Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday

I have a riddle for you.

Where do you find a bunch of crazy people crowded together before daylight without their straight jackets on?

Answer: Black Friday, otherwise known as the Day after Thanksgiving Day sales. And I say that with love, people, because I’ve been a loyal attendee for years.

When I lived in Utah my ex and I were great Black Friday strategists; we would pour over the ads and make lists of where to go and at what time. We would wake up at 4 and wouldn’t get home until after 10 (for you sane people, that’s in the a.m.). And while I haven’t had much experience shopping in Idaho Falls, Black Friday in Utah was more than a day, it was an Olympic event.

I made my sister, a Black Friday virgin, come with me one year. She was amazed to see retailers passing out refreshments to 5am shoppers on their way into stores. But on Black Friday those shoppers are more like marathoners taking the paper cups of orange juice and hot chocolate to pour over their heads as they start the grand competition called Christmas Sale Shopping.

We quickly learned that the shopping cart was a great handicap; the best Black Friday shoppers go armed with a billfold and their own two hands, ready to carry everything from a 32” plasma TV to stacks of Spiderman action figures. And besides, you could get stuck in an aisle for hours trying to maneuver your cart around crazed shoppers.

The really serious shoppers tag-team shop, with walkie talkies in hand as they work through their lists, elbowing old ladies and children who may stumble into their way.

This year, however, my ex and I (in disagreement on just about everything but shopping) decided to sleep in and go a little later this year. What we discovered was that you don’t avoid the crazies that way. While you do avoid the strategists, the Type-A shoppers with lists and hand signals and shopping paraphernalia, you don’t avoid the lazy crazies, who, like us, decided to roll out of bed at, heaven forbid, seven in the morning only to discover that the $20 acoustic guitars and $80 digital cameras were, alas, all gone.

But even thus impaired, we still managed to spend over $100 before noon on Black Friday, standing in shorter lines and fighting smaller crowds. You pick your battles, I guess, even on the fierce field of Christmas shopping.

But maybe the true winner in all of this is my mother who called me the other day to say, “Watch for Zack’s Christmas present. I bought it on QVC and had it shipped to you.” And, following a lengthy conversation on Christmas shopping, added, “I just may avoid the stores all together and get all your presents on QVC this year…”

9 comments:

Erin said...

I hear ya! Pretty much our Christmas present is going to Washington--so why lose sleep on presents we're not going to buy. I am so with your Mom on this one.

Love the new banner!

suburbancorrespondent said...

Banner? What banner? There's no banner at all! What happened to it?

Gustogirl said...

I was almost sucked out of my bed at 4:00am by the lure of a red leather jacket at a fab price just across the way from where my sister's lives. I am proud to say that I didn't get up and do it. I stayed warm in bed with all my Christmas shopping done.(Did I mention that leather jacket was for me? hahhahaha) The sales are hard to resist! Crowds just make me a little too crazy though.

Eileen said...

Since we are always in Washington, DC for Black Friday, we opt out on any shopping. The relatives always plan on trips to view the DC museums/exhibits, etc. Honestly, it is just as crowded there, and I would rather be at the mall getting started on my shopping. This year I stayed in the hotel room, cause Christie was sick. It was very nice having an excuse to stay in and do nothing but pamper my little girl. She slept, I slept and read.
I am impressed with your lists and your game plan! Even thou you missed out on the camera deal and the guitar, sounds like you got some good stuff. You go Mommy!!!

Love your new banner, so peaceful!! Hope your Thanksgiving was really great.
Heading home in the am, and I can't wait.

XOXO

Kristi O said...

When are you going to come up and visit and shop here? I thought for sure you would make the trek for Thanksgiving!!! come on, tell me you are dying to shop in the Big LEW!!!!!

I am so surprised you are a Black Friday shopper. I think its great you are so brave. I am more like your mom, Amazon and QVC and I are best friends!

Tola said...

QVC rocks the house! i may decide to work for them when i get moved to PA. my dad has upgraded his tv set, so he is saving the old one for you. give my folks a call so they can coordinate the hand-over, okay? luv ya!

Anonymous said...

I remember when we tackled Target to get that web-blaster that Kaleb wanted. I actually like shopping on Black Friday...you just can't take it to seriously because you will get disappointed when you don't get what you really want. I took Adam last year and he hated it, so the only time I will be able to do it again is probably with you. love ya, jen

Anonymous said...

p.s. I can see the banner and it is beautiful. jen

karla said...

Here in Canada, we don't have a Black Friday. We really should though. None of the good sales start until after Christmas, which kind of makes you want to postpone Christmas to get a deal or two!