Black Friday Survival

Black Friday is the day average humans all over the country don their snowman sweatshirt armor, wield their coupon-clipping scissors, and man their battle stations outside the local Wal-Mart staring down their enemies as the doors finally open. It takes a certain breed of human to wake up before the rooster crows to save $14.50 on Barbie’s Dream House, but since I intend to be one of them, I’ve decided I have a right to comment on the practice.

If you were to stand on the sidelines as a silent observer (far far away, I recommend), you might believe you were watching a special on the Discovery Channel, as the circle of life is never as evident than whilst watching a stroller mow down a Black Friday newbie. Each species has its own special talents:

The Parker: Silently stalks his prey from the camouflage of a slow-moving minivan, ready to pounce at the first sign of tail lights.

The Newbie: Akin to a deer in headlights, the excited newbie patiently waits, abides by all rules of nature, and never takes the right of way lest he be eaten alive. The newbie eventually gives up and blames the empty stockings on Santa.

The Need-to-Unload-My-Good-Because-My-Hands-Are-Too-Fuller: A cousin of the newbie, this breed makes frequent trips to deposit their findings in their trunks then heads right back into the mall. Beware the Parker, as this behavior often elicits angry honks and hand gestures.

The Stroller: Doesn’t matter which breed it’s attached to, if you come across a Stroller you best step aside or you’ll have wheel marks on your back. Just surrender the Shrek 17 DVD and move on.

The Placeholder: Travel in herds. This species often employs an adorable child to stand in the Disneyesque lines at Best Buy while they grab their karakoe machines and Kinect games. Then just when you’re about to hear “next” from the cashier, they re-enter the line with a breezy “thanks” as if you’re doing them a favor.

The Newspaper Shopper: This is possibly the most dangerous species. They spent the six hours while the turkey was cooking with highlighter and Post-Its in hand, marking up the holiday ads with the aisle numbers and price comparisons of every item on the family’s wish list. They are the sole reason you find no iPads, empty blender shelves, and an unreasonable lack of size seven shoes at Macy’s. You can’t beat them, and it’s too daunting to join them, so it’s best to become a Webber.

The Webber: Sleeps in, shops in pajamas, makes the world a better place.

I’m a Newspaper Shopper that gets fired up at 4:00 AM and gets really sleepy and frustrated by approximately 4:30 AM only to go back home and accept my fate as a Webber. Do you venture out with the rest of the pack on Black Friday? How do you survive?

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About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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11 Responses to Black Friday Survival

  1. Renee says:

    Loving the post – Hillarious! I survive by avoidance and surrender to the Internet for some online shopping. If that fails you better watch out because you might be getting a GIFT CERTIFICATE – oh the Horror!!! I am not a beautiful, kind loving person in a swarm of shoppers, so for everyone’s sake I stay close to home:)

  2. xdeviantonex says:

    18 years in retail I have been witness to many lows of human kind. When mighty morphin power rangers were popular I once watched 2 women running from the front of the store to where they were located only to see lady A hip check lady B into a nearby end cap. People pulling 30 inch tube TVs off o a rolling pallet that was 5 layers high, Nearly topping it onto the worker pulling it and nearby customers. Having to call out the riot police because people were stabbing one another in the line in Manassass Virginia.
    My mother worked for a store called best Products where she witnessed 2 ladies fist fighting over a cabbage patch doll, lucky the manager stepped in and took the doll away. He placed it on top of a ceiling display and told them this was to serve as a reminder of their stupidity whenever they came in. lol

    I could go on.

  3. notquiteold says:

    I do as much as I can online, and then take ONE weekday off from work and I don’t come home until I am done.
    But I do have a little experience in retail, and I was surprised to find that most shoppers were very nice. It makes people happy to by presents for someone they love, and I felt like I was sharing in that feeling.

  4. Dorrie says:

    Having worked a Black Friday sale for 3 years now, it doesn’t take much to assume that I’ve seen it all. People coming, literally, off the mountains (I lived in Northeast Tennessee) to collect their $5.00 gift cards. Bringing extra family members to then combine said gift cards. I think what gets me the most are the returns from Black Friday that people do 2-3 days later, when they actually get the chance to go through what they bought. Also can’t forget the people that come in a month later because the item they bought on Black Friday is now on a regular sale, $10 cheaper, and coupons can be used. Little tip: most stores set their sales the night before Thanksgiving… so if you make it into the store between 7:00pm and closing time, you’re going to get the same deal as if you were there at 3:00am the day AFTER Thanksgiving. That’s generally a department store’s dead time because everyone is waiting for Black Friday, so what few people DO show up, get the same deal with far less hassle!

  5. Holly says:

    NO Black Fridays for me!! Great post ! hahaha ” The Parker” …yep, have been this every time I visit the mall.

  6. baileymoro says:

    Ugh, the Newspaper Shoppers are the WORST! They’re like the bubonic plague of the store! I’ll walk in, wanting to buy, say some accessories for an iPod. I can’t find any, so I’ll go for an employee. “Hey I’m looking for the iPod cases and-” “Sorry we’re out of those.”. “Oh okay, well, do you know where the gift-” “We’re out of those too.”. Lame.

  7. Pingback: The Ghost of Thanksgiving Future | White Elephant in the Room

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