Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Words You May Never Mention in My Presence Again

I’m done in.

Tapped out.




And I blame Black Friday. For all of it.

Black Friday is a sham. A hoax. A trick to get you into stores to buy things you don’t really need. It’s a waste of precious time and even more precious energy.

Black Friday has ruined me.

I just wanted to spend time with my girls. Bonding, if you will. They were up for the adventure, and I’m always up for an adventure, so we set out to find . . . adventure. Who knew we’d find it in the parking lot?

On our way to the mall, I commented on the lack of traffic, which, in the Chicago area, is rare. We shrugged our shoulders and figured that everyone was probably sleeping in, leaving all the good deals for us.

Even the roads leading to the mall were pretty bare. I expected a lot more congestion.

We hit the parking garage at 9:45. So did the rest of Chicagoland.

Somewhere around 10:06 I dropped my older two at the Nordstrom door. I’m nothing if not particular about where I park, and it must be near Nordstrom. Otherwise I’d lose my car. (I learned this trick from my mom—she always parked by Marshall Field’s. My husband swears that you can learn a lot about someone by where they park at the mall. Whatever that means.)

Anyway, another 15 minutes later (that’s 36 minutes of driving around, just in case you weren’t paying attention) I was in tears saying, “How come everyone else keeps getting a parking place and I don’t?” There may have been some foot stomping involved. And all the while Maggie was rubbing my shoulder saying, “It’s O.K., Mom. Somebody will leave eventually.”

Eventually somebody did, and eventually I did get to park my car near Nordstrom. (Just for the record, I did try other areas of the mall, but everything was filled.)

But my day was ruined, and every other Black Friday heretofore has been ruined for me.

I did try to make the best of it, but once inside the mall things didn’t get any better. After a couple of hours of getting pushed, shoved, and generally jostled I had had it. Maggie and I waved the white flag of defeat and headed to . . . where else? . . . the Nordstrom cafĂ© for a nice, quiet lunch among the placid Nordstrom shoppers.

I got a white blouse out of the deal, and Maggie got a new pair of jeans. Not a single Christmas gift was bought on Black Friday. My brain was too addled to even think about buying gifts for anyone.

My older two? I think they’re still somewhere in the mall, probably being harassed by evil old women with really big purses. We got separated at the beginning of the day, and didn’t get all caught up until the end.

So much for girly bonding time.

Black Friday? Please don’t ever mention those two words in the same sentence to me. I really don’t know what I was thinking, venturing out into that scene, but one thing I do know, I won’t be in a hurry to do THAT again.

Until maybe next year.



  1. I always park in the same places, too. Once a friend wanted to go see a movie with me. She went by the bookshop and knew where I always park . . . saw my car and came and whisked me off to see Return to Me. (ages ago.)

    Glad you survived.


  2. A bit of Chicago trivia for you, Glenda (so glad to see you back, by the way!). . . . "Return to Me" was filmed at Twin Anchors--on the corner of Sheffield and Eugenie. Delicious ribs! A Chicago icon. You HAVE to go there! :)

  3. Stories like this remind me to stay home and not venture into the madness. It's a shame that a fun thing has turned crazy and un-enjoyable.

    P.S. Return to Me is one of my favorite movies. :)

  4. I ventured into the Black Friday chaos for the last time a number of years ago. It is a hoax and huge marketing extravaganza that I'm not up for. But at least you got blog material. : )

  5. Ugh and double ugh. I didn't have a good Black Friday experience, either. I do think the deals are awesome for parents of several young children. But it's madness. And I kind of hate it.

    Then again, if Black Friday involved staying up late instead of getting up early, I might feel a bit differently...

  6. I'm so with you. I chose to sleep in that day. Much better use of my time. I went shopping a little on Saturday and Sunday and the same sales were still in effect, even if the doorbusters were all gone. No big deal. I didn't even know I needed them until I saw them in the ads! Isn't that how it goes?

  7. Shelly, I always park at the same place in the mall, the same parking garage in the City, etc.

    As for Twin Anchors, that is where my Dad took me when I graduated from College. I need to go there again, I miss it.

    Finally, between Black Friday and Christmas Day, I boycott the malls. I either shop at stip malls or online. Unless I can shop during a weekday. My time is too valuable to wait in lines for no good reason.

  8. Kristy! So good to see you commenting here! :) We love Twin Anchors. Every now and then we get a craving and have to head down there for dinner. It's such a fun spot, isn't it? So did you go to DePaul then?

  9. I'm totally distracted by your first commentor. I love "Return to Me". One of my favorite movies. How cool is your trivia. Now what were we talking about? :v)

    Oh yeah, I park where ever is closest to where I want to get to in the mall if I can. I avoid malls on a Saturday never mind those kinds of shopping days. I just don't have it in me anymore. We don't have an official black Friday here in Canada because of course, our Thanksgiving is in October and that's a wee bit early for Christmas shopping no matter how great the deal. We do have huge sales on Boxing Day but I avoid that at all costs too!

  10. I also park in the same places, too! However, I seem to be the opposite of your readers. I always do Black Friday shopping with my sister-in-law and we love it. We don't do that crazy 4am stuff, but we are there for the day and sometimes more than one mall...this year...3 different malls!!