Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sitting in a cold car in the Sears parking lot

Yes, that is what I was doing on Thanksgiving night. My tummy was full of carbs, we'd spent a fun day with family, and I'd already squeaked out a Thanksgiving nap. I actually had a terrible headache and was so ready to get home and lay in the quite and watch tv with a plate of leftovers on my chest.  photo 4E3C3B41-0645-4EB5-B96E-F2829FCDAEF5_zpsiahelnrl.jpg

Can you blame me??

Forrest, however, had other plans. Forrest is a lover of black Friday and he honestly has been getting amazing deals for years. He's the camp out in the cold for hours kind of black Friday shopper. My first black Friday experience was last year and that was only because he couldn't be in two places at once. I really have no desire to brave the masses, fight people over coffee makers, and stay up past my bed time. Plus, if I have to wait outside, there is just nothing worth it in my mind. Except, well, for the washer and dryer for Forrest's office that was more than half off. On our way home on Thanksgiving we drove through the mall parking lot to assess the situation. I got really nervous because it was about 5:30 and he had gotten to the mall at 4 the year before and the line had already formed. No one was outside of Sears though so we went home so he could get warm clothes. The cars pouring into the mall parking lot revved my competitive engine, so instead of resting my headache, I suited up myself and went back with Forrest to the mall. No one was in line when we arrived but there were some people sitting in their cars. Thank you, oh warm-loving people of Gadsden. Thank you for deciding that it was ok to wait in the cars! We sat in the car with the heat on for about an hour. Every time someone would open their door I would scream and Forrest would leap out of the car. Luckily, most of these people were just on their phones and not forming a line. About an hour into the wait though, a group got in line. There were 4 of them and only 5 washer and dryer sets. Forrest posted up while I sat in the car. I didn't want to burn out all the gas so I just sat in the cold for a while until I realized I could go into the movie theater--hooray for heat! There were people lining up at the gated entrance to the mall from the movies--why? I have no idea. Apparently, the washer and dryer sets were not what people wanted at all--it was boots for $19.99, among other things. Considering those boots had been that price since Wednesday, I was shocked. I was only there to hang out with Forrest and to see if I could get a few gifts for his staff. If he hadn't gone, I would have stayed home. However, it was kind of fun, being in the frenzy. I did get some good deals, but probably nothing that I couldn't still get today. Forrest was the first person to get the washer and dryer set--apparently that wasn't a big draw at all! I was really shocked at that because I know I wouldn't wait outside for anything less than a super deal like that. This brings me to my discussion for today: Black Friday--love it or leave it? I see both sides of this argument. Thanksgiving should be about spending time with family. However, what if you don't do Thanksgiving on the actual day? Or what if, like us, you were done with Thanksgiving? In all the years Forrest has done Black Friday he has never missed any Thanksgiving time. Then you have to think about the workers. It totally sucks for them to have to cut their holiday short. Thanksgiving or not, no one wants to have a half-off work day, and probably no one wants to be working at 2am selling $10 sweaters. However, a friend of mine works at a store in the mall on Black Friday only! They pay her really well and so she makes lots of extra Christmas money. Ok so there's that. Then you have to think about the business owners. They know people love a great deal and they can entice them to come to their stores, day or night, to get said deals. Business is business and so from a business stand point, Black Friday has become such a huge deal that businesses would be remiss to not tap into it on some level I would imagine. I read an article saying that the shoppers were the problem. I can't entirely agree with that. If the shoppers didn't go, then the businesses wouldn't open. Yes. But if the businesses didn't offer such great deals (I'm talking the washer and dryer) than people wouldn't feel the need to go. Well, maybe yes they would because of all of the people that were at the mall for deals that were less than stellar in my eyes, but everyone has their own ideas of what they think is a good deal and what they want. Oh and we can't forget those people who literally physically assaulted others during the fray! Seriously! Anyway, what do you think about Black Friday? Do you shop? What kind of deals would entice you to stand in the cold or shop in the middle of the night??

And on the subject of deals, I got this awesome one night stay in Chattanooga for $132, including a wine and cheese plate and $50 towards dinner! I can't wait to cash this in for a quick vacation sometime soon!

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  1. When my husband and I married, his children and our respective nieces and nephews were very close in age. When there are nine children who would be thrilled to get the latest games for their Nintendo DS or GameCube (to date myself), and the budget just does not want to stretch that far, that's a lot of motivation to stand in the cold in the dark with strangers.

    Kenny and I have met many wonderful people in those lines. One year, a woman in front of Kenny wanted to buy two Nintendo DS units for her sons. She had been saving for a long time to get them. She was crushed when she found out there was a limit of one — as in, she cried. Kenny looked at me, and naturally, I had tears in my eyes. As she started to step away, he caught her arm and told her not to leave. He bought the DS for her. When she went to hand him the money, she just grabbed him and started hugging and crying. There wasn't a dry eye around the register.

    Of course, we have seen shoving, line-breaking and other rude behavior. And the last time I went to Black Friday, my daughter went with me. We ended up in line with a creeper, didn't get what we wanted and generally had a miserable time. So, it will take a really, really good deal to get me out again. And the $98 TV Walmart offered didn't do it, although my mom ended up in Gray Thursday madness (she needed groceries!) and scored me an online 1-hour guarantee certificate for one. Mom's bargain mojo rivals The Force.

    I don't like the idea that Black Friday starts on Thursday and continues until Sunday, or that it's now Cyber Week. That's a signal to me that some retailers are playing with smoke and mirrors and that "bargains" are not really that special after all.

  2. My mom and I have been Black Friday shopping EVERY year since I was 10 years old. Of course back then stores would open at like 6 or 7 am Friday morning. These days it has gotten ridiculous. But we still do it! We never miss Thanksgiving dinner over it though, so we missed some of the door busters this year. We still managed to get everything we set out for though at really good deals! Plus every year we make friends with people in lines and love to people watch. People are entertaining, what can I say?!

  3. You two are so dedicated! I would go, but my husband is usually working the day after Thanksgiving and there's no way I'd go myself! :)

  4. I've never been Black Friday shopping at an actual mall/store, but I always check out the online sales with my mom and my best friends (who I'm usually with for Thanksgiving dinner anyway). I want to go actual shopping- maybe next year! :)

    xo, Hima
    Hima Hearts


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