, so here is a photo of Simmons instead.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving — and if you went home, safe travels back!