I know that Black Friday is 5 days away, but I am writing about this now for two reasons: I am really excited about it and I have been since September; I am going to be really busy this week so I need to blog about it while I can.
Dictionary.com defines this wonderful day as “the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Retailers generally see an upward spike in sales and consider this to be the start of the holiday shopping season. It’s common for retailers to offer special promotions and to open early to draw in customers.”
Otherwise known as the day that Mom, Leslie (cousin) and I get geared up to do some serious Christmas shopping at the Galleria in Hoover. The preparation starts after our Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. We clear the dining room table and usually have ads from 2 newspapers spread across the table. Cardinal Rule #1 You may not, under any circumstances, look at the ads prior to the Thanksgiving meal. You will be forever shamed and disowned. During this time, we make a game plan. We decide what stores open first and who has the best doorbusters (we always get JCPenney’s Christmas globe). We also pull together everyone’s Christmas lists and decided what stores we need to go to to get the best deals on these items. You see, Christmas is a BIG deal for my family. My grandparents have always loved to give gifts to their grandchildren. Granny Rosie is unable to get out and shop all day long for her family, so we do it for her and do our own shopping at the same time. It takes 3 very fiesty and organized, yet absolutely crazy, women to accomplish this task. JC Penney and Sears tend to be hot spots for us…for the small kitchen/home appliances and the electronics. We never fail to spend hours in these stores because of the great deals and all the lines.
The day starts around 3:00 am when the alarm starts going off. Time to wake up from my nap! I snooze for at least 30 minutes then I have to rush in and out of the shower, get dressed and out the door! Mom and I meet Leslie outside of Sear’s or JCPenney (whichever is on the schedule first) around 4:30 am and wait in the freezing weather with all the other loonies for the employees to open the doors. Then we all fight to get through the door and the madness begins. After getting the necessary doorbusters we need at Sear’s, we run over to JCPenney (the opposite side of the mall) to see if we can also get those doorbusters. Then, we get in line at Starbuck’s for breakfast. This is the day that my mom has her Annual Starbuck’s Drink. She hates anything coffee, but she does it for us and she knows she needs the caffeine boost. After that we continue with shopping. By 9:30 we have probably already made 2-3 trips out to the van to unload our bags then we come back in for lunch. We always have to sit in the floor because this is also the time that the casual shoppers (the ones who really get on our nerves) get to the mall for breakfast. We continue shopping, make about 3 more trips to the car to unload bags and around noon we have our mid-afternoon snack. Snack time is usually at Auntie Anne’s Pretzels…the home of the my one and only public argument/fight, whatever you want to call it. I don’t even recall the details, but I had a yelling argument for all to hear with a lady who took my table. I’m not proud of my behavior, but I did get my table back 🙂 Around 1:00 pm we start to stand out among all the other shoppers. Most people shop in reasonable amounts of time. Those who get there when the stores open usually leave between 10 and noon. Then, the ones who don’t really care about the deals, got to sleep in, and put on makeup and nicer clothes, come after noon. We, in the clothes we put on in the dark at 4 am, the bags under our eyes, no makeup, exhausted and frazzled, stay all day long. Our record is 15 hours and some minutes. That’s 4 am to 7 pm. When we are finally done with our shopping brigade, we make our way back to Granny Rosie’s for leftovers. Then, we unload the bags in the basement and inform Granny Rosie of all her purchases for the day.
This day was not designed for the faint at heart. If you can’t get out and get serious about some shopping, please spare my nerves and stay at home. This is not a day designed for children– especially those in strollers, leave them at home with your husband. This is not a day to linger around and get all smoochy smoochy with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Any other day of the year…be my guest. But not on Black Friday. You must walk very fast, squeeze through lines of people and know exactly what you are looking for. Get it and go. If you are there for a splendid day of window shopping, save me the irritation and stay in bed. If you are there to fight with me over the last GPS at Sear’s…I welcome you. I will be extremely annoyed with you if you get the last one, but at least we are united in purpose and have understanding minds.
As crazy as it may seem, the 3 of us LOVE Black Friday! We have so much fun together and find something to laugh about the entire day…of course, sometime around noon, the laughter becomes a result of lack of sleep. This year, we have decided to wear matching pajamas. I am laughing out loud right now because I think this is the most hilariously ridiculous idea, even though it was partly mine. Mom bought us pink/gray pants and a hot pink fleece pullover. I’m sure we will get some funny looks, but this day is not about looks. It’s about getting fantastic deals. And that we know how to do.