Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Shopping Adventures

I have a confession to make. I like Black Friday shopping ... mostly.

I don't like doing it at home, and I don't like doing it alone (two key features of my life right now), but the challenge, the thrill and the general hurly-burly of it all just gets my blood pumping.

I don't like doing it alone, because everyone needs a partner in crime for things such as this. Someone to watch your cart when you need to go to the bathroom, etc. One woman today left her cart and walked around the back of a rack to grab something, and in the two minutes she was away from her cart, the jackals had descended on her cart and taken half of her stuff.

I don't like doing it at home because I live in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has a "fair competition law" which basically states that a company cannot sell a current item at a loss in order to drum up business. Thus, all of the major retailers have to create separate prices and ads for Wisconsin (and Minnesota, as I understand it) in which the prices are about ten percent higher. Needless to say, as a firm believer in the basic tenets of capitalism, I don't like to shop in an artificially created business climate.

So, when Thanksgiving rolls around, I hop in the car and visit one of my friends, and we do a great dinner and go Black Friday shopping.

This year, we had a slightly different plan than in past years. We went out at midnight so that she could snag some kid's pajamas for her boys (an annual tradition). Walmart was a study in order and chaos. Around the pallet of video games, you had all of the ,young, unmarried gamers in what was basically a rugby scrum. Around the pajamas, the moms had told each other what they were looking for and if the one right up at the pallet found yours before she found hers, she passed it to you to help you out. One wonderful woman even got hers, set them on top of the display then helped other people find theirs.

We accomplished everything we wanted, except we passed on stopping at Menard's, due to the fact that the line to get in wrapped across half of the front of the store and down one of the sides.

At almost every store, we were in and out in about half an hour, a testament to Katie's planning and preparation for the adventure. In most of the stores, there was no pushing, shoving or grabbing. Most of the people were kind and friendly.

At BigLots, there was a rather obnoxious woman giving the clerks a hard time over another clerk handing a woman a limited quantity item, then taking it back when he realized she didn't have the "I waited in line for this" ticket they had handed people as they walked in. Then, to top it off, she was arguing with them over the WRONG item, due to the fact that she didn't read the banner at the top of the ad that said "available Saturday only". I felt so bad for the clerk, that when she (somewhat rudely, given that the mistake was hers) demanded to know what time they opened the next day, I chimed in with "the time posted on the door", which then set this beastly woman on me, giving the poor clerk a very short reprieve.

I vaguely remember reading or heading someone say that the day after thanksgiving should be called "thanksgetting". That may sound a bit extreme, but if you haven't gone Black Friday shopping lately, may I suggest you strap on your pads and helmet, and give it a try.

8^) Jim
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Location:1st St,Sunfield,United States