There’s always a first time for everything, and my first Black Friday shopping experience was during my first year of college in 2013. Having just moved to the United States, everything was still very new to me, including a holiday dedicated to deals at department stores.
After eating a big, stuffing Thanksgiving meal, I headed back to my room to relax and watch some TV. A friend came to my room all bundled up with a big smile on her face ready for some adventure.
“Are you ready for tonight, man?” she asked.
I looked at her in confusion. “Umm…what?”
She replied, “If you need anything, tonight is the best time of the year! Just come with us, we’ll have some fun!”
I wasn’t busy, so I went with them – I needed some snacks anyway. I assumed we were going to the supermarket, but I was not sure why because suddenly we were at the shopping mall.
Something is not right. It’s 11:30 pm and the parking lot is packed.
“Okay, what’s going on guys… I just need to buy snacks.”
“Don’t worry man. Trust me. You’ll change your mind!” my friend responded. At this point, I still didn’t know what the deal was with all of these people. The first thing I saw as soon as I entered the mall was: “BIG SALE UP TO 90%!!!”
“Oh my… that’s a game changer.”
I entered almost every store in the mall, including Spencer’s; I mean, come on, why does this place even exist?
As an amateur shopper, I admit that shopping is fun and exciting, but also overwhelming. Too many options for one night, and too much pressure to buy something. I decided to make a list on my phone of what is actually “that one item I really need”. I guess “want” is the right word.
While I was doing that, I sat down at the food court, eating salted caramel ice cream (thank God Coldstone was open late that night) until I heard someone yelling “That’s my shoes, Ma’am!” I looked over and I saw this 30-something big, tall man arguing with an old lady in front of Finish Line. I know I’m not supposed to laugh, but I felt so bad for this old lady. It looked like she just wanted to buy a Christmas gift for her grandson. My night just got more exciting.
My activity quickly changed from shopping to observing, or you could say judging.
Looking around, I found the most common kind of person: the bag-holders, most of them males. I’m pretty sure they are sweet-hearted husbands or boyfriends, willing to stay up late just to accompany their loved ones shopping for hours. Their main job was to follow their spouse wherever they go, holding bags. That’s it.
Then I walked to JCPenney, and the first thing I saw was a naked mannequin. Well, I guess someone really wanted that one dress on display. I call them: the hunters. They’ve done some researching and hunting for a while, and they know exactly what they want.
The next person type is the explorer, such as myself. They don’t really know what they want, but Lord knows at the end of the night they will buy things they never dreamed of needing.
I call the advanced shoppers: the sales-addicts. Their one and only rule is to buy things with a 75% and up discount. They only live once! Black Friday is their promised day, a time for them to collect coupons and spend it all in one night.
If you are one of them, sorry I judged you, but at least Black Friday doesn’t last all year long! Happy Buy-All-The-Junk-You-Never-Needed-Day America!