Black Friday in DC

Wal-Mart location in Moncton

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Black Friday,

I have faithfully gotten up every year at 5 am to join the masses of crowds that have big ticket items, gifts, and personal items on their mind. The plan always remains the same, this is the one day when getting up to shop at 5 in the morning will pay off because you’ll spend less than you’ve ever spent to get more than you’ve ever gotten.

My family has been going out to Black Friday since I was a young girl and one year I went to Washington D.C. to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with my friends who live out there. Upon arriving they asked me what things I would like to do with them that would continue the customs I’d established with my family. My top three traditions that I wanted to share with them were Oyster Stew and Ambrosia on Thanksgiving Morning and Black Friday shopping on Friday morning. Loving me the way they do, they agreed to all three. After a filling Thanksgiving dinner we stayed up playing cards and laughing until about four in the morning when we piled into one car and headed out to Wal-Mart to join the line of people that were already wrapped around the building. As we stood there in line I continued to brag about how I was the Black Friday expert and we’d been doing this all my life and as I spoke my friends got more and more excited and looked to for direction. Suddenly, the doors opened and the line began moving forward just as it always does.  I walked along the sidewalk and around the corner, Starbucks in hand, still chattering excitedly when I noticed the line was beginning to move a little faster and in fact, we were starting to be pushed from behind.

Bewildered, I had barely turned my head toward the front when I was swept into the furious run that had begun toward the front door or Wal-Mart. I went from an awkward shuffle to a semi-gallop to a full run, coffee cup tossed aside as I struggled to stay on my feet in the torrent of people rushing toward the entrance.  As we neared the gaping glass doors I looked up and people were standing on top of the actual cash registers shouting to others in the store about which way to go and what to pick up. The people of DC had literally devised an entire system of Black Friday shopping, they had walkie-talkies to communicate, people delegated just to stand on line, they had the store mapped out with specific quadrants and the quantities of items they would pick up from each area and the order they would go in order to gain the most stuff in the least amount of time. They even had an exit strategy that ensured they would be through the line, out the door, out the parking lot and to the next spot with just as much efficiency. People were literally fist-fighting one another over items such as portable DVD players, Big Screen televisions, and soap and candles. Others used their carts to block off entire aisles so they could peruse them and get what they wanted without competition.

It was at that point I conceded I am definitely not a Black Friday expert, just a shopper who enjoys getting up once a year at 4 am in order to stand in line at 5am and watch all the other experts and their professional maneuvers to capture sales.

Love Always,

Sunny

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