The Black Friday Experience


UNITED STATES—The Black Friday experience is a tradition in our family. We’ve been doing it every year since the early 90s, but this year I wasn’t so sure. After a long day of work, I was beat. The last thing I wanted to do was spend money after I had worked so hard to earn it. After stuffing my face with my relatives it was close to 9 p.m. before I realized that if I’m going to hit the stores now was the time.

Photo courtesy of AOL.

First on the agenda was Target. I’m still peeved they chose to open at 9 p.m. instead of midnight, which would have allowed me to have some additional time to decompress. I arrived about an hour after they had already opened; it was literally a madhouse. I got frustrated while attempting to find items on my list. People were all over the place. But what made things worse was the fact that the line was unbelievably long. So long that it nearly zigzagged through every aisle in the store. I think this was Target’s way of being organized, but it made it difficult for shoppers who were looking for items in aisles where an army of people were waiting to get out of the door.

After nearly an hour in line, I was relieved. Next stop was Best Buy. The line to get in the store was pretty long, but it’s like that every year. After opening at 12 a.m. Friday morning, the line began to move quite quickly. Finally, after 20 minutes waiting in the rainy weather, I was inside the store. My little brother, little sister and I devised a plan to get all the items we wanted and to meet back at a specific place. Was the place chaotic? To a degree, but Best Buy was well organized with their line as well as must-have items that were easy to gain access to. After about 25-30 minutes in the store shopping for items, we hit the line to check out, which was an effort well worth the wait.

Next stop: Toys R’ Us. What I was looking for in the toy store was no longer in stock, but the sad thing about this toy titan was the mess inside the store. You could barely get from A to B. After about 15 minutes, it was out the door and over to Macy’s. The mall was pretty steady with shoppers, but I was able to quickly gain access to all the items on my list, grabbing maybe an additional item or two that I didn’t expect. After about 45 minutes of shopping through clothing, we were out the door with gift boxes.

We then took a trip to Bath and Body Works, but the store, which had been newly remodeled, seemed short on inventory. As soon as we entered the store, we decided to check back out. Our next stop was to the massive Old Navy. The place had half-zip fleece for only $5 bucks. I never shop there, but I thought to check it out to see if I could find some great items for my nieces and nephews and I absolutely did. The store was empty, we had already beat the rush, and they still had plenty of items available. It was great because it allowed us to shop without massive crowds.

Last stop on my shopping journey to gather all my Christmas gifts in one day was Wal-Mart. I just knew that this place would be off the hook, but surprisingly, everyone had already hit the store. The parking lot was as bare as on Christmas Day. We were in and out with the items that we wanted. By this time we had already spent close to 7 hours shopping and my back was killing me. Granted, I had been up since 4 a.m. from the previous day. I was up an entire 24 hours! I should be sleepy, yet I wasn’t. A quick stop at McDonald’s to grab a refreshing cold Coca-Cola hit the spot. I got home at 5 a.m. and I was ready for bed. I have not yet tallied the damage that I made from Black Friday shopping, but I’m sure every penny I spent was well worth it!

By LaDale Anderson