I have heard for most of my life of how nightmarish it is to attempt to go shopping on Black Friday, but it was all second hand knowledge to me. I didn’t know for myself the whole truth of what I had believed to be exaggerated stories of shopping nightmares. This year, November 26, 2010, I learned for myself that all those stories I had heard from family and friends were truer than I had ever believed.
A family member and I, decided to see what kind of deals we might find after the first bargain rush, about eight a.m. We knew that most of the good bargains would be gone, but we had hopes that we might find one or two to make the excursion worth it. We were wrong.
Though the local Wal-Mart employees were happily exclaiming over how ‘dead’ the store was, it was still rather more crowded than I had thought it would be. Not only that, but the people who were there, were actually fighting over the remaining bargains, which weren’t even that much of a bargain in the first place! I recall one item being fought over was actually only about a quarter lower than its original price. And these people were fighting over it? What was wrong with this picture?
Not only that, but most of the people were quite rude. These people would right over someone in their way, or even ram them with a cart if whoever was in their way didn’t move fast enough to suit them. One person even made an attempt to ram me with a cart, but desisted when I refused to move and stood there wearing, my relative told me, a ‘ferocious’ glare. “You looked like you were going to smack that woman silly if she even touched you with her cart! And you’re big enough to do it!” my relative told me, laughing gleefully (I do believe that she would have found it amusing if I had, somewhat understandable under the circumstances; she only stands about five foot three, and was being jostled quite badly).
And those bargains we had gone in search for? Those were nonexistent. We knew that most would be gone by the time we got there, but in actuality, few had even been there to begin with. We talked to a couple of sleepy employees (one had been there since eleven thirty the night before, and one from four that morning), and they told us that though there had been signs claiming any number of bargains, there were actually very few of those bargains that were available in that particular store. It was one of those ‘availability’ issues, we were told.
My relative and I left, feeling rather disgusted with our wasted morning. We didn’t leave empty handed, but neither did we walk out with any of the great bargains that shoppers had been promised. True, that was our own fault. There had been several DVDs we had been interested in purchasing that were on sale, but getting to them was like trying to wade through a shark pit while dealing with a log jam. We decided to not make the effort that would be required to fight our way through.
All in all, it’s easy to see why online shopping is becoming such a predominant means of Holliday shopping. There are no lines, no rude people, and no chance of injury (unless you jam your fingers from over clicking your mouse). And the promised deals are there. The only downsides are the shipping fees you may have to pay, and the wait for whatever purchases made to arrive on your doorstep. Perhaps next year, I will be a member of the ever growing population of online shoppers. Anything has to be better than braving the nightmare of physically going to a store in search of the elusive Black Friday bargains.