We’re getting closer to the actual official start of the holiday season (which to me, as I’ve mentioned, means when Santa’s sleigh appears at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade).
And with it comes something that shoppers, storekeepers, and bargain hunters all over have either been eagerly anticipating or dreading with terror: Black Friday. (Dun dun dun!)
Why I avoid Black Friday like the Black Plague
Now, I am a frugal person. I watch our budget carefully, I try to save whenever I can, and I (like anyone) love a good bargain. But you will not find me anywhere near a Black Friday sale, and here is why:
- I hate crowds.
- I hate lines.
- I hate getting up early.
- I hate mean, angry people.
- I hate how materialistic Christmas is, and this just reminds me of that.
The Hubby and I did Black Friday once, a couple of years ago, just to see what we were missing out on. There’s one department store in our neighborhood that had a few advertised sales we were interested in, plus a really good percent-off coupon, so we thought we’d give it a shot.
Oh, how silly we were…
Our Black Friday “horror story”
We went at a decent (by my standards) hour, which of course meant that everything we wanted from the ad was long gone. But we still had the coupon, so we figured we’d take advantage of doubling it with some of the great sales they had on other items. I got a super-cute winter hat, and The Hubby got some shirts. That took us about an hour of jostling past women trying on shoes in the middle of aisles and angry moms snapping at their shrieking (and clearly exhausted) toddlers, so we’d had about enough of the bargain hunting. We took our measly deals to cash out…where there was a line that wrapped (I kid you not) twice around the floor of the little department store before reaching the registers. I sent The Hubby up to the second floor of the store to check out that line, but it wasn’t any better.
There were still several hours left before our “early bird” coupon expired, but we honestly wondered if we’d make it to the head of the line in time.
To our credit (or more likely stupidity), we were both so frustrated at that point that we were determined to get our bargains. So what if we waited an hour and a half for a hat and some shirts? We were going to get them for mere cents…and we were not going to have gone through all this for nothing, darn it!
Long story short, we got to the registers after losing several years of our lives (and trying really, really hard not to punch the lady behind us in line who talked angrily with someone on her cell phone THE ENTIRE TIME). And we learned that the coupon (in very fine print, on the bottom of the back of the coupon) was not good on sale items.
So we got a hat and some shirts for slightly less than we’d normally pay for them.
Never again. I know it was hardly as harrowing as being trampled by a mob or fighting a desperate mom over the last hot holiday toy on the shelf, but our one Black Friday experience was enough for me to say “Cyber Monday all the way!” for us from this point forward.
What about you? Will you be joining in the Black Friday madness, or not? (If yes, why on earth?)
photo credit: Croixboy