Friday, November 27, 2009

The Anti-Shopper does Black Friday!

Today, against my better judgment, I set the alarm for 5 AM. I've never shopped on Black Friday before. There is something in me that rebels at the thought of camping outside a place of business for the priviledge of being first to spend my money there. And don't get me started on the herd instinct that kicks in and results in sometimes fatal tramplings. Honestly, it's just a bunch of stuff. Certainly not worth knocking someone down over.

But there was one item advertised that would be perfect for someone on my list. And it was offered at a significant savings.(Sorry I can't be more specific. My fam sometimes reads my blog. Shhhh!) So at 5:15AM, the DH and I sallied forth to face the insanity of Black Friday.

I truly despise shopping. The idea of wandering around without any clue what I'm looking for makes my blood pressure rise. I subscribe to the ninja school of purchasing. I target an item. Moving with stealth and speed, I zero in. I acquire, extract, pay and get the heck out of there as fast as I can.

Speed was not possible this morning. Starting with the uber-full parking lot, there were more lines than Disney World with none of the fun. First I waited in line to acquire a ticket for the item while the DH trolled for a parking space. By sheer dumb luck, I nabbed the very last ticket! That took 45 minutes. Then we were directed to the check out line specifically for people with "ticket" items. It snaked through the office supplies and appliance section and moved with glacial speed. After standing in this line for an hour and forty minutes (!) we were informed that our ticketed item had been "optimized" by the Geek Squad and would therefore cost $40 more than the advertised price. No wonder the line moved so slowly if they tried extorting every customer at the last moment. I'm sure after the wait a lot of people paid the extra just to be done with it. We refused and they finally sold it to us for the advertised price.

All told, we probably saved $350-400, tallying up all the other items we bought on sale as well. Was it worth it? I'll probably think so when the CC bill comes, now I'm not sure. We lost sleep, started our day on a frustrating note and had to wrangle with a very rude cashier about the price. Money is important, but gift giving is supposed to be joyous. I experienced no shopping Nirvana (which I know is possible because I did it . . . once.)

How about you? Any shopping war stories to share? Do you enjoy shopping? Did you hit the mall early this morning? We had a lovely, quiet Thanksgiving and hope you did as well.

PS. Today is Friday, my usual post day on The Chatelaines. I'm getting ready to go to the movies over there! Please join me.


Barbara Monajem said...

You're so courageous, Emily! I loathe shopping, too, except when I'm on vacation, because then there's time to wander and window shop. Put your feet up and have a relaxing afternoon. Or maybe just go back to bed for a long nap...?

Today I'm going to stay home and immerse myself in smuggling in the late 18th century. Much more fun!

EmilyBryan said...

Actually, I need to head for 1805 myself and sort things out for the last time for my tortured artist hero Crispin Hawke and his Bostonian heiress. STROKE OF GENIUS is due back to my editor on December 1st!

Teddyree said...

LOL thanks for the laugh Em, your post totally cracked me up. I do like a bargain but I loathe shopping and your descriptions had me in stitches, too funny.

And what the heck is Black Friday in the U.S? The only times we refer to Black Friday in Australia are for damaging bushfires that began on a Friday & Friday 13th

EmilyBryan said...

LOL, Teddy. Our Black Friday is rather like a bush fire. Actually, retailers call it that because they hope sales will put them "in the black" (rather than showing red ink--losses-- on their balance sheets) It's the kick off day of the Christmas shopping frenzy and sometimes there have been stampedes and people have actually been killed trying to nab some bargains. It's totally insane.

I'm pretty much done with shopping in stores for the rest of the season. Last year when I was in hospital for much of the month of December, I discovered internet shopping and that's how I'll do the rest of mine this year. So much less stress. The gifts arrive and I wrap them. Easy as pie!

librarypat said...

I did do the Black Friday thing, once. I saw a lot of people buying stuff they didn't need, spending money they didn't have, and being pushy and rude in the process. No thank you.
Don't shop all that much anyway. If I want something, I go out and buy it or make it. If I'm out and see something for an event down the road I'll buy it and be done. Our family Christmas shopping has been done for a while. I picked up the names of 2 girls and 2 boys about 10 years old from our Angel Tree at church. My grandson is 11 and will enjoy doing the shopping with me.