Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How To: Black Friday

I just read a blog post over at Healthy Tipping Point, and Caitlin asked a very good question.

How do you Black Friday?

Growing up black friday was a big deal for my mother, sisters and I. We never really did the family Thanksgiving thing once my sister's were older and had their own families, and in-laws. But we always planned out black friday, and made a game plan so we all got our shopping done as a team. This also meant that most of us knew some of what we were getting for Christmas, but it was worth the excitement of the hunt! This is how we do Black Friday!
  1. Scour the Sunday ads. The week of Thanksgiving check the ads, decide who has the best door busters (early morning sale items), and the best sales in accordance with what is on your shopping list.
  2. Assemble a team. This involves comparing shopping list with your cohorts, deciding who has the biggest vehicles to drive, and dividing up lists (figuring out where the overlaps are). For example; you want to get aunt Betsy a combo DVD/VHS player that is on sale at Target, and your sister wants to get the same one for uncle Dave, decide who is going to Target based on who has the most shopping to do at that store. This also means choose your fiercest, most competitive, animalistic friends and family members. This is not a bonding day to bring feeble aunt Bonnie who has bouts of dementia. As much as you love her.
  3. Develop hand signals with your shopping partner. Signals for; "meet you in 5 by exit," "they're all gone," "I'm getting in line," and most importantly, "I'mma bout to slap this (bleep)."
  4. Set a timetable. This is the hardest part. Because a lot of it depends on chance. You have to look at your lists, decide which gifts (deals) are of the most importance (because the really good ones go fast), and base that along with what times the stores open. This step is of the utmost importance because a lot of it is luck. It depends on how popular the item is, what the lines are like. Etc. Some things may not be worth the hassle, and some are. You have to be able to let go of that item, and if not, let go of whatever it is you need to get next. Because time in line is a huge factor. And do not let anyone budge you (or butt-in-line depending on where and when you grew up), even if it doesn't piss you off, it most definitely will piss off someone in line behind you. And today is not the day to get arrested for brawling with that crazy lady with the one lazy eye, and the Movember Stache.
  5. Eat your Wheaties! You may not want to eat breakfast that morning because you still feel like a cow from the night before, but trust me. Shopping is a sport. Especially at 3 a.m. in the snow, with hundreds of thousands of other crazed, maniacal, methodical, cutthroat, and cheap women and their cohorts (and by cheap I mean crazy about a good deal). And this may be a given but lots of caffeine. Starbucks usually opens early on Black Friday. So I suggest getting a to-go mug from your house, and stopping at a Starbucks a couple of hours in.
  6. Laugh! This sounds like crazy advice, because Black Friday shopping is intense to say the least, but it is more than important to take a step back a couple times (every hour), take a deep breath, look around and laugh at all of the ridiculousness ensuing around you.
  7. Get physical! Don't be afraid to push through a crowd, or clothesline that 20-something making a mad dash for the last flat screen. She may have her youth, but you have brute force, wisdom, and a husband with a full-time job that can bail you out.
  8. Disregard #7. Especially if you are already out on parole, or have a record.
  9. Read this and decide it isn't worth the hassle!

Love, turkey, and door busters,
Hannah L.


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