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Passing the Black Friday Torch

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Posted 11-25-2011 at 11:54 PM by Jeff Westover
Updated 11-25-2011 at 11:56 PM by Jeff Westover

With every passing day I'm becoming Archie Bunker.

(I said that to my kids once and they said Who?).

I'm grumpy, I'm opinionated, I'm resistant to change and I tend to wax longingly for the past.

At Thanksgiving dinnner my older teenager children eagerly detailed their plans for Black Friday. Try as I might to get them to My Merry Christmas I'm unsuccessful and they had no real idea that Black Friday as they used to know it is no longer.

In years past I was content to get the kids up at 4am and head out the door with them to do some people watching and to go out to breakfast somewhere. I used to think that as a Dad that made me hip.

But this year when the retailers crossed the threshold of midnight on Thursday to start their sales I put my foot down. I'll do 4am. But midnight? No way.

Besides, we've long past the point where the main reason I went was because I had a drivers license. I've got three older children of driving age and a fourth coming on strong. I'm weary of being asked "Can I drive, Dad?". It is not a question they ask with great anticipation any more. It is one they ask out of necessity because Dad dares to drive to speed limit. But that's another post altogether.

Anyway, as my teenagers schemed with cousins and plans escalated right there as the turkey cooled I picked my moment then to break the news to them that I wasn't going.

"That's ok, Dad, we understand" was the best I got. No "thanks for the memories" or "which car can we take?" -- I was cast aside as part of the Black Friday tradition like Christmas morning wrapping paper -- useless, less brilliant, easily disposed.

Their grand plan was to meet up and car pool with the counsins and then crash the Target party at midnight.

Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap had just settled down for a long winter's nap as they headed out the door.

But I couldn't sleep. Not while they were...out there.

So I did what they say in the advertising world: I ate my own dogfood.

Here on MMC and in other places I've been writing for weeks now to forget about physically heading to stores on Black Friday. I have instead espoused the idea of shopping online.

The kids had their new tradition, without me, of heading out the door without a nickle in their pocket, content to merely be faces in the crowd but not participants to it, a tradition I am proud to have taught them. (It was a tradition born of necessity years ago while supporting a large young family...I had no money for the "great" deals of Black Friday and by the time I did have the money I had grown too cheap).

In fact, I rarely recall spending money on anything other than breakfast through those years of Black Friday.

Today that changed. Without a kid around to influence me and with my wife sound asleep and thus unable to stop me I jumped online.

And I hit them all: Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target,,, and many, many others.

In total I spent maybe $75, which is really quite the admission. I bought some new headphones, several old movies and a Roku video streaming thingy.

By 2:30am they were all home. Tired, having not purchased a thing, and weary from the long Thanksgiving day capped by crowd surfing. Nobody got hurt here, the crowds were prolific, and they went wild, I suppose, without Dad there to restrain them. 40 in a 35 zone, I'm guessing. Those animals.

But me?

I stayed up. At 3:30am I was at Target's online sale. Their whole ad was pretty worthless except for the $5.99 BluRay of Leatherheads.

4:30am came and went and I found Mr. Hobbs Goes on Vacation, an old Jimmy Stewart favorite from 1962 or so. $4.99 on Amazon and a free download on my Kindle. Score!

I felt pretty naughty when it was all said and done. After all I had been snookered -- sucked into the crass commercialism of Christmas advertised by these leeches and their Internet hot prices.

I didn't intend to buy everything I did. In fact, I didn't need to buy anything at all. Yes, I still have a whole house to provide Christmas for but you know what? I learned that at 3:30am one tends to be pretty selfish. Pretty much everything I purchased appeals

Ok, so I am Archie Bunker. I'm due, right?

I love Black Friday now. I can't wait for the kids to go away next year. That was fun.
Total Comments 4


  1. Old Comment
    MerryCarey's Avatar
    I enjoyed this, you wee-hours cybershopper! Enjoy the deals on the old movies! I envy you your Roku. P.S. I have a Kindle Fire and am looking forward to the free downloads that come with some movies.
    Posted 11-26-2011 at 08:47 AM by MerryCarey MerryCarey is online now
  2. Old Comment
    One Spoiled Brat's Avatar
    Bad Boy Jeff....Great job....Glad you enjoyed it, and very thankful the kids had fun and were safe....God bless you and the family, always....
    Posted 11-26-2011 at 05:14 PM by One Spoiled Brat One Spoiled Brat is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Jeff Westover's Avatar
    Of the movies I got on Amazon I received duplicate 48-hr rentals for my Kindle -- No Time for Sargeants and Mr. I've been watching them (and getting nothing done here).
    Posted 11-27-2011 at 01:37 AM by Jeff Westover Jeff Westover is online now
  4. Old Comment
    GingerMel's Avatar
    My cats woke us up at 5am because two of them decided that they didn't like each other in the middle of the night. What did I do? Checked my phone's Best Buy app to see if their Black Friday sale had begun (this was 5am Thanksgiving morning). had not.
    Posted 11-29-2011 at 08:34 AM by GingerMel GingerMel is offline
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