Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday Is Good Friday

Having never shopped on Black Friday before, scary stories spun in my head. Lust-crazed people barreling through doors grabbing everything in sight. Brawls over bedding blocking isle three. Sleep-deprived, wild-eyed shoppers marauding Wal-Mart pillaging the personal computer section.

It sounded dangerous in a fun yet deadly James Dean kind of way. A herd mentality that makes you want to try it even if it's as bad for you as a tar-filled Camel hanging from the corner of your mouth.

Today, "succumbing to the peer pressure of commercialism", as Mr. Dr. said, was the day to see for myself what all the hype was about.

What drove me to such madness? It's the Japanese fault, I tell you! For some time, my heart has greatly desired a flat-screen TV. Functional, practical and best of all, beautiful, who wouldn't want one? The old TVs are big, fat, ugly and hog room space. And, you have to watch all those fuzzy, nasty little dots. Yuck.

In addition, the Scottish in me likes a deal. When other people buckle, this chick remains stalwart. Paying retail almost makes me physically ill. Almost. Some things are worth retail, I just can't think of any right now.

So, imagine my excitement at seeing a $188 flat screen and a $29 sleek DVD player at Target. Imagine my delight at seeing 1200 thread count sheets for $50 at Sam's Club (a store that I loathe more than just about any other--they force you to pay cash or use Discover--grrrr!). Imagine my shock that a finely-crafted Kate Spade handbag could be had at Sam's. Who knew?

I could have rolled my old, nursing bones out of bed at 4:30 to ensure that all electronics, textiles and accessories made it into the Dr. M household. I could have, but didn't. But my interepid sister did.

My shopping excursion started at 8 a.m. Sam's was reasonably unbusy at 8:00. Still, they were out of the super-fine sheets and I bought the next rung down. Oh well. Still a good deal and they fed me breakfast.

Target was a madhouse, but the fickle fingers of fate were on my side. The shelves were chock-a-block full of merchandise. The isles were stuffed with so many carts they were impassable. The poor electronics dude behind the counter looked like a shell-shocked marine on his first day of combat on his first tour of duty. It was only 9 a.m. Poor chap. Hope he survived.

So, being a woman (a man would NEVER do this), I asked a guy in a red vest, "Sir, I'm not sure if you're sold out or not, or if everything is running together for me, but do you have any more of those 15" flat screen T.V.'s for sale?"

Being a man, he was delighted to help. "Let me check for you," he said authoritatively and promptly radioed Chuck the department manager.

"He's coming right now," my helper said. "In fact, here he is." (They talked to each other on the walkie talkie until about ten feet from one another.) Even in Target, a man is G.I. Joe.

Lo and behold, Chuck held in his very grip, a 15" monitor, "the last one" asigned to no one. He put it in my cart. I didn't even have to reach for it! Kizmet.

But my morning wasn't yet done. I had to check out. That worked well. A lane opened just for me. And then, I had to go to the dreaded Sanctuary of Satan's cheap consumer goods: Wal-Mart.

Alas, they had sold most of what interested me. But being Wal-Mart, they had something not needed, but enjoyed when found: tons of cheap videos. DVDs for $3.44. I bought $60 worth. We now have a decent library of DVDs. Renting is wasteful at prices like these.

All in all, Black Friday was good to Dr. M. No bruises. No emotional trauma. Black Friday was a Good Friday for me!
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