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Black (Heart) Friday November 28, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Holidays, Shopping, Walmart.

I’m sitting in here enjoying my usual Saturday morning ritual of drinking coffee and perusing the internet, when Brian brings me an article out of today’s paper. On the front page was a story on the ridiculous behavior of people yesterday during the shopping orgies, complete with a big picture of a crowd of people looking pissed off and miserable.

This particular story reported on the crowds outside a Toys-R-Us located in one of the most clusterfucked areas of town. Apparently the first people in line, a couple who obviously cares very very much about their kids (ages 2 and 3) receiving walking toy horses for Christmas, showed up at 6pm Thanksgiving day. They go on to gush how they SAVED $200, begging the questions what was the original price for something like that and also are you out of your shit-kicking minds? Anycrazy, the article goes on to describe the jostling and shoving, yelling and cursing between the people who showed up to stand in line the night before (in 30-something degree weather, just to paint you the entire picture) and the people who showed up at the last minute and tried to push their way to the front of the line.

I’d venture to guess there are articles very similar to this in newspapers all across the country this morning. God help us all.

I’ll admit to participating in a couple of Black Fridays over the years. Some fond memories that stand out:

– In my early 20’s, a friend and I met each other at a coffee shop at 7am and went on our mission together. Three hours later while waiting in a soul-suckingly long check-out line, she broke out her pill bottle and handed me my first-ever Xanax while dry-swallowing one herself.

– In my later 20’s, another friend and I took a break in shopping midway through the day to eat lunch at a fairly upscale restaurant. Our reasoning was she swore a glass of wine was the key to making it a pleasant and productive day, but unfortunately as these things often do, one glass turned into four and no more shopping was accomplished that day.

– A little over ten years ago, I was living here and a good friend lived three hours away in Georgia. We met in the middle to shop together in Charleston and ended up buying one item apiece because we were too busy being excited to spend time together, sightseeing and eating in one of the prettiest cities in the country to think about shopping.

– Two years ago I didn’t own a digital camera and really, really wanted one. I hadn’t attempted a Black Friday since the last incident mentioned above, so I laughingly told Brian I wasn’t setting the alarm, but if I woke up on my own before 5 a.m. when the sale started at the Walmart across the street, I’d go. I woke up and I swear the clock said 4:59. I put a jacket on over my pajamas, went out into the cold dark morning and upon arrival noted with relief the parking lot didn’t look very full at all. I made a beeline to the electronics department and quickly discovered that all the cars that were in the parking lot, held people who were all also in the electronics department. But the camera I wanted was still in stock by the time I reached the front of the line, and I quickly paid for it and a memory card (also on sale) and was back home taking my first picture (of the dog of course) before 6:00.

Here’s the thing. I don’t have a lot of disposable income and appreciate a good bargain as much as the next Jew person. I understand parents who want to make their kids’ visions of sugarplums and Xboxes come true – my parents did it for us every year, regardless of what the cashflow was at the time. But my hands break out in splotchy hives on a normal day in a Walmart check-out line. The older I get, the less patience I have for crowds, and by less patient I mean slightly homocidal with a side of claustrophobic anxiety attack. Whether I ever become a parent or not, I can’t imagine anything, ANYTHING, that would have the ability to make me wait freezing in a line overnight and perhaps get into a fistfight to save some money on something the child would cease to appreciate after a couple of months (like say, an electronic horse for a 3-year-old?). And as far as gifts for an adult? If I can’t find it on with a fair amount of ease while out on a low-pressure shopping day or on Amazon, Overstock, Ebay or Etsy, you probably ain’t getting it.

Online shopping, people. The internet and also about 360 other days of the year, give or take a few holidays, where stores aren’t teeming with stressed out, psychotic consumers. Look into it.



1. iamheatherjo - November 28, 2009

I was reading where one of my high school friends had gone out right after Thanksgiving dinner and shopped all night until 8am Friday, came home and slept until noon and then went out again until 10pm Friday night. What could she possibly have needed and where does THAT money come from?!?!?! Absolutely ridiculous.

I’m even afraid to go to the damn grocery store this weekend. Sheesh!

But meeting up somewhere halfway and having some wine sounds like a lot of fun. 😉

Kimmothy - November 29, 2009

One of my VERY PREGNANT friends did the same thing and kept updating her shopping adventures on FB until finally she wrote “Not feeling good at all; going to try to nap.” People are out of their damn minds.
And yes, someday we’ll be having wine in Knoxville!

2. Lori - November 28, 2009

For the first time ever, I am almost done with all of my shopping and I haven’t done any this weekend. For the past two months, any time I go to Walmart, Target, etc. I pick something up for Nicholas. He is the only one getting anything for the most part. The rest will be order on line and ship it and gift cards. Whoo Hoo!

Kimmothy - November 29, 2009

Gift cards are magical, wonderful things. You did it the smart way!

3. Swistle - November 29, 2009

Oh, AGREE. Also: REALLY RESENT the artificial shortages that drive people into CRAZY MANIAS. They can wait until next year, srsly they can. Or next month, since as soon as the Black! Friday! Craziness! is over the items will be back in stock and the manufacturers will be begging us to buy them.

Kimmothy - November 29, 2009

I forgot to mention that, the fake shorteges. And even though people KNOW it, they continue to fall for it anyway, thereby supporting and perpetuating it. As Charlie Brown would say, AARGH!

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