What Was I Thinking?

The aroma of roast turkey still lingered in the air and the dessert plates had just barely been cleared from the table. The tranquility of Thanksgiving suddenly disappeared with a loud thud.

The Thanksgiving newspaper was plopped onto the table; it’s contents spilling in every direction. Trina brought out “the notebook” and put on her game face. The newspaper was divided and it’s contents were examined at every inch.

The advertisements were divided not by store but by opening time. Each ad was then carefully examined and notes were taken. After what seemed like several hours of close scrutiny and several pens and sheets of paper, the preliminary work was complete.

The notebook was less a shopping list and more a battle plan. It contained the logistics and coordinates to successfully navigate what is commonly referred to as “Black Friday”.

The day after Thanksgiving when stores open early and hope to lure consumers in with terms such as “door buster” and “early bird”. For many this is shopping nirvana. A day when not only are you allowed to shop but expected to buy massive amounts of products in the name of holiday gifts.

It is a day I approach with equal amounts of anticipation and dread. During our wedding vows when they mentioned the part about richer and poorer and good times and bad times, I never would have imagined that would mean the day after Thanksgiving but in reality that’s exactly what they meant.

After we were married I promised myself I would go shopping with Trina on these days after Thanksgiving. Part of it was a sense of fear not wanting my wife to go out alone in the early morning hours. Part of it was self-preservation for not wanting my checkbook to go out alone in the early morning hours.

All of this sounds great when you are sitting around a kitchen table at five in the afternoon but it is an entirely different story when the alarm goes off at three in the morning and you have to get up to go out in the cold standing there with thousands of crazed women waiting for the doors to open so you can rush some kid making minimum wage for the last toy in town.

So as I get ready to head out the door I am again wondering what exactly was I thinking when I volunteered for this? While the rest of the civilized world is lying in bed dreaming of leftover turkey and college football I will be standing outside a Target praying that when I finally get through the door I won’t be run over by a lunatic with a shopping cart looking for a Barbie.

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