It never fails, after every Black Friday foray I end up swearing, “I’ll never do that again.” So far, I’m not taking myself seriously because every year I found myself dodging buggies and joyously grabbing up the “last” of something. As a seasoned Black Friday shopper I can assure you, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. However, in order to get the deep discounts you have to do a little sacrificing; despite the craziness you may witness. Like the aforementioned Western, you’ll see a little bit of everything during your after Turkey Day shopping.
My first experience with Black Friday shopping was, in my mind, the best and the worst. My sister rolled us out at 4 am to stand in front of a department store that I had not previously visited. I was freezing, but Sis had kindly brought us hot chocolate in a Thermos along with some holiday cookies. There were four of us including two friends of my sister.
Just a few days before, Karena (my stylish sister) had cased the store, making mental notes about the various departments and possible sale items. She had Christmas on her mind and was shopping for goodies for her children. At this time, I had no children or family of my own so I was more than glad to help out when recruited. What a sucker I was!
As 5 am approached the crowd edged closer and closer to the front door, our group included. At first excited chatting ensued as “girlfriends” visited on another and enjoyed the enthusiasm and apprehension of the sale. When the sales clerk timidly approached the doors, the crowd got quiet. I felt a tingling apprehension when I saw my former track star sister get into her starting track position. I began to question my choice of shoes; perhaps heels were not the best choice.
The doors slid open gracefully and my mild mannered sister along with her two friends took off. I stood there clutching my handwritten list and tried my best to read the map. My mission was a Dora the Explorer doll. Blindly, I tossed aside the unreadable map took off my heels and headed towards the toy section.
I could see from a distance that the toy aisle was the main hub of activity in the store. Palettes of goodies were in the aisles featuring the items that were on sale. My stomach flipped as I saw women reaching over each other for various Christmas wish list items. Over the loudspeaker system, a voice announced to us that the sale items were distributed throughout the store in no particular order. Frustrated women, many of whom I knew were searching for brown-haired Dora dolls, evacuated the toy department to find the missing palette of toys.
I turned to get out of the way and saw in the distance behind me Dora in all her boxed glory. High heels in hand, I ran toward the palette. A nervous sales clerk was struggling to tear the plastic away from the stack and was keeping a fearful eye on the impending crowd. Feeling sorry for the latecomer, I helped tear at the plastic. We pulled it away just as the mass of arms and fingernails made it to the high demand toys.
Seeing them almost completely disappear before my eyes, I knew I had to act. I saw an opening in the huddled crowd and slipped into it. A buggy pushed into my side and banged my toe but I was relentless. I reached blindly into the pile and tugged at box. I met resistance, released it and grabbed at another one. Same thing happened, I tugged someone else tugged back. Finally, determined I tugged and snatched.
Clinging to my prize and backed away from the raid. Finding my sister, I victoriously waved the doll over my head. My joy faded when I took in the length of the check out line. It was restored when I made it to the counter and saw the discount displayed on my sales receipt.