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Black Friday Virgin

23 Nov

I had always scoffed at those of you who got in their cars at midnight to hit the retail world after doing the Thanksgiving dishes. I’d seen some of the news stories and really never ever, ever, … considered that endeavor. But somehow, this year turned out a little different and with three kids, potentially getting a high ticket item at 50% off times three, made it a tempting proposition. And then of course there was the curiousity factor.

And so I put on my big girl panties, along with a bullet proof vest and made my way for Target’s 9 p.m. opening. I arrived around 8:45 and nearly turned around when I saw the line; pretty much convinced my odds of anything being left by the time I got in were relatively slim. But I told myself, “self, you drove all this way, it’s worth a shot plus it’s free entertainment.”

Not really knowing what to expect I just kind of floated along, watching and listening. There was one short skirmish in line between a couple of very, um, shall we say high class ladies; one of which was apparently not a fan of cutting in line. She eloquently got her $%#@ point across to the other who received this information in an equally bleeping lady like fashion at which point we all moved on.

Besides that, it was pretty much uneventful, which is kind of boring for a blog entry I know, but somewhere in
here I’m sure there’s a valuable point to get across. I’ll try to come up with something if you’ll keep reading.

So I went in not really knowing what to expect. From the stories I’d seen on television I was expecting some
hair pulling, a little Barbie tug of war, maybe a kidney punch over a TV, anything really. But what I personally
saw were a bunch of people excited about the holiday; most of them helping others and saying excuse me and “sorry” when they bumped into someone. On some level I was actually a little disappointed. I mean, come on, even you have to admit it would have been nice to have seen at least one purse beating over a Barry Manilow CD or something. But nothing. I even ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. We passed each other in the check out line, made fun of the candy and soap he’d bought and promised to catch up after the holidays.

So for those of you who were concerned that all of this nonsense over material things was going to take away from quality time with the family, I have to point out that most of the people I saw were, well, families. There were mothers and daughters enjoying a tradition they’d created. Fathers and sons checking some things off the list. Entire families loading up carts. There was a lot of laughter, smiling and I’ll say it, patience. Sure there
were way too many carts in the isle and it was at times difficult to get around, but for the most part, all I saw was a festive crowd of people wrapped up more in the joy of giving than they were in the need for saving.

The reality is, whether it’s a soccer match, a New Years party or a Walmart opening their doors at midnight the day after Thanksgiving, there will always be some idiots who have had too much to drink and take things WAY too seriously. And those are typically the ones that make it on the news. I mean let’s face it. Where’s the
ratings drama in someone saying, “no, you take the last Wii U, I’ll just order one on-line.”

Truthfully, all in all, I have to say what I was a part of was actually a lot of fun and full of holiday spirit. Even the sales staff was trying to make it fun and festive for everyone. Some were dressed up in holiday garb and doing their best to assist people. And most of the people I rubbed elbows with were all in it for the right reasons. And let’s face it, when you’re a single parent adjusting to a new household budget, if you can find a way to save a few hundred bucks around the holiday and give your kids a joyous Christmas morning, it’s kind of worth the crowds.

Now, I don’t think I would ever want to be at the front of the line, but from my vantage point my first experience with Black Friday actually gave me a sense of being a part of something special, if that makes any sense.  Just to share the pop culture experience with others was kind of gratifying. And the best part is, I owe the entire experience to my ex-wife who suggested one of us go. And considering the effort she’d put forth on the Thanksgiving feast (which we all enjoyed as a family by the way), I’d say I got the the real bargain.

Oh and to my daughter who may be reading this. I got you underwear and socks. (at a great price!)

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