Black Friday matters…

In years past, I hustled to Walgreens on Thanksgiving morning with the sole purpose of buying a local newspaper — for the ads. The news in the thicker-than-Sunday paper at the daily price was largely ignored, but inner advertisements, on their slick, shiny paper were carried here and there as children wrote their Christmas wishlists and I wrote my “to do” list, which usually included a few wishes of my own.

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I waited alone in the darkness outside of Bed, Bath & Beyond this morning.

By the time the wee hours of Black Friday had arrived, I had a strategy, a Thermos of coffee, a bottle of water, a bag with some nuts and raisins, and a car pointed to the mall. Once I had a parking space, I joined crowds of people awaiting the door opening and the advertised “gift” for being some of the first in line.

Though I usually avoid crowds — leaving early to miss traffic or ensure a seat or otherwise insulate myself from the press of too many people — I thrived on the energy of this early morning venture, tackling Christmas lists for my five children and other loved ones plus my own yearly clothes splurge (which would end up under the tree, wrapped in packages “To Mom,” always such a surprise… “Oh, how did you know that was what I wanted?” “It’s the perfect size and color!”).

I would return to my car to hide packages in my vehicle, refuel with coffee or water and a snack, and then relock it, disappointing those too late to the party to get a parking space. Before the 10 a.m. hour, when the mall normally would be opening its doors, my budget and I would be spent. And I would be heading to my car, calling it a day. Black Friday made short work of my Christmas shopping list. One and done.

A few years ago, the lines (literally) defining Black Friday began to blur. Then, instead of merely revealing those oh-so-secret Black Friday rock-bottom prices on Thursday, some stores opened their doors at midnight Friday morning. (Technically, midnight Friday morning is Friday, but after spending a day in the kitchen, I did not have the energy to indulge a shopping habit.) Then some stores began opening on Thanksgiving Day itself (so Black Thursday?). Is there no limit to this madness? Of course, sales online definitely skewed the definition. I think Black Friday is now Black November.

I did not bother making a Walgreens run for a newspaper. Last year, even the advertisements were largely ignored. We can view the stores’ offerings online and even make a purchase, if we so choose. My children are grown, and we simply don’t buy that much for Christmas anymore.

But last night, after a late-evening, after-the-food, after-the cleanup, oh-so-peaceful walk with my daughter-in-law, I chanced a peek online. I found that Bath & Bodyworks actually had one of my favorite fragrant lotions on sale — and made a purchase (well, six because it was “buy 3, get 3,” and I could stock my coffers for the year). And then I checked to see the price of the FitBit I had been wanting to purchase — which was on sale at my local Bed, Bath & Beyond plus an extra 20 percent off. And the doors were not opening until 6 a.m. Friday.

A traditional Black Friday experience.

This morning.

I didn’t set an alarm but awakened at 4:30 a.m., sipped coffee as I began writing my daily blog post, packed a piece of my daughter-in-law’s pumpkin bread and a Tervis Tumbler of water (a snack for old times’ sake)  and left my house at 5:37 a.m., figuring that if traffic was too terrible, I could simply park somewhere and still walk to the store before the 6 a.m. opening.

Traffic, however, was not a problem. Apparently, few people were out shopping. (See reasons above.) Traffic lights were in blink mode, and I drove without stopping. I was the third car to arrive in the parking lot, and only a few more added to our number before the doors opened.

Where were the crowds?

At 5:50, I saw movement toward the door, and thinking it was open, I exited my car and then nonchalantly approached the still-closed doors. I played it cool, the lone shopper happy to stand and wait as the dew dripped, apparently completely engrossed in her phone… (Actually, I did find I had an app named Paper Artist and began exploring that… and shot a photo for today’s blog post. Well done, nonchalant shopper!)

I was out of the store by 6:17, with the FitBit, some coffee pods, a gift for my grandson, some curtains, and some “great deal” items the cashier suggested. Home by 6:23 and back blogging by 6:30.

A hint of Black Fridays past, albeit Black Friday light. Hey, it matters.

(But I’m not waiting till Christmas to open this gift.) 🙂

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Posts for NaBloPoMo 2015:

  1. Why I love my hairstylist…
  2. To NaBloPoMo or not to NaBloPoMo? That is the question…
  3. No AC November…
  4. That dubious gift of an hour…
  5. I can’t wait to be discovered…
  6. Once an English teacher, always an English teacher…
  7. Of mice and men (or when you give a mouse a cookie)…
  8. When you replace people with possessions…
  9. Do what you know is right…
  10. When your eyes are bigger than your weekend…
  11. Attempting “The Glad Game”…
  12. When the Christian life is a bit too much like a political debate…
  13. Vertigo: When the world around you begins to spin…
  14. How our Mitsubishi van became blue…
  15. If she only knew…
  16. When everything feels like straw…
  17. Construction criticism (or where have all the detours gone?)…
  18. Don’t skimp on the showers…
  19. My surprise “happily ever after” …
  20. In fact, we are not entitled…
  21. The end of the twin era…
  22. More time is not always the answer…
  23. When furniture shows your age…
  24. If a gift falls in the forest…
  25. Turkey trauma: Me, myself, and my memories…
  26. Thoughts upon awakening Thanksgiving morn…
  27. Black Friday matters…

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