Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Cyber Monday...If You Survived Black Friday, That Is...

No thanks.
I just spent some time watching videos of what went on all over this country on Black Friday, the notoriously crowded shopping day immediately following Thanksgiving.

I watched huge crowds (the kind that become mobs--which, by definition, are dangerous entities) gather strength like tropical storms that, after lingering over warm ocean waters, become hurricanes.

Is a good deal on yoga pants really worth it, people?

These scenes, for the most part, took place between the hours of ten p.m. and midnight...soon after dinner.

Automatically eliminated then, I assume, is the best part of Thanksgiving---hanging around. 

Talking, embarrassing each other with inappropriate stories, reviving ancient tribal rivalries, fanning the flames of sibling disgruntlement, reawakening jealousies that sit just below the surface of our tender psyches and can easily be summoned by too much sweet potato casserole and repeated poking with a toothpick....what could be better than this?

Oh, Shaun...!
Fueled by sugar and vino, we chat as dishes pile up on counters and the cats circle what's left of the stuffing and gravy. Some even fill a plate for a second round while, stoned on turkey, the rest of us listen as a cousin describes how she used to lick the shiny off her Shaun Cassidy poster back in the 70's.

This kind of family bonding cannot happen if you're planning to barrel through the entrance of Banana Republic at ten o'clock hoping to snag a pair of half-price khakis and a new belt. 

At the mall, far from the ramblings of the remorseless overeaters left behind in your living room, is a new world where people are literally trampled, punches are thrown and lunatics pepper spray fellow video-game shoppers at Walmart (although that really was a great idea, wasn't it?)

Please don't misunderstand. I share America's lust for a bargain but I'd rather both give and receive refrigerator magnets made out of macaroni and bottle caps than risk my life in a Black Friday mob.
Alive and well at 90!

Not to mention, I can barely scratch my nose after having cooked and served a Thanksgiving meal.

This year in particular, unaware that I was "coming down with
something," (don't ask) the idea of going anywhere after dinner, other than the local ER, was unthinkable.

Sluggish, stuffed and vaguely uncomfortable, my attention numbly drifted from the remnants of pie left out on the table to the conversation in the corner where a trio of cider-addled relatives was trying to decide whether Abe Vigoda is still alive.

But getting back to the crowds--they scare me. 

I have ventured into them willingly only upon a few occasions....memorably, once as a young woman, to stand beneath the Brooklyn Bridge on its birthday gasping upwards at Grucci Family fireworks. And, again, as a giant preggo, taking the Staten Island Ferry home at the height of the rush hour.
Not fun at rush hour.
The episode under the bridge began peacefully but turned foul once the fireworks were over and the crowd, now impatient to get home, went nuts and people began to push and climb on the hoods of cars.

The ferry was even worse. Thrown out of whack by third trimester hormones, I suffered a full blown panic attack and had to be talked out of jumping overboard by my cousin Julie who also had a good grip on my wrists as the packed boat carried us past the Statue of Liberty and back to the terminal at St. George.

To join a mob to shop is unthinkable. Terrifying. Simply not worth it. For me.

If you joined the Black Friday crowds -- cranberry staining your lips and nutmeg on your breath -- as long as you didn't push, bite or mace your fellow shoppers, I salute your courage.

I, for one, will start gluing pasta to magnets for your Christmas gift as soon as I finish off the pumpkin pie.
Or, how about a nice past necklace?


  1. I was in the crowd and regretted going. I got my feet stepped on and it was so hot. Never again.

  2. I wanted to go but my daughter got sick. I'm glad I stayed home after seeing the news. But I wanted the bargains.

  3. I am sorry about your feet, Joanne and hope your daughter is better, Jean.

    I am actually doing a bit of online shopping right now!

  4. You can save lots of $ on Black Friday. Glad you don't have to worry about that.

  5. Who said I don't worry about that, Acer? I do but am too busy making macaroni jewelry to get worked up.

    I hope you saved lots of money.

  6. I lock myself in a closet immediately after Thanksgiving.

  7. Me too, Sharona. I'm typing from inside it right now.

  8. I had to stop to pee after "stoned on Turkey" only to feel that need a mere moments later on "lick the shiny off...poster"

    I may need a moment.

  9. Thank you, Scott. Few things make me happier than making someone need to pee.

    By the way, I am having problems commenting on your blog...sometimes I come up as my email address but I don't want it disqus (or whatever the heck it's called) that's tormenting me?

    Thanks for reading! And peeing.

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