Yeah, I'm One of Those People: Confessions From Black Friday

Acceptable baggage.

When I last left off, I was entering the arena for the ultimate showdown: Me vs. Black Friday. Then my phone fizzed out and stopped uploading pics, so mobile blogging came to a grinding halt. Fear not, I still have the story to tell. The place was pretty busy, despite stores opening at midnight (which, in my opinion, is just ridiculous). And I do this every year, for decades. But the whole midnight thing, it’s just too much. Anyway, upon my arrival, I spotted more than a few big-bag, bogged-down B.F. shoppers. (Yes, I too was one.) You’d never know from the abundance of shopping bags, but the sales this years were really pathetic in comparison to last year. For instance, last year Gap did 50 percent off everything in the store. This year, it was a fleece hoodie (for kids) for $19. Loehmann’s gives you a card every year with some dollar amount (usually $20) off, plus discounts on all kinds of stuff. This year, it was just 35 percent off the whole store and only for a few hours. A lot of stores offered little to no discounts at all, like Zara (where I scored shorts I’ve been looking for for eons). J. Crew had take 25 percent off when you spend $150, which was just OK. Other places, like Penguin, kept the traditional Black Friday spirit alive with 40 percent off the entire store. Bath & Body Works had two candles for the price of one, which was acceptable. (FYI Candles are the universal gift that work for everyone from your housekeeper and bestie to your manicurist and kid’s teacher.) But the stores who did these worthwhile sales were few and far between. Nevertheless, this is what I encountered on my morning mad dash. God, I need a nap.

Stopped in for something for the kiddo. Twenty percent off the whole store. The online deals the night before, however, were better.

What in the name of shoes is going on in here? Steve Madden didn’t even have a real sale. Just a scratch-off card that gave you a little off here and there. The. Place. Was. Packed.

Inside, I found this soon-to-be-Black-Friday dropout. Yes, laying on the stool. Apparently, she doesn’t share my adrenaline rush when encountering cute shoes.

Like these. Total steal at Macy’s. And just when I thought I got out of bed for nothing, too. Macy’s had 50 percent off clearance with an additional 10 for card holders. And then 20 percent off boots, booties and shooties. I met an employee who said he says that sale statement about every three minutes. And he likes saying shooties, by the way. To each his own.

To the victor go the spoils. I knocked off about three-fourths of my shopping list. But the whole ordeal this year was a lot like eating store-bought pumpkin pie. You eat it because it’s ritual, but you know deep down inside, you could have had homemade if someone didn’t get lazy and give you this obligatory junk. If you stayed in bed this year, kuddos. Better luck on Cyber Monday.