On Black Friday I was dealing with some severe back pain. What with the giant screen TVs, the treadmills, and the new furniture … well, I never should have carried in all those newspaper ads from the front porch in one trip.
My wife and I have always avoided Black Friday bargain hunting. We believe that shopping on Black Friday is losing popularity because it’s getting so crowded in the stores. That last sentence may not make sense, unless you are Yogi Berra. I say let’s have Black Friday on a Monday when most people are at work. That would thin out the masses, wouldn’t it? Hello, is anyone listening to me?We are tempted every year to try shopping on this busiest of days, but my wife is funny about crowds. Oh, it’s not that she’s afraid of germs — she’s just a little fearful of being trampled. An image of someone being squashed is a part of the lead news story each year on the day after Thanksgiving, a kind of symbolic way to tell people that the bargains are to die for. I am not making light of this. It is far worse than getting caught under the mistletoe by a creepy relative.
The Wolfsies stayed home on this Black Friday, but we didn’t want to get a reputation for not taking part in any of the classic holiday rituals, so we found a way to feel depressed — which is another holiday tradition. It was easy to accomplish it. All we had to do was read through the newspaper and realize how much money we had already lost on these advertised items. Not the savings we missed by not shopping on Friday, but all the moola we blew throughout the past year by being impatient and not waiting until Black Friday.“Mary Ellen, look at this Samsung Smart TV … 65 inches: $750, including a stand and a free poinsettia, no payments for a year and free delivery. What idiots we were. We paid $950.00 eight months ago. Now we’re sitting in a flowerless room with a really dumb 55-inch TV and a neighbor who’s still in a neck brace after helping us haul it into the house. And what about the three-piece sectional couch we bought in February?”“Yes, it’s a beautiful sofa and it was a really good deal.”“Well, here’s the same exact one, Mary Ellen, but with an extra section for the same price. And you get 12 pillows instead of eight.“We’ve already shoved four of the pillows under the bed, Dick, and if that couch had another section, we’d have to store it in the basement crawlspace.”“I know, I know, Mary Ellen, but I just feel so stupid that we went out and bought things that we actually needed. We are such idiots. We have to learn to be better shoppers.”Of all the deals we missed, the one that annoyed me the most was the Maytag 28 cu. ft. French-door refrigerator in stainless steel for $1,100, plus a $200 rebate and a nifty spray to clean smudges off the surface. “Oh my gosh, we paid more than that for a no-name two years ago,” I shrieked. “We should have waited till Black Friday Mary Ellen.”“Waited? All the food in our old fridge was rotting, Dick. The meat and ice cream in the freezer were melting.”I tried to explain this money-saving strategy to her again. But I’m dealing with a woman who has absolutely no idea of the best time of the year to shop.