Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Annual Zombie Shopping Apocalypse. I mean, Black Friday.

A week from today will be Black Friday, that very quintessential of American days.  The day after Thanksgiving, people will rouse themselves at ungodly hours (over the past several years, around 2:00 a.m.) and wait in line to get into a big box store that opens at 5:00 (or earlier in some places).

Things often got out of hand on that day, to the point where shoppers and employees died.

Don't get me wrong--some people, like Judy, are black belt Christmas shopping frugalistas, and good on 'em.  (Also, Judy and her peeps are in and out, no messing around.)

But me, I just can't.  I lack the patience required for dealing with other shoppers.

American readers know what I'm talking about, but maybe international readers don't--so let me paint a picture for you.  It's like the zombie apocalypse, except instead of slow-moving Romero zombies it's the fast-moving rage virus zombies, and they don't want to eat you or your delicious brains, they want to knock you down and step over you to get three $30 DVD players at Walmart.

I hate shopping in the best of circumstances.  On Black Friday?  Forget about it.  Malls packed with people and noisy toys and gadgets and store music systems just make me tired.  And cranky.

What I do on Black Friday--if I'm not working--can be one or more of the following:

  1. Make turkey stock and/or turkey soup
  2. Eat leftovers
  3. Resolve to pace myself with the leftover stuffing.
  4. Eat every last bit of the leftover stuffing and resolve to do better next year.
  5. Eat apple pie for breakfast.
  6. Read.
  7. Resolve to write out my holiday cards.  Find other things to do instead. 
  8. Nap.
  9. Meet up with friends.
  10. Go for a walk.
  11. Scritch my kitty.
  12. Clean.
  13. Watch a movie (maybe a zombie movie)
  14. Nap.  Oh, wait, I already said that, didn't I? Well, after a day of feasting, one needs a day of napping.

You get the idea.  I stay far, far away from stores and from anything that resembles constructive activity (except if it has to do with food).  Unless I don't get the day off, like this year, in which case I'll get lots of stuff done because I'll be one of three people in the office.

When I lived abroad, there were Christmas and winter holiday shopping rushes, but since there was no Thanksgiving, there was no designated day of OH MY GOD LETS GET THIS STUFF FOR REALLY CHEAP.  Christmas season was busy, certainly, but there was no one frenetic day.

So, fellow American readers, what do you do on Black Friday? Do you shop, or do you prefer to slack off like me?  And readers who live abroad who celebrate Christmas or other winter holidays, what is the shopping crunch like where you are?


  1. That sounds absolutely crazy!! We have Boxing Day sales (26th December). I don't live in a big city so I don't know what it's like in the majority of the UK, but here in Cornwall they have only just started opening at 5am. No idea how busy/manic it is as I've never been. I know there are good deals but I hate throngs of people!!

  2. Hello feral one. I do absolutely nothing on the day after Thanksgiving. I enjoy big social holidays, but afterwards I am always completely wrung out and require bed rest. It usually takes me two or three days to get over Christmas.

    My favorite Christmas present is a boxed set of DVDs, so I can lie on the couch for a day or two and watch a good television series from start to finish. One year it was West Wing, another it was Northern Exposure, and still another it was Slings and Arrows. Bliss!

  3. Bryallen, I am both in awe of and scratch my head at folks who can get up in time for these door busters. I don't have a pulse at 5:00 a.m. I wake up at that hour during the week to get to work, but I am technically a member of the undead until I get some coffee in me. (Also, completely OT, but I visited Cornwall when I lived in the UK 20 years ago--I stayed in Newquay and Penzance. It was lovely therre!)

    Denise, I'm with you! I might drop some hints to get the Blackadder DVD set (I had a set ages ago, but it disappeared). I love that show!

  4. MMM, Blackadder! Maybe we can swap sometime.

  5. I'm not a shopper as it is, but I definitely make it a point to avoid any malls from now until after New Year. I treat them as a contaminated zone and make a wide sweep around them!

  6. Well I don't know if I am a black belt but I do only go in get the stuff I want and get the heck out of dodge. I will not sleep outside a store for anything well maybe if they were giving away really good looking men to clean my house :)