It took me that long to get over it.
I'm going to try my best to write this post without curse words, but I make no promises.
Ladies and gentlemen, I fell for it. The retail industry duped me something awful.
Yes, I'm talking about that bullshit (oops, there goes that) tradition we refer to as Black Friday.
From the age of 16 to 22, I worked every single one of those stupid Fridays in an obnoxiously crowded shopping mall. I vowed that I would never set foot in retail establishment for as long as I lived once I had finally graduated out of part-time seasonal work.
But, last Friday, I broke that promise.
I don't know what it was that made me change my mind. Perhaps it is the 20-30 emails I get sent to me (PER DAY) from retail companies who were boasting their AMAZING sales. Perhaps it is pressure from friends and mothers who promised me that it would be worth it to take advantage of some of the deals and doorbusters.
When I told my husband I wanted to go out that day, he said I was crazy.
I told him he was crazy to think we couldn't stand to save a few bucks these days.
So, against my better judgment, I made my way to a large toy store on Friday morning. I didn't wake up at dawn to do so, and I didn't go the night before (don't even get me STARTED on that new trend.) When I got there, it felt like I was stepping into the aftermath of a war zone.
Cardboard boxes that once held free gift-with-purchase doorbusters littered the floor and made it almost impossible to wheel a cart down the too-narrow aisles.
I knew exactly what toys I was there to purchase. I knew exactly the markdown prices marked on these toys. I stayed true to my list. Didn't pick up anything extra. Okay, I picked up a couple of extra things. (Did you know that shopping in a toy store as an adult is exactly the same as shopping in a toy store as a kid? Seriously.) The important thing is that I felt like I was saving money. The prices seemed to be lower than I saw when I previously checked out the sales in the store.
I was searching the store for something specific, and I went to approach a store employee. He was in the midst of answering a question from another customer, complete with annoyed sighs and eye rolls. I decided my question wasn't that important and steered clear of him.
The next moment, I passed a mother who was carting two very cranky children with her and barking into her phone at someone who clearly didn't get the items she had hoped they would at another Black Friday sale.
I steered clear of her too.
It was when I was making my third attempt at getting to the cash register through the maze of aisles, that I had the serious thought to abandon my cart and cut my losses. Despite the paradoxically cheerful Christmas music that was blaring over the loud speakers - there wasn't an ounce of the Christmas spirit in that building.
Fortunately, once I had finally made my way to the check out lanes, the man who helped me there was quite pleasant. He handed me my receipt and there it was, in big bold letters that practically kicked me in the throat.
You saved $3.00.
Great. Thanks for nothing. It cost me $3.00 in gas to get here.
I am never making the mistake of going out again.
Especially since the circular ad for the same big toy store came out this week.
The item I saved $3.00 on? Was marked UP from the original price listed in the circular.
AND? It is now $15.00 cheaper than that.
So my trip on Godforsaken Black Friday? COST ME $12.00.
As if there is no end to their awesomeness, RANTS FROM MOMMYLAND is doing an awesome Christmas charity drive for their readers. I am pledging to give money to a deserving family, and I wonder if you wouldn't consider it as well. Click on the fabulous logo below (designed by Amy from Pregnant Chicken who is also AMAZING if I haven't mentioned it) for details on how to get involved.
After the bad taste the Christmas season had left in my mouth following this shopping trip, I was happy to find an opportunity to remember what this season is really about.