I swore I would never venture outdoors on Black Friday. I have heard the horror stories, and there was no way I would ever go out in the madness that surrounds that day. Well, this year, with finances being tighter than ever and me not having any shopping done yet for Christmas, I decided I would go out for a few deals. Thankfully, my husband was off work and I was able to go out alone. That rarely happens, and I am usually the crazy lady with four kids in the store with her, while people give me sympathy looks or make comments about my family, "oh you poor dear, you really have your hands full." Anyway, I ventured out later in the day, knowing that most sale items would probably be gone, but I decided to take a chance anyway. I learned several things during my adventures of the day.
Do not park anywhere near the entrance. If you are lucky enough to find a spot close to the entrance of a store, don't park there. Go to the back of the lot. Yes, you will have to walk, but when you park near the entrance, you sit and wait--and wait--and wait--while countless other cars pull in and out of the parking lot and won't stop to let you back out. Or someone sits there angrily honking their horn at you because they want your space, so you better get out of it now.
Don't bring your kids. Yes, this is unfair of me to say. Having four children myself, I should understand that sometimes moms don't have babysitters, friends, husbands, partners or family members there to watch their children. I take my kids everywhere, the park, the mall, the store--alone, all the time. I get it, but Black Friday is not the day to it. Your kids don't want to be out in the crowds, they are upset, hungry, bored, want every toy they see, etc. I saw so many parents out today with young children, and the children were definitely upset. I live in a house were there is rarely a quiet moment, so I do not have a problem with tantrums or hearing a kid scream--that is my life. But I do feel bad for the parents. The mom stands there looking completely frazzled, her kid is screaming at the top of her lungs, begging to get out of the cart, to go home, get out of this crowd, go play, go eat, etc... and the mom just looks defeated and utterly overwhelmed. I have been there--on a day like Black Friday it makes it even worse. There is no easy way out of the store with ropes up and lines of people, it is way to crowded to let your kid out of the cart, people are pushy and rude, it is really no place for a kid. But, I do sympathize with the mom.
If you do have your kid with you, do not let her ride her bike in the store. This should seem self-explanatory, but apparently it isn't (and yes I did see this today). So, instead of hearing your kid complain, you figure you will just let her ride this new bike all through the store to keep her happy? Well, that doesn't work on many levels. I am not sure why an employee didn't say anything, but the little girl was riding her bike around and around the entrance, then up and down the aisles. People could not get past her, the little girl was in the middle of a crowd of people away from her mom and scared, the mom just glanced over and said "It's OK honey, just turn right and keep going in circles." What?
People are rude. This is obvious, but the rudeness goes from young people to seniors. I had one woman yelling at me to get out of her way in the parking lot so she could pull in a parking space. Um, lady do you see all the traffic? There was nowhere I could go. Then there's the pushy people. The ones who cut in line, hit you with their carts, shove past you in the aisles, don't say excuse me, cut you off and almost cause an accident on the road...I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Some people are nice. Yes, there are still some people that are nice out there. Those who say excuse me or apologize for being in the way. Those who wish you happy holidays or a Merry Christmas and seem to be trying to spread cheer.
So, those are a few things I learned on Black Friday. Was it fun? Not really. Did I find some deals? Yes, I did. Were they worth it? Well, my children will be happy, so I guess it was worth it, but I think I will stick to shopping online next year.
Do you have any Black Friday stories to share?