Five Reasons to Avoid Black Friday!

The aroma of roasting turkey wafted through the house as the girls watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The dog show followed and then the traditional movie presentation of Miracle on 34th Street.

After being bombarded with an After Thanksgiving Day sales blitz, I began visualizing my neighbors bundling up in 20 degree weather to hit the malls at 4 a.m. to get those Door Busters, Early Bird Specials, and 70% Off discounts.


A full parking lot at Kalispell Center Mall


I knew M & E were interested, as they kept reminding me of that one-day only $10.00 coupon from Herberger’s. The commercial’s made it sound like the most spectacular event of the year and with the state of the economy, I must confess I was curious as to what the turnout would be.

Later that night as we settled down for our long winter’s nap, I suggested we go for fun and see if anybody really showed up for Black Friday. Not being a “shopper” myself, the thought of actually going as anything but a spectator didn’t sound inviting.

The next morning around 6, I checked in on the girls and jokingly told them we were 2 hours late for the shopping spree. Unfazed they remained cuddled under their comforters, and I went to do my Yoga. Later that morning, everyone convinced me that we should go. Surely we could take advantage of that coupon.

Now, for Marlene’s TOP 5 reasons to never shop on the busiest shopping day of the year.


Number 5Finding a Parking Spot – Normally, I drive right up front to a place of my choosing. This time, after driving around for 10 to 15 minutes looking for a spot, we parked in front of the hotel and walked through their lobby to the mall. This wasn’t too bad, as driving around aroused anticipation as we imagined the shoppers inside the mall.


Number 4The Crowds – Usually our one story mall is a quiet place to shop. M regularly takes note that it’s too quiet and doesn’t sound noisy, like a real mall.


Number 3The Lines – There in NOTHING fun about waiting in long lines. The only fun thing about waiting in lines is chatting with other bargain hunters and eavesdropping. Speaking of eavesdropping, I heard a man tell another man as he shuffled around the slow walkers that they (I presume he and his wife) were there because they had to use that $10.00 coupon.


Number 2Bad Vibes – The stress from the anxious Christmas shoppers is transferred to even the most relaxed browsers. The mall on Black Friday is nothing but a big stress generator!


And the NUMBER 1 reason for not shopping on Black Friday is:


The Coupon! –There are all kinds of exclusions to its use. Shoppers’ had to ask sales girls which items were eligible for purchase and which weren’t. It became a task trying to select something that we wanted and would qualify. Recently, I was discussing the relevance of fine print with a granddaughter. Well, here’s the fine print.


Excludes Yellow Dot Clearance, Incredible Value merchandise, Bonus Buys, Door Buster, all furniture clearance center merchandise, all cosmetics & fragrances, electronics, Maternity, Tech Trek, Anne Klein Bridge, Brahmin, Brighton, Calvin Klein Handbags, Club Libby Lu, Coach, Columbia apparel, outerwear & accessories, electronics, Eileen Fischer, Ellen Tracy, Fine Jewelry Super Values, Fine Watches, Fine Jewelry Specieal Event merchandise, Lafayette 148, Levi’s, Louben, The Sharper Image, St. John, Tempur-Pedic, Tumi, Ugg.


After waiting in a line that just wouldn’t budge, we discovered that our selection was ineligible. Gee, that’s a no brainer. I knew I should have stayed home, written my article, and eaten left over turkey.


We traced our steps back toward the hotel where we had the most fun of the morning lounging on the sofa watching the news for a few minutes before heading home.


So, for even a tough cookie like me who takes pride in not succumbing to advertising, Herberger’s marketing scheme of the $10.00 Off coupon was a success.


On the positive side, a special memory was made for the girls and I. We’ll always remember our one and only shopping trip on the day after Thanksgiving to our little mall in the valley.