After an incredible lunch in Indy with my family on Thanksgiving Day, we came home and I took a nap. My husband woke me an hour later by saying, "You want to go shopping?"
"Yeah, I'm going."
I was up, dressed and in the car within 10 minutes: There was a Pre-Black Friday sales event at Walmart.
(Not a real fan of opening stores on the actual holiday. It's going to come to a point where people will be like "Why take the day off?" And then the whole reason for the holiday will be lost. But that is a blog topic for another day.)
My husband and I have created some very fond memories during the holiday shopping tradition that saves many retail stores, and lifts their profit margins out of the dreaded "red" and into the "black."
It's an enjoyable time. Seeing old friends, shopping, looking for great deals, meeting new people struggling to do the same, often bumping into others filled with kindness of the season who help you find just what your looking for.
There's always great stories to tell about the strange things seen during Black Friday. We've seen people dressed in complete costumes as elves and a few wrapped in Christmas lights, watched a couple of women argue over who grabbed a package of underwear first while the embarrassed husbands stand in shame on the sidelines, found a relative one year shopping in bubble wrap (you know who you are...lol) and even saw a couple of teenagers sitting in a frozen food case playing cards when the lines to check out were too long. There's been a few encounters with people standing inside carts to see above the crowd (one making a Captain Morgan stance) and we've watched people team shopping down the aisles tossing items back and forth as they filled carts.
However, as much fun as it can be, there are those incidents that are not so fun. Competitive and aggressive shopping brings out the worst in some people.
Arriving at Walmart Thursday, shortly after 6 p.m., we walked straight inside. It didn't seem too busy at first.
We were only looking for a couple of things because most of our shopping is done already.
The movie section was so crowded, it was crazy. We divided our efforts, each taking a side to scan for what we wanted. One shopper growled at my husband and told him "no" when he asked to look for a particular movie. Another one pushed their cart in front of me, blocking the aisle and glared everyone down, refusing to move.
We got out of the grouchy crowd quickly after finding our dvds, found the other five things on our list, and then off to the registers, where probably the worst case of "Scrooge-ism" we would see took place.
Employees, trying to remain cheerful after leaving their holiday with family and friends to work, were directing people to the quickest checkout lines according to their purchases to help move the crowd through quicker.
"I'm going over there," a shopper demanded to cut in line even as an employee tried to explain. "I don't care, I'm going over there."
Things got a lot nastier after that, things were said that I'm not going to repeat here. Is that behavior really worth a 30 percent discount?
I don't understand why people have to behave like that: It's a holiday people!
A holiday about being thankful, counting our blessings and family.
This was done in public, with families and some children within earshot.
Sadly, according to the people standing in line with us, there were a lot more incidents like that going on in the store that night. Reports of items taken out of shopping carts, pushing and shoving, crude language and rudeness are among a few that were mentioned.
Everyone we talked to agreed it was not very "holiday-spirit behavior."
All I can say is that this type of behavior will not dampen my personal holiday spirit.
For those of you who become a little sinister during the upcoming holidays, please, calm down, take a breath and then remember why you are out there in the middle of the consumer madness society has turned Christmas into. You're buying a gift, supposedly for someone you care for.
I officially step away from the soap box now, before I get started about how we are beyond holiday commercialization and have moved into deleting them by not allowing each one it's own moment to shine. (Halloween in August? Why?)