Black Friday: An Event Not Fit for the Weak

by Allie Sivak ’11

I woke up at the crack of dawn—but even that was too late. Sure, 6 a.m. was early, but shoppers had been on the move for hours already. Needless to say, I had to make up for lost time. After carbo-loading on a power breakfast of Thanksgiving leftovers, I embarked on my journey to Montgomery Mall on Black Friday, America’s holiday for shopping.

Before entering the mall, I had to conquer the chaotic jungle that was the parking lot. After 30 minutes of circling the lot, success was obtained and it was time to make my move into the mall. With no time to lose, I power-walked to the entrance and strategically headed toward Macys. The department store had everything on sale for 40-percent-off before noon. Under pressure to find some fabulous bargains before the clock struck 12, I pushed my way through the hordes of customers walking equally as fast as me, each on his/her own mission to get the best deals.

Upon entering Macy’s, I glanced around at the items just waiting to be purchased and assessed my competition. The store was teeming with fellow shoppers. I searched for a break in the crowd, and finally noticed a relatively open space in the shoe department. Seeing this as my opportunity to move in, I dashed toward the expanse of shoes and searched through a heavily picked-over pile of stylish boots—I was in need of a new pair. Finally I found a precious pair of brown Uggs for a staggeringly low price and ran swiftly to the check-out register, proud of my find.

My enthusiasm dropped significantly, however, when I stepped to the back of the line, which looped around the store. Slightly discouraged, I waited patiently for half an hour, knowing my perseverance would be rewarded in the end. And it was; I walked out of the department store with a new pair of boots for half the regular going price and time to spare before noon, when other stores closed special sales as well.

Next up was Hollister. I could smell the sweet scent of the overpoweringly-perfumed store as I approached my next shopping target. I doubted the popular teen store would have many sales since they hardly ever advertise discount promotions, yet was pleasantly surprised. Upon entering the dimly lit, loud store, I could hardly move due to all the fellow shoppers who had come here. However, I could see under the masses of clothing strewn around that everything was 30-percent-off and already discounted.

I jumped towards a particularly large pile of apparel and my eyes went straight to a blue cardigan that had captured my attention months earlier. I had fallen in love with it, but hadn’t been able to afford to pay $60 for it at the time. Yet, when I reached toward the cardigan and looked at the price tag, it read $16. This was before I even counted the 30-percent-off. With no consideration necessary, I pulled at the cardigan, but experienced some resistance. I looked over my shoulder and saw a tall girl of about my age with her hand gripped tightly around the item of my choice. Our eyes locked and we both knew that all public decency was out of the question on this hard-core shopping holiday. Lifting dumbbells at the gym paid off; I quickly pulled the cardigan (careful not to rip the delicate material) from my opponents grasp.

Success! I ran toward the counter, ready to wait in another 40-minute line. I saw my defeated rival glare at me from across the store, but simply rolled my eyes and stuck my tongue out at her.

If you’re not ready to break a sweat and play dirty on this most important of shopping days, you may as well stay home.