Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday -- Where I Question My Sanity

Zack has been working all year to earn an X-Box.  I refused to buy another gaming system so told him if he wanted an X-Box, he had to pay for it.  It was hard for him, because there were other things along the way this year that he "REALLY HAD TO HAVE" (emphasis his) and he dug into his money for those, but after all, this was a lesson about saving to buy something and if he wanted to stall the process a bit for something else, it was good for him to learn and figure things out along the way.

(Those who know me should not fear -- Zack has not gone without fun things this year.  It's pretty much impossible to not buy things for that kid because 90% of the time I get as much enjoyment out of them as he does.  And when it comes to books, there are NO limits.  Mmm mmm.   Nope.  Booooooks.  I am so glad he loves books!)

He finally earned his XBox and just as Christmas stuff starts making its way earlier and earlier into the stores (say, after Mother's Day), so do the Black Friday events.  It's not Friday, but a local store is starting their Black Friday at 8pm.  And I thought I could make a memory with Zack, much like driving to look at Christmas lights, by taking him to this Black Friday event and treating him to a new XBox game.

What was I thinking??????

First, let me say, I am very pro-buy-handmade.  When someone can hand-make me a LEGO Lord of the Rings game, I'll gladly buy it.  But it is really tough to buy a nine-year old kidlet handmade, although I've done pretty well with the older boys this year -- so far, all but one thing is handmade by someone NOT in a big corporation.  That being said -- those of you with boys in the throes of video game and LEGO ecstasy, you know my pain. 

Now, the store was going to open at 8pm.  I'd done my research and there is no independent video game store in our driving area, so we were faced with the ubiquitous local Wal-mart.  Heaven help me.  I figured we would go in, go straight to the game section, get it, get out.

Obviously, I've never done a Black Friday, in like, ever.

My older stepsons, who've been through a few Black Friday shopping excursions themselves, looked at me like I'd said I was going to feed Zack Nyquil with a bourbon chaser when I blithely mentioned our plan.  Did I remember this is a child who doesn't do well in crowds?  Or that loud noises can sometimes freak him out?  And when pushed, I've been known to throw an elbow?

I guess the decision to go out tonight ended for good when Zack showed up to go with a bat in his hand.


Me:  "Um.  What's up with the bat, buddy?"

Zack:  "Weellllll.  I heard that sometimes people get KILLED on Black Friday.  (Insert big eyes here.  His.  Then mine.) I don't want to get killed.  But I PROMISE I won't hit anyone.  Think it will scare them?"

Well, it scared ME!  (Who told him those stories about Black Friday, anyway?????) His older brother found a way to download a game to his XBox and I ordered the other one.

So we came up with a new tradition -- skip Black Friday in big stores and instead enjoy pie with whipped cream, ALL made by scratch.  

No bats.  Just spoons.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack.  Visit her shops by clicking here.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party®   and author of the book Bead Soup.


  1. Thanks for the laugh. In my carb induced stupor, it was needed :)

    I love your tradition. I have done the Black Friday thing in years past and it can get contentious. This year I am going to sleep and craft and treat the day after thanksgiving as a holiday, not a day to lose my mind.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Enjoy the pie!

  2. I have never done black Friday either. I have a friend who does it every year, I don't really get it. Every year more and more is available online anyway and on Thanksgiving with free shipping. Not sure why anyone is doing it anymore except they must like it as a tradition...
    Glad Zach kept you home, probably better for both of you:)

  3. I've never done black friday either, though I have friends that do it every year. I really don't understand it now, since I can order many of the deals online now with free shipping? Oh well, everyone has their own traditions:) Good for Zack, keeping you at home with pie:)

  4. Oh my lord what a funny story. And I ate so much today it hurts to laugh and I think I may have peed a bit. This is one of your bests.

  5. I can't stop laughing. I worked retail on BF for so, so many years, you could be giving away a free mortgage and I wouldn't show up. Pie and whip cream is much, much better.

  6. Sounds like a great idea. Skip the evil stores that make the workers work on their holiday..Poo on them!

  7. lol Lori! A story you'll remember for years to come I'm sure! Thanks for the giggle!

  8. I've never done Black Friday and in recent years I've done no shopping in stores at all. It's too difficult to get around. And shopping online is so much easier. This year there's only shopping for the two grandgirls and that's pretty easy! I'm so glad you & Zack stayed home & ate pie. Happy Thanksgiving, Lori.

  9. A friend roped me into Kohl's @ midnight last year. It was insane! It was all crap and took 2 hours in line to pay $8. for my Christmas ornament and a T-shirt.

  10. Let's hear it for SPOONS! I shudder listening to my niece describe her "plan of attack" for Black Friday. Nope, not for me. I'd much rather stroll through online aisles and leave the BF insanity to the fruitcakes.

    All hail Zack's Mom and her ability to save her son from inflicting bat mayhem on an unsuspecting universe.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. You crack me up! I have spent toooo many years in retail and won't go near the mall on Black Friday - the computer maybe.....

    I love Zack's preparedness!

    Happy Day to you both!

  12. We don't even have Black Friday here and I only know the experience from movies, but that's not why I'm commenting.
    I guess you'll love these:
    Bye, Kitty

  13. What a great storyteller you are! I can totally picture Zach with his bat and I loved the "Nyquil with a bourbon chaser" bit. Thanks for the laugh! :)

  14. You guys make me laugh! Good choice. I have only gone out on black friday later in the day, in my youth, and I hate crowds. won't do it again. I remember the store looking like a war zone, all torn up. IT must have been crazy. Nope, whatever the deal is, don't need it. I will pay the extra money to avoid that insanity if its something we really needed.

  15. I also do not do black Friday. Did one time in the 80's and have not repeated that mistake.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  16. Anonymous9:37 AM

    Frankly, Lori,I think Zack showed great restraint in selecting a humble bat and not an UZI to carry to Black Friday! I've heard stories! All kidding aside, what a great "family" story to pass on. Someday when Zack is grown and truly ready to take on such an excursion, that story will come back and haunt him. Funny.

  17. That's hilarious! Poor kid. Thinking he might get killed while venturing into the land of commerce. But you've got to admire his solution.

    I tend not to do anything society expects of me. So I don't participate in any of those obligatory shopping events. I can't stand crowds of consumers frantically buying things they don't need with money they don't have.

  18. Any day that ends with PIE is a good day. That's a great new tradition.
    And while I did quite enjoy reading your blog post- it was Jean Wells' comment that made me laugh out loud - oh, wait, now I think I might have peed a bit...oopsy.
    Happy PEACEFUL Black Friday to you and yours, Lori,
    Cool Moon

  19. Love your story. Please let Zack know that NO ONE got smashed or hurt at my Walmart last night. But it was super super crowded and very noisy. I worked it from 7 pm to 7 am so got to see all the fun people. After working my 15th Black Friday, Zack has the best plan of attack for Black Friday stay home and EAT PIE!!!!

  20. I've never enjoyed Black Friday. I used to do it with my friend years ago but now I have no desire to participate. I'd rather be home with family and good food.

    Thanks for the much needed laugh!!!

  21. Nothing quite like a kid to make things real, huh? :-)

    I hate Black Friday, and all it stands for. Not that I think we have to buy only handmade (though I try to do that a lot) but I'm sad that consumerism is more important to people than people.

  22. Pie is better than Wal-Mart!

  23. I did a FEW Black Friday events. I worked one and then had the joy of shopping at two.. I seen ladies fight over waffle makers when the manager told them he had two more pallets in the back..

    I did my Black Friday shopping online this year. Got my daughters two wii games for black Friday prices and went to wal mart to pick them up.. Everything else is being shipped to my house..

    I did get the Shark steam cleaner mop today. At the BF price.. I would not advise taking real young kids (toddlers/Babies) to these events...

    Next year I may do it again safely from my pc. I will be happy to pay sales tax and get free home shipping.. :)
    Your post made me laugh.. :)

  24. Love Plan B .. much better plan ;) lol I've tackled WalMart during ONE sale event... and that was only because I forgot it was going on >.< NEVER AGAIN. I'll pay the slightly higher price and avoid the insanity.

    And boys are tough to buy handmade for at pretty much ANY age.Unless you hit it lucky and find a theme they love. Maybe be out trolling a market one day and stumble across a handmade Lego theme quilt for his bed... or a handmade, possibly even personalized lego carrying case..? lol >.<

  25. I swore to GOD that I would never do a Black Friday BUT my little daughter wanted to go and get some fabric for the nursery, I could not denigh her. We waited for an hour and half to get our fabric cut the checkout line was out the back. She said I did not believe it could be this bad. She is a quick study,:^) I hee hawed at Zack with a bat :^) I agree with you to let Zack save for what he is passion about sometimes it teaches then to save, priotize their wants etc. Our son wanted a train engin soooo bad when he was 8 he saved his milk money for it I was unaware of that but he did accomplish his goal. At 51 he still has and charishes his train engin. Be blessed to be a blessing

  26. This is so funny! Thanks for sharing your story with us! If I ventured out to department stores, I'd want to take a bat with me too! ...and not just on Black Fridays!


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