27 November 2009

Until next year, Black Friday

When last we left you, Kaitlyn and Daddy were sitting in their big comfy chair watching Playhouse Disney. Twenty-four hours later, it's much of the same.

Which is why it's also so very, very different.

You see, most years I would be out with the crazies, making my way through the maze of bodies that lay on the side of toy aisles with the red badges of courage, all of whom attempted to thwart my mission to purchase the much anticipated gifts of that year.

I was a Black Friday Junkie. Sales were my crack. To this point, they still sorta are (proper English be damned!). For the past four weeks I've had on the computer toolbar. If you have no clue what I mean, you are a novice. Wait 'til next year. I scoured the ads on Thanksgiving Day just because I still like having hard copies in my hand to help map my route for that evening.

I would make my way out of the house some years as early as 11 p.m. (Some malls open at midnight, you know) and would criss-cross the Triad region. Some Best Buys, Targets and Wal-Marts get busier than others, so you have to know which ones to hit. Or, depending on the deals, you bypass those altogether and hit smaller stores. One year I set up shop at Old Navy and came away with about 25 articles of clothing for $100.

From store to store, with coffee running through my veins like an IV drip, the thrill of the hunt superseded the dismay of long lines, pushy patrons and lack of sleep. Michelle never understood any of this, at least until I came home and she saw the rewards and the sales receipts. But she still doesn't understand the feeling of that immediacy to shop the biggest shopping day of the year.

But today I sit and watch Warehouse Mouse. Today I sit and drink my coffee not from an environmentally corrupt Styrofoam cup, but from a ceramic mug of shame. My adrenaline only rises when I refresh the CNN Homepage, hoping to see pictures of some crazy opening where novices are pushed aside, fear on their faces, as the veterans, my homies, get to the front.

My semi-retirement has a lot to do with this. My daughter has another part to do, since I'm not one of those crazy parents who take their children out on Black Friday. To those dumb parents: your 10-year old child doesn't "need" a laptop. They likely need some exercise. Get them a bike.

Another big part is the fact that there's not much I/we really need. I have televisions; granted, not a mac-daddy 50-plus-inch plasma or anything, but enough for our small townhouse. I have a Wii that we barely get enough time to play, so another game is unnecessary. I have a computer, a good one at that. So am I running out the door for a Blu-Ray player for $78? Nah, I can get one of those for $100 later. The $22 difference isn't enough to draw me out.

So here I sit, Mickey Mouse arguing with Pete about cleaning up Mickey Beach. Kaitlyn screaming "Oh Tootles." Drinking Folgers instead of Seattle's Best. I dream a little dream for Black Friday 2010, when I am drawn again to the crowds and the sleeplessness.

Maybe even a $50 Blu-Ray or a $799 Macbook. Then it's on like Donkey Kong.


  1. hi, came via dad blogs. i absolutely REFUSE to do black friday sales. you can often find deals throughout the year that are almost as good if you know how to look & plan. all of my kids are getting one item this year: laptops. i know that maybe a 10 almost 11 yr old doesn't need one, but she is to the point that she has to type up reports (they do that here in cali). we actually saw one on sale a few wks ago that had a numeric keypad on it already at a decent price: snatched up three.

    we usually plan it this way. one big item and maybe a couple of little items...though this year there are no little items cos of the computers. anyways, i would never drag kids, especially if they're little, to black friday sales. heck, i wouldn't even drag myself. never have and never will.