by Jill Kemerer, @jillkemerer
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Since you're reading this, I'm assuming you either skipped shopping on Black Friday or survived it. I did not go shopping this year because...well...the truth? It's scary!
On Black Friday, shoppers all over America set their alarms for 3 AM, throw on a pair of sweat pants, and, if they live in northern states, they wrap up in fifteen layers of scarves and coats before trekking to the mall, Target, Walmart, Kohls, and every other store brave enough to open its doors in the wee hours of the morning following Thanksgiving.
I've participated in this crazy tradition a time or two. It wasn't pretty.
First, you have to get in line with hordes of zealous shoppers, all pumped to grab every item on their lists. You're typically waiting for hours outside, and the line-keeping is based on the honor system. This means at least 50 people will "cut" in line by mysteriously seeing someone they know.
Let's face it, your odds of getting that TV on sale go down with each extra person joining the line ahead of you.
As if that weren't enough, it's technically still night out, it's cold, and the store will not open a minute before the appointed time. Someone behind you will be snapping an extra large wad of gum in your ear. The people ahead of you will start fake-wrestling. At least one flailing arm will catch you in the back of your head, and the wrestlers will bump the rest of your body numerous times.
Steam will start to pour from your ears as you mentally count how many people have technically cut in front of you by joining groups already in line.
If you're not the best shopper on a good day, well, it's about to get worse. Once the store does open the doors, you're jostled and shoved into the store like a blocked ketchup bottle that suddenly gets popped. There will be no rhyme or reason where the main items in the ad are placed in the store. Electronics will not be in the Electronics department. You'll practically need a map just to find a single item on your list!
The hot toy on sale? They'll have 3 of the one you want and 174 in the wrong color. It won't matter--they'll all be gone by the time you find the display.
At one point, you'll stop and just stare, circling in wonder at the sights you're seeing. Grown men laden with arms full of children's pajamas. (I don't know any men who buy children's pajamas on a normal day--why are they so pumped about cornering the market on Black Friday?) Women slinging four or five game systems on their shoulders. Carts crashing into each other on the way to the camera aisle.
And then the worst...you've grabbed everything you could find on your list, which sadly might only be one item, and you head to the check-out lanes.
Prepare yourself. It will be a doozy. These lines will weave in and out of aisles ALL the way to the BACK of the store. Hope you had a large coffee earlier, because you are going to need every drop of the caffeine just to stay awake long enough to pay for your stuff. Oh, and the gum snapper you thought you'd shaken? A new one will be standing in line right ahead of you. A screaming two-year-old will be behind you.
If you can't tell, I don't like Black Friday. In fact, I might need therapy after my experiences! All I know is this year I slept in, lounged in my pj's, and sipped coffee.
For all you Black Friday shoppers--I salute you! Hope you got what you wanted and the lines were short!
Did you go shopping on Black Friday this year?
Have a happy Monday!