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Black Friday

Venturing out on Black Friday is akin to Luke Sykwalker scheduling a shopping spree on the Death Star. Contrary to the Spirit of Christmas, on the day after Thanksgiving the Dark Force seems to extend its seductive tendrils into the far reaches of the galaxy, if not into the corners of the Mall Parking Lot.

Now I love a hot deal as much as anyone. Bargain is my middle name. Well, actually it’s not, but I really like to get things on sale. So when the green vapors of Black Friday beckon me with once-in-a-life-time dangling carrots it’s hard to pass up.

This year I succumbed to the lure of Holiday Black Magic and it wasn’t pretty. The first scathing dose of anti-cheer came in the parking lot. Since it’s hard to walk far with a shattered toe in an orthopedic boot, I got dropped off in front of the mall. A man pulled up behind us and honked impatiently. When we didn’t move straightaway he laid hard on the horn. We tried to wave him around us but apparently we were idling in the exact spot he wanted to be in so he continued to honk until he could maneuver into our place. Strike one with a light saber.

You stay in a store long enough, it’s inevitable you’ll need to use the bathroom. A public restroom on Black Friday is particularly hazardous to your festivity, but you know, when you gotta go… So as I headed for the nearest open stall I heard someone shriek, “ARE YOU SERIOUS? YOU’RE JUST GOING TO WALK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME AFTER I’VE BEEN WAITING?” I turned in surprise to see a heavyset woman leaning against the wall. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t see you waiting there.” I stepped back and she pushed angrily past me, almost knocking me down. Whatever happened to Excuse me, but I believe I’m next? Strike two with a light saber.

Finally it was time to ‘stop before you drop’ for a bite to eat. A table for six seemed like an impossible dream, but for our band of one very pregnant daughter, another with a year-old-baby, a daughter-in-law and a toddler, and a cripple, it was worth an attempt. After waiting in line for food for 45 minutes we saw a table opening up. I rushed over and as they gathered their things I asked, “Would you mind if we stole your table?” They smiled warmly and said, “Of course! It’s all yours.” Relieved, I dropped my purse and sank into a chair. I motioned to the others and then heard a biting voice. “I HAVE THIS TABLE!” The woman fairly snorted. Well, the people who were sitting here told me I could have it, I said. “WELL, I’M SAVING IT!” she insisted, daring me to defy her and plunked down her bag. I’d like to think I was just being the bigger person, but maybe I’m just the bigger wuss. I shrugged and picked up my purse. The six of us ate our meal at a wobbly table for two while Ms. Jabba the Hutt sat alone saving her big table. We never did see anyone join her—probably they were too embarrassed. Anyway, a definite strike three with a light saber.

So... three strikes I’m OUT! Forever done with Bleck Friday. Never again will I be found at the Death Maul the day after Thanksgiving, and you can take that straight to the bank. Maybe the Force will be with me on Cyber Monday?