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Black Friday Blues

I’ve been trying to decide if I want to hit the Black Friday sales this year, which I’ve only participated in a couple times in my life.

The first time I went with my cousin, and it was fairly spontaneous. We talked about it at Thanksgiving Dinner, and the next thing I know, I’m setting my alarm for 3 a.m. to meet her at the mall by 4 a.m. As I stood in line outside waiting for her, in northern Indiana I might add, I realized I was woefully underprepared.

Teams assembled around me strategizing about the moment the doors would open at 5 a.m. Each had a list of the things they would hunt down and rip from the hands of another shopper if necessary. My plan up to that point had included “browsing around” to see if there was anything I couldn’t live without. What a fool.

When the doors opened to this toy store an hour later, they herded all of us together like pigs heading off for slaughter, which sounded pretty good at the time. I could have used a big platter of crispy bacon.

Tag teams surrounded me and hollered from one end of the line to the other as they grabbed items off the shelf that they may not have even wanted, but “it was a good deal,” and they could always sell it to Suzy down the block and make a couple extra bucks. Is this what Christmas spirit is all about?

The path through the store wove up one aisle and down the next until it ended at the checkout. I kept thinking I would arrive to just the right thing, but the woman behind me kept pushing me forward. I think the only thing I ended up buying were a couple of those small multi-colored rubber balls that bounce really high.

I could skipped the mall, gone out to breakfast, popped a couple quarters in the gumball machines lining the front of the restaurant and gotten the same damn bouncy balls.

My blood pressure rises just thinking about the experience, but here I am contemplating it again. Maybe it is a matter that I need the experience every few years just to remind myself why I usually choose to sleep in on the morning after Thanksgiving.

I will say there seems to be a bit of a lull in the madness where you can still get some good deals. By about 7 a.m. all the crazies (no offense to any of you out there) have scooped up all the limited-quantity merchandise, but there are still some great buys before 10 a.m. as long as you don’t have to have one of the really hot items on the market.

I haven’t made a final decision. I think I’ll search the ads online and then decide. I definitely don’t want to go with Lyle. I hate shopping with him on a good day. Love him dearly, but I don’t care for his top retail choices, and I positively don’t want him following me around the stores I like. Maybe I can ask a friend and we can make a game of it, and then grab some breakfast when we’re finished. Perhaps we should skip the stores and head straight to Bob Evans.


2 Responses

  1. There is a fun, craziness around Black Friday. Its family tradition to scour the newspaper ads looking for what we “need”. A store has to have a really great or at least 2 really good things to get me in there. Otherwise I just don’t want to brave the crowds. As I try and unclutter my life and make smart purchases, I’m more cautious with what I buy. Although I’d love to bypass the Black Friday craziness, there is a fun and excitement which will lure me into the stores in the wee morning hours.

  2. Have fun! I still haven’t decided if I’m going to join the madness. Let me know if you get any good deals!

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