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TO ALL OF YOU who got up a few hours after "The Tonight Show" ended so you could get to the sale of a lifetime this morning, I hope you find everything you're looking for--including some sense.
As you might guess, I'm not a Black Friday shopper. I don't think I've ever ventured near stores the day after Thanksgiving unless I needed milk or bread.
I can't think of a single thing I'd want to buy, no matter how good the sale was, if getting up at 2 a.m. was part of the deal.
And as for camping out two or three days in line in a parking lot are you kidding me? When I've seen reports of people doing that, for the latest phone or other prized gadget, I've thought: Don't these people have jobs?
Then I wonder how much their time is worth, if they've got 48 hours to stand in line.
But, hey, different strokes for different folks. I guess I just don't share the same blood thirst for slashed prices--or the desire for bragging rights that go with owning whatever device is worth sleeping on the sidewalk for.
In fact, I like to stay away from places where there are lots of shoppers as much as possible this time of year.
Last week, I made the mistake of visiting a warehouse-type store on Friday afternoon and thought it was Christmas Eve.
The place was that packed.
I'm always amazed at how many examples of rude and inconsiderate behavior you can find under a big roof like that. It's as if rolls of toilet paper and cases of granola bars aren't the only items in grand supply.
I don't know how many times I've seen people, headed to the store exit, who stop, right in line, to check their receipts or rearrange the contents of their purses. There they stand, clearly holding up the whole line, oblivious to everything around them.
Others fall into the same trance when they're at the entrance to the store or in front of rows of carts. Or, they see an old friend and decide to catch up--smack in the middle of the busiest lanes of the store.
When you excuse yourself and walk between them, trying to get inside or, more importantly, to the rotisserie chicken, they act like you're the one being rude.
Even more dangerous are people who try to multi-task in the midst of this chaos. Last week, I saw an older man who clearly was challenged by the prospect of backing his car into the busy parking lot.
But when he did it with one hand on his cellphone, which was held to his ear, I smelled disaster. He was reaching for the gear shift, and he set off the windshield wipers instead, all the while talking on his phone.
I hightailed it out of there, grateful that I wouldn't have to venture out in the craziness anymore. That goes double--no, triple--on a day like today.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425