Sale! Sale! Sale! Early bird opportunities abound for those brave enough to weather crowd, dark of night, and turkey hangovers in order to partake in the after Thanksgiving sales that launch the holiday shopping season. Deals lurk around every corner of every department store as the wishful shoppers search for their treasures and stake their claim. Everyone is hoping to find and conquer the deal of the day and claim the title of "Best Gift Giver".
Regrettably, I have never attempted to negotiate the Black Friday sales events...always tapping-out last minute in fear of the expedition and an unsuccessful hunt. The gamble of playing and losing is too much for this shopper to bear. Although, the idea of saving money and scoring big has always beckoned to my inner shopping diva. Unfortunately, the hubby is allergic to spending money and is a vocal non-supporter of the Black Friday shopping extravaganza.
Uncharacteristically, hubby allowed - encouraged actually- me to sample some Black Friday sales in 2007. Honestly, I think he was still hungover with victory from his volleyball team's recent state championship the weekend before. He knew not what he was encouraging and agreeing to. With hubby's approval, I ventured out to partake of the great sales event. However, an early-bird I am not. I didn't venture out until well after the morning crowd had dissipated....or so I thought. Rookie mistake #1.
My first stop- Victoria's Secret- no "needs", just "wants". And the "wants" were definitely fulfilled- free tote with purchase and everything! Starting to get the hang of this Black Friday thing, I ventured to store #2 in hopes of scoring some new fancy sheets and towels. Much to my disillusionment, women were frenzied over the discounted sheets, comforters, and pillows. I was coming into the event unprepared without list, plan, or previous Black Friday experience (Rookie mistake #2), and the chaos and haphazard spending of the seasoned participants was contagious.
Mob-mentality took over this self-confessed rookie shopper as I found myself sucked into the frenzy of the moment; grabbing whatever everyone else was grabbing (even if it wasn't on my non-existent list) because it must be amazing if all of these women are tripping over each other in hopes of scoring those fantastically discounted pillows! In my nonchalant quest for new sheets, I found myself barely able to carry my loot of pillows, towels, sheets (2 sets), and comforters to the checkout line...only to return moments later for another look (and purchase!) of items throughout the store. The sales had to be great deals right? I wouldn't want to miss out on these money-saving items, right? Rookie mistake #3.
However, by this point, I was a shopper out-of-control off to my third store. With nothing specific to be searching for, I successfully purchased on-sale toy items that my children obviously needed to unwrap on Christmas morning, and new wash clothes and candles just because the sale was so amazing! I was drunk with my apparent spending savvy and delirious in the frenzy of grabbing, snatching, scoring, and excitedly-participating holiday shoppers!
With my treasures loaded in my vehicle I ventured home to show-off my rewards earned from 2 victorious hours of shopping. Hubby wasn't as excited as I had envisioned, and not nearly as thrilled with the new bedding as I had hoped. Although, he was quite approving of the Victoria's Secret purchases. And much to my chagrin, those highly coveted and extremely expensive pillows were horrible. We hated them! They have now been passed down to whichever kiddo can tolerate them. And I have learned some very valuable lessons in regards to Black Friday shopping. You must start with a plan. You must approach this adventure as if on a mission....that involves a very specific list. Rookies should not be allowed to attempt this alone...they should be accompanied by a seasoned Black Friday participant. And NO ONE needs $50 pillows!