Black Friday brings insanity, bargains

“For some people – albeit fewer and fewer, it seems – Thanksgiving is about family and a turkey feast. And, of course, football. Thanksgiving, however, took on a new purpose this year. For many people, the day was spent preparing for Black Friday shopping.”

For some people – albeit fewer and fewer, it seems – Thanksgiving is about family and a turkey feast. And, of course, football.

Thanksgiving, however, took on a new purpose this year.

For many people, the day was spent preparing for Black Friday shopping.

Sure, Black Friday comes every year.

But not like it did this year.

Kohl’s opened at an unbelievable 4 a.m. Some stores opened at… midnight.

Value City was one. The outlet stores at Aurora Farms were others.

So, shortly after dinner, I took a nap. I needed to be rested for my midnight adventure, after all.

I arrived at 11 p.m. There were people everywhere.

There were teenagers, families and children. Little children in strollers, even.

I sat in my car, soaking up the heat, wondering what in the world I was doing there. This borders on insanity.

But then I walked into Adidas.

When I walked out 20 minutes later, my wallet was only $65 lighter. However, I had two bags.

Sweet.

I also hit Fossil and Michael Kors, where I found more bargains.

I started walking into stores I had no interest in.

Dress Barn? Who shops there?

I even stopped in Farberware. Come on. Do I need a melon baller in the middle of the night?

Of course, I somehow needed a Coach bag at that hour.

At 3 a.m., about 75 people were standing in line, waiting to get inside.

You see, the Coach Outlet store is small. If people were allowed inside willy-nilly, chaos would ensue. People would be killed. Well, injured, at least.

On any other day of the year, I’m a rational, practical person. Yet, at 3 a.m. on Black Friday, I abandoned all reason and practicality. Coach was offering a 10 percent discount!

It was cold standing in that line. Thirty minutes I waited before being granted access to the bag mecca. As I walked through the door, I felt like George Costanza entering the Forbidden City.

I felt compelled to buy something, anything, after the effort I put forth to get inside. I made my way around the perimeter twice, studying every bag. Nothing caught my eye.

There were a lot of competing pressures. The store was crowded with shoppers who were rude and thoughtless. Plus, my back hurt.

And let’s not forget the obvious: common sense, which is severely lacking on Black Friday.

I made my way to my car and started toward home.

As I got onto Route 8, I noticed it was 4:30 a.m. Best Buy opens in a half hour.

Something told me this was a bad idea as I got off at the Howe Road exit.

Coach had nothing on Best Buy. The line wrapped along the front of the building, down the side, to the back.

Two policemen were stationed at the doors at 5 a.m., to ensure that no one just walked in off the street to get into the store, ahead of lunatics who were waiting in line.

You think ‘lunatic’ is a strong word?

People were lined up outside of Best Buy at 8 p.m. the night before.

Yeah, that’s normal.

I watched from the parking lot as those in line poured into Best Buy. As soon as their feet hit the tile, they took off running in the direction of their sought-after doorbuster.

I felt sick as I watched this display of hyper-consumerism.

I wondered if they would snatch all the $25 Epson all-in-one printers, the $20 2-gig memory cards or the $12 Bluetooth units before I got inside.

This is the sort of thing that makes me hate Christmas.

But I sure love bargains.