Yesterday was our nation’s day of thanks. To celebrate, we all gorged ourselves on turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, rolls and all the deserts … oh, the desserts … as only an obese nation can. We watched our football, and for my family, spent the afternoon mud riding in the side-by-side. We also had a little fun on the front-end loader, as only polished, American rednecks can. After raping the the land of her natural innocence, we ate more and collapsed into a drunken stupor created by digested turkey, ham and excessive carbs.
Today, being Black Friday, was the most celebrated day of the retail universe. I dutifully paid respects to the retail and debt gods and rose at the ringing of my 3:15 a.m. alarm. I dressed solemnly and ventured into the crisp blackness of pre-dawn to retrieve the much sought after item that my mother wanted under the Christmas tree this year.
Having never participated in the extravaganza that is Black Friday – except for that one horrid year during college that I was employed by Target – I was exceptionally naive about the whole thing. Thinking that most sane people would be sleeping off the tryptophan of the previous day, I never imagined the sight I would see when I topped the hill that overlooked the two-acre parking lot of a local retailer. It was a glowing sea of car headlights and street lights and neon store signs. Every parking place was filled and many cars meandered the aisles like ants in an ant farm. The store didn’t open until 4 a.m. – 15 minutes after my arrival to the “retail” Mecca.
I was stunned.
But, I decided to investigate anyway and must say that is was quite a thrill. Friends were meeting and exchanging hugs, examining their strategically categorized shopping lists. Couples were discussing their attack-and-conquer strategies – “I’ll get in line and you run and get the boys’ jeans,” “Go get mom’s mixer. I’ll get the T.V. and meet you by the housewares.”
I headed for my must-get gift and hopped in the check-out line 15 minutes after the doors opened and was amazed that the 250 plus people in front of me were also in line.
Being a seasoned shopper, I did have a game plan, though. I shopped the aisles and departments as I passed, leaving my loot in line to save my spot and quickly running in and out of departments as I spotted what I wanted. It worked and and hour later I was on my way out the door with half my Christmas shopping finished, $50 worth of free gift cards to use on Sunday and a cute boy to carry my things.
I was back home and in bed by 6 a.m. where I dreamed of the surprised faces of my friends and family on Christmas morning. Will it be worth it? I can say, yes.