Monthly Archives: November 2010

The History of Black Friday…according to me (part three)

(I had no idea this would be three parts when I started.)

So the infamous Black Friday shopping trip was never supposed to be. I think we were both completely certain that there was nothing that any store could offer to make us get up at some crazy dark hour to get.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t have been more wrong. Our second son, S, was sick a lot when he was little. Every six weeks or so he would vomit for about 36-48 hours. We never figured out why, exactly, but he eventually outgrew it. (Although, he still has a weak stomach like his mother.)

Thanksgiving proved to be no exception and the night before, at a restaurant with my parents, he threw up. And then continued through the next day. So, when all was said and done Thursday night and he was still not keeping much down, we started thinking about going to Wal-mart (so close and so convenient!) for Pedialyte. Oh, and we need diapers, too.

Now, by this time we were oh so much more experienced and far wiser than in times past. We knew that you don’t wait until 5am to try to get Pedialyte at Wal-mart on the day after Thanksgiving. No, you go earlier, before all the Black Friday crazy people can go through the registers.

So, Mr. French sets off with list in hand and walks on over. He first picks up the diapers and (mistake # 1) puts it in his cart. Then he looks for the Pedialyte. On his way to the register, he got sidetracked by something shiny (puzzles). (Oh, you don’t think that buying a puzzle for your out-of-town guests who were now stuck in a two bedroom apartment with a vomiting 3 year-old is important enough for Black Friday shopping? Well, that makes two of us.)

So, the puzzles being very shiny, but the people being very crowdy, Mr. French has to leave his cart in the aisle (mistake #2) to get to the shiny puzzles where he has to ponder each and every possibility. You know what happens next. The cart, magically disappears, along with the two things Mr. French really needed and he must then make his way through the throngs of people to the diaper section once more. Once procured for the second time, he then heads for the registers at decidedly the worst possible time. Yes, that would be when everyone in the entire store can now go through the checkout lines.

And now you know why I’ll never get Mr. French to go to the store (any store) on the Friday after Thanksgiving. (And yes, our out-of-town guests did enjoy putting together a shiny new puzzle that day.)

Actually, this year, I checked out the flyers and for a minute there I was tempted by the Target sales…but then…

then I tossed them in the trash.



Filed under I confess, I'm a pretend writer, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, That's just gross, This is going to be really funny one day

The History of Black Friday…according to me (part two)

Next time, came two years later.

We were living in Texas and a five-minute walk from a Super-open 24-hours-Wal-mart.

And our computer had just been shot by lightening. And I was home alone all day with three boys, ages 4 and under. In a second floor apartment. And Wal-mart was selling a computer for $400. And we didn’t have a lot of spending money. And I could definitely not go by myself, because I was nursing a 5-month-old baby.

And if you know Mr. French, you will be shocked to find out that he actually went. To Wal-mart. In the middle of the night. To buy a computer.

But he did. And the line was already to the back of the store when he got there. And also sold out of computers.

But, and this is how you will find out that people in Texas are the nicest people in the country because as he was standing in line (to buy something to replace the lack of a computer, I think) way at the back of the store in the milk section, he got to talking with other people in line and after talking for awhile, they decided they actually didn’t need this here computer they had picked up and they were actually a little tired of standing in line, so here, you want it? So Mr. French wheeled home a computer in a shopping cart. (Like literally, and then he wheeled the cart back. I told you we were close.)

We still have that computer. In Ohio. With all our other stuff. But I digress.

But this post would not be complete without the most famous Black Friday shopping story. The story that has probably ended all our Black Friday shopping excursions. (At least until I have a houseful of crazy teenagers.)

(To be continued one more time.)


Filed under I confess, I'm a pretend writer, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, This is going to be really funny one day

The History of Black Friday…according to me.

The first I ever even heard of the concept of “shopping on the day after Thanksgiving” for fun and pleasure was 10 years ago.

(Keep in mind that I grew up on a farm in southwest Kansas, literally in the middle of wheat fields. The day after Thanksgiving was spent jumping on haybales with your cousins in the barn and hoping Grandpa would get Rusty saddled up for a ride.)

So, there I sat, ten years ago, a month long citizen of the suburbs of Chicago, large with pregnancy and Thanksgiving dinner, watching the evening news with my husband and parents, when we saw the strangest sight. News cameras and reporters out in the freezing weather talking to shoppers who were browsing the sales and planning to get up early the next morning to shop. I was mystified. I couldn’t conceive of any reason to do that.

I should probably add one more memory. My sophomore year in college, I went to Boston to spend Thanksgiving with a friend and her family and having nothing better to do on Friday, we took a bus into Boston to “hang out”. We stopped at Filene’s Basement where you could barely move because of the crush of people. We also went to FAO Schwartz. And also to a store where the scarves cost a mere $400. The sales ladies weren’t too nice looking in that store. It was fun, though. Mostly because we had no money, nor any expectations. I honestly just thought that was Boston. Isn’t everything bigger and more crowded in Boston? I didn’t know it was a “thing”.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2002. We were living in a temporary apartment while we waited to close on our house in Maryland. There was a Wal-mart less than a mile from our apartment and we really needed a vacuum cleaner. We’d had to leave the last one in the apartment dumpster in Chicago because it had burned rubber marks on one of our rugs the day we moved out. The Wal-mart flyer had a fantastic deal on a vacuum cleaner so I thought, why not? I’ll go pick it up. Won’t be too hard. They said the store opened at 5, which seemed absurdly early. Maybe it’s easier to go early? I thought I’d be one of maybe 20 obviously insane but die hard shoppers.

Fortunately, I slept in. I got there at 7 in the morning, and was shocked, shocked I tell you, that the entire parking lot was completely full. Actually, not completely. At the very front of the store, some of the obviously die hard shoppers were by now leaving and I got a close spot. Like the amateur I was, I grabbed a cart. And then quickly abandoned it when I got in the store. Lesser people would have turned around and gone home. But I was going to get a cheap vacuum cleaner. I don’t remember how long it took, but I do remember thinking that I was never going to do that again.

Next time, I was going to make Mr. French do it.

(to be continued…)


Filed under I confess, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, This is going to be really funny one day

We’re hunkering down for a long, cold winter on this blustery first of November

Well, it was a fun thought for a minute there.

The boys have been entertaining themselves by playing computer chess. Today they discovered the computer vs. computer option and for some strange reason they find it entertaining.


Filed under Boys will be boys, Moving is my hobby, Why does no one get my jokes?