My plan this year for Black Friday was to sit out the retail game altogether. That was before I saw the ad in The New York Times. "Don't Buy This Jacket," exhorted the full-page message sponsored by the Patagonia Common Threads Initiative.
I got out, loaded up with shirts and dresses, and confronted what was possibly the deadest dead tire ever. My heart sank. But then the kindheartedness that defines the Midwest started peeking out from every corner and I was saved by my city.