I’ve been attending black Friday since I was able to drive. The local department store, Elder Beerman would hand out $25 gift certificates to the first 100 people. My youngest sister S, was 8 for her first black Friday outing. At 16, I loaded her into my Nissan Pulsar and at 4:30 a.m. on black Friday, we were off. When we drove into the mall complex, there wasn’t a soul in sight. One might say that getting there that early was overkill but I wanted to be the first one in the doors to get my certificate and you know what, every time we succeeded.
Black Friday Today
Fast forward 26 years and it’s become a ritual that begins on Thanksgiving. And you know what? I’m going to say something controversial: I don’t like turkey. There, I said it. Huge weight off my shoulders. In fact, Thanksgiving is just the big meal before shopping.
This Thursday, I’ll wake up around 7 a.m. and drive to the nearest gas station. I’ll buy 4 copies of the newspaper and 1/2 dozen Krispy Kreme Donuts. Once home, I’ll throw 3 of the 4 newspapers on the island and take the chosen 4th paper to be my beacon of hope. This paper is my compass and will dictate my path for the next 36 hours. I don’t think the paper realizes how special it is. I’m not above breathing in it’s intoxicating perfume.
Of course, I throw out the actual paper and keep just the ads I enjoy. I also throw out the stupid black Friday ads like for pet supplies and mattresses. BORING. This first review of the ads is a very light review. It’s not time yet to circle things or clip out coupons. This review is just to keep me sated until after Thanksgiving dinner.
Around noon we load up the kids, our contributions to the dinner and my four papers. We make the 30-minute journey to my in-laws home for the best Thanksgiving meal on Earth. Because of my inability to cook, my mother-in-law gives me one job and that’s to continually stir the gravy. Actually, she has a robot stirrer and my job is to just monitor the robot, occasionally guiding it into unstirred directions.
After dinner, we gather around the dining room table with our ads. I offer to the family the other 3 stacks of papers. They can do whatever they want with those 3 copies. Burn them, wrap presents with them, read them, I don’t care as long as no one touches my copy.
Inevitably, someone sees an ad in my stack that they want to look at and it just happens to be in my pile. I equate this to wanting to borrow my underwear. Like a dog, I want the ability to piss around my ads to mark my territory. Here’s how this normally goes:
“Angela, can you hand me the Target ad?” They say, pointing to the one in my stack.
“This one?” I ask playing dumb wondering why, out of all the stacks, they want the one in mine.
Reluctantly, I hand it over. For what seems to be an eternity, I have one eye on my current ad while watching my borrowed ad with the other. All of these freakin’ ads and they want my ad. I have a system man! You can’t screw with my system!
Thursday Night Shopping
Walking into WalMart on Thanksgiving night is on par with walking through a Viking battle. Additionally, they’re usually aren’t any carts left so you’ll have to carry the 65″ tv on your back.
Normally, I have aspirations of obtaining that really expensive item for half the cost until I see that the line for the item weaves in and out of 8 grocery aisles. Forty-five minutes later and all I have to show for my excursion into the armpit of retail is usually a Dove gift set and a pack of gum.
Last year, I took shopping to a whole new level. After shopping till maybe 4 am, I was dog tired. And why do they call it dog tired by the way? Unless you’re part of the K-9 unit of the police, you have a pretty laid back life but I digress. I was extremely tired so you know what I did? I got in my Corolla, laid the seat back and proceeded to take a nap in the Target parking lot. Hindsights 20/20 and I probably shouldn’t have chosen that parking lot as it was in a very unsafe part of Columbus. But hey, I’m still alive.
So this year I’m out for 3 things: an Apple Watch for my oldest, a Nintendo Switch for my youngest and a Fit Bit Versa 2 for me. I’ll probably fall asleep again in a parking lot but at least I got some really great deals.