Monday, November 28, 2011

New post-Thanksgiving tradition?

I enjoy shopping. I’m certainly not an extreme shopper by any means, but it’s a pastime I typically find pleasure in. A few years ago I braved the crowds for the ultimate shopping experience—my first Black Friday. And you know what? I’ve kind of been hooked ever since.
I totally get sucked into the BIG DEALS mentality that these retailers are shooting for. The rational side of me knows very well that—at least most of the time—they’re luring you into spending more money than you normally would. The deals seem too good to miss, yet, they’re often not as great as they seem.

But I do it anyway. I have so much fun scouring through the ads, picking out my favorites and making a list of everything I’d get if my wallet was bottomless. I love the thrill of weaving through the throngs of equally crazy shoppers in the wee hours of the morning. I get a bit of a buzz from the counter-balance of shopping endorphins and plain ol’ exhaustion.

I’ve had my share of Black Friday success and disappointment. Three years ago Sean and I became the proud owners of a 50” flat screen TV, thanks entirely to his brother. When the doors opened at WalMart, he (literally) pushed his way to the front of the line (knocking over coffees in his wake) and sprinted to the back of the store, throwing himself over the very last box of our soon-to-be prized possession. Completely against the Black Friday etiquette that’s since emerged, but it was brilliant and Sean and I were (and still are) very grateful.

The following year we were less successful. Or I was less successful, I should say (and selfishly, that’s all I care about, duh!). I was on the hunt for a TV for our bedroom but failed miserably. Sean and his brothers got some good deals though, including a GPS system that Sean still uses on a regular basis. I guess it was just a disappointing year for me, then.

But this year, I’d have to say, was my favorite year yet. It’s going to be hard to top it, but if it becomes the tradition we hope it will be then we’ll definitely give it a run for its money.

At about 7:00 Thanksgiving night, my mom, sister, and I decided we’d give Black Friday a go. WalMart deals were starting at 10. By 9:30, the 3 of us (in our unplanned, practically matching outfits of leggings and oversized sweatshirts) were in a mad-dash for the Xbox line. My mom got the very last one – a surprise my brother will be very excited about. The rest of the night was a whirlwind—bouncing from store to store, stopping only a few times to get some food or wait for a store to open. At our last stop, I got the laptop I had been eyeing and researching for weeks (thanks to the online previews of Black Friday ads).

By 6:45 a.m. I was crawling back into my bed, just in time for Sean to start waking up from his long night’s sleep. I was up again by 8:30, and took only an hour nap later in the day. But surprisingly, I wasn’t terribly tried. I was probably still running on fumes from the fun and excitement I shared with my mom and sister. Maybe it was just the quality time we spent together, or the delirious state of pulling an all-nighter. Or it could have also had something to do with nabbing most of our sought-after items. Probably it was all of it.

My favorite night of the long holiday weekend, and a tradition I hope we continue for a long time!

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