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Jewish Journal

Black Friday UPDATED

by Ilana Angel

November 26, 2011 | 12:44 am

I’m not much of a shopper.  I do like a good bargain though, and can appreciate the excitement of an all-nighter of shopping, but is it really worth it to spend an entire night shopping with millions of people to save a few dollars?  I’m thinking not so much.  For me Black Friday is more about an experience than an attempt to save money.

My son and his friends have decided they want to go shopping on Black Friday.  Apparently buying shoes and jeans at midnight sounds like fun.  If by fun they mean insane, then yes, I imagine it will be loads of fun.  The interesting part of their plan is that I have been elected to be the driver on their adventure, and I never got to vote.

When I mentioned to my wonderful child that after Thanksgiving I would be tired, he informed me that as a vegetarian I would not be eating turkey, therefore not consuming any tryptophan, and so going shopping for a few hours would not be a big deal.  I panicked when he said “hours”.

The plan is to leave at 10:00, find parking, which they estimate will take about an hour, then get in line and shop from midnight until about 8 in the morning, when I will buy them breakfast, then take them home for some much needed sleep.  Could this sound any less appealing?

My son is really wonderful.  He does not ask me for much really.  He gets great grades, does not get into trouble, has nice friends that I love, is funny, smart, caring, sensitive, compassionate, and truly fills my life with joy. You can imagine my shock and surprise to learn that he is also crazy.

Does he really think I am going to get out of my warm bed in the middle of the night to go shopping?  Yes he does, and sadly he is right.  I will wait in a few lines, for a few hours, while he gets a few things, all the while wishing I was in bed.  It will be exhausting and annoying. Yay!

It will make him happy though, which is always my goal, and more importantly I will have some ammunition.  Example: Me: Can you go out to the car and get my bag?”  Him: I’m too tired. Me: Remember the time I went shopping all night on Black Friday? Him: Okay mom, I’ll go get it.

Pathetic I know.  At the end of the day my midnight schlepping will not be ammunition as much as it will just be a memory that we will have together, and for that reason alone I am going out on Black Friday.  Dear Lord please let me survive this adventure.  I am scared, but keeping the faith.

** Well we did it.  We left home at 10:30 and headed to the outlet mall.  We got there at 11:00 and found parking at midnight.  We had 5 stores on our list and managed to get through them all in about 3 1/2 hours.  We got everything we wanted, and while I was a walking zombie, it was fun. 

We have a system and it works.  I get in line, my son shops, and by the time he has everything he wants, I have made it to the cashier.  We have done it for a few years and it’s our thing.  He was very pleased with his purchases and I truly saved a lot of money on a lot of stuff.

Buying things for someone, especially a child, who is genuinely appreciative, is a blessing.  It was pure joy for me and though I promised I will never do it again, I know we will be out there again next year, complaining, freezing,  and having a wonderful time. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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