by Emily Abbate
Dear Black Friday,
It feels like just yesterday I won that $500 gift card to Sports Authority on that dark, chilly 2010 November morning. 4:55 a.m. I got there at 4:30. I waited in line sporting a Snuggie (or was that my Slanket?) and literally dropped to the cold, tile floor when I scratched off my "early bird" ticket to reveal my winnings. The winnings that bought my mom the kayak she always dreamed of having. That morning. That one morning. That's the reason why you and I will always be in love.
It wasn't always this way. There were a few years there back in 2004 when I felt like we had no future together. When I felt like I wasn't getting the good deals. I was frustrated by your big crowds and the fact that coffee shops just weren't jumping on the bandwagon, refusing to open their doors at 4:30 a.m. to provide the caffeine boost I needed to fuel my morning.
Regardless, you'll still always be better than Thanksgiving. For shopping, that is.
Can you tell me what's the big deal with stores opening on Thanksgiving? I thought the whole reason Black Friday was, well, on Friday, is because people need to recover from all that turkey tryptophan (and perhaps sober up from one-too-many egg nogs). First Courtney Stodden and Dough Hutchison separate and now stores are open all day on Turkey Day like it's no big thing? Is nothing sacred anymore?
OK. That was sorta lame. But seriously, it's kind of upsetting. Mostly because before stores changed their tune, I felt all sorts of hardcore meeting my girlfriends in the dimly lit parking lot off the highway at 4 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Before, we would pile into one vehicle, blast Christmas music, and show up armed with gazillions of coupons we didn't need, but clipped 'em just because well, ya never know. Before, I still had a chance of snagging some great deals before items flew off the shelf.
Am I discouraged? Eh, only slightly. It's really not your fault, you haven't changed. You may be a bit later this year, but that wasn't your call. No matter how long passes, I'll always think of the one door buster that changed it all. I'll always encourage others to try, because maybe they'll find that one thing that'll make someone else smile. The one thing they could not afford otherwise. The one thing that will go down in your family as epic forever and ever.
The countdown has begun. See you soon, old friend.
Do you go out on Black Friday? What's been the best deal/ surprise you've experienced in the past?