By Gina Ballentine
To all the crazies who had to throw punches and trample people to get a computer for $35 – thanks a lot. Not only did you ruin lives and hurt people in order to score a deal less than 12 hours after celebrating all you are thankful for, you also managed to completely fuck up Black Friday shopping for the rest of us. You know, the normal people.
It used to be so fantastic. On Thanksgiving morning you (or someone you conned into it) would run out early to grab a fat newspaper stuffed with more ads than your turkey had cornbread. While the turkey was cooking and in between making desserts, you would sit down with your shopping partner (you do NOT Black Friday shop alone) and begin to make your game plan.
The ads would be weeded through, all the stores you planned to hit to the right, the rest with the useless, fact-filled paper to the left. Coupons would be cut, and you would look to see what time the stores would open and which early bird special you just couldn’t live without.
After dinner, you would finish your list, complete with locations and times, wrangle the kids to bed, and set your alarm for 1 am. You climbed into bed fully clothed and had the coffee pot pre-programmed so all you had to do was brush your hair and teeth before heading out.
The lines would wrap around the store and into the parking lot. You would anxiously wait for the doors to open and rush in to grab the 2 items you so desperately needed to buy for Christmas morning. After hours of shopping, you would collapse into a booth at the nearest IHOP and guzzle down another gallon of coffee while talking about all you saw and the deals you got before heading out for round 2.
It was glorious.
But now, thanks to the morons who will trample their grandma over a toaster, stores open their doors Thanksgiving night, releasing a lot of the best deals before my kids are even in their jammies. Between the internet and what I have deemed “Grey Thursday,” Black Friday just isn’t as good as it used to be.
Here are 8 reasons why Black Friday now sucks.
1) The need for 6 Venti Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks is gone, much like my savings account. Since stores now open at 8 pm as opposed to 3 am, there is no need to overload on caffeine and sugar to ensure I don’t fall asleep curled up in the clothing racks like a feral cat, at least not until later that night. And I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes, so this is like a dagger to my yoga-pant-wearing, Pinteresting heart.
2) I can no longer convince my husband that I need to rush out and get the paper at 6 am on Thanksgiving morning before they are all gone. This results in me having to put the kids to bed Wednesday night, a harder task than usual thanks to the bowl of whipped cream and chocolate they conned their grandma into giving them… after dessert.
I rarely have an occasion to go to bed early, and this was ripped away from me like my dreams of returning to a size 4 after childbirth. Black Friday sales are all over the interwebs well before anyone has even thought about the holidays, so all you have to do is click on the link to see the deals, making it so much more boring.
3) Thanks to Cyber Monday, the thrill of scoring a great deal is now so anticlimactic, like a fake orgasm. In the past, to score a TV for $100, people would camp out in front of Best Buy, literally – with tents and everything, taking bathroom breaks only when someone came to tag out in order to keep their spot in line. And even then it was dicey if they weren’t able to run quickly enough to get to it. Now you show up and wait next to the merchandise, and they calmly hand you a ticket. What a let-down, and your cardio to work off that huge dinner suffers greatly.
4) I had one day a year, just one, to indulge in a guilt-free nap: Black Friday. In the past, my better half understood that I needed a nap after shopping for 14 straight hours and coming home with the majority of the Christmas presents we planned to buy, plus a cute pair of shoes for me.
Now? Since the stores open at 7 pm on Thanksgiving, he has the ill-conceived notion I should be done by midnight and therefore up with the kids at the ass-crack of dawn so he can sleep in. You know, since he was up late watching football and has a big day planned for his fantasy team and needs to rest up.
5) Remember seeing those poor children asleep in the shopping cart, using a lumpy purse for a pillow, and wondering why in the world those mothers would drag their kids out at 4 am? Well, those same kids are out with their crazy-ass moms, except now, they are awake, hopped up on pecan pie, and running amok in Target. Due to those damn little ears around, I have to tame my dirty sailor mouth and spell out half of what I am talking about so I don’t spill the truth about Santa. It’s too much pressure to always try not to offend. I need an outlet, people!
6) People-watching on Black Friday used to be the live version of the Real Housewives, but now it is more like watching QVC. Before Grey Thursday came to fruition, you would take a step back and watch the crazies fight over that V-tech camera that’s on sale for $9.99. You could weed out the die-hard shoppers from the lightweights by looking at the color of the bags under their eyes (the darker, the more determined) and the number of bags on their shoulders. You would snicker and take a picture with your 1.2 megapixel flip phone camera at the lady out and about in her housecoat and slippers to later post it on MySpace.
Now people are refreshed, well groomed, and polite-ish. Where is my drama? Who am I going to heckle? What else am I going to do while waiting in the 2-hour long line? Wait, that line is now gone, too. Dammit.
7) All the big sale items are available when I am having a turkey sandwich and hanging out with my family. Instead of people being able to enjoy an entire day off work or just being at home with their families, we are now rushing through dinner to be able to stand in line to score a Barbie Escalade on the cheap. There are 363 other available days of the year to do that. Can we not have this one day back?
8) Have you ever gone to Disney with a large group where all of you have custom-made matching shirts? I haven’t. Since I cannot afford to go to both dinner and a movie thanks to my children sucking my wallet dry, Black Friday was my version of Disney. I was surrounded by my closest friends and family in a huge crowd of overly excited, slightly irrational people. All I needed was the shirt.
But now, thanks to all the great deals online, I have no need to get custom shirts for my posse that say, “I Was Grateful Yesterday; Today I’ll Cut a Bitch.”
Let’s be honest. You can get better deals online – with free shipping. But where is the fun in that? Black Friday was a right of passage. You had to be old enough to get up at 1 am without bitching, young enough to be able to carry 50 pounds of merchandise while standing in line for 3 hours straight, and dedicated to the cause. No one sits around having breakfast, comparing the amazing deals they got from Amazon — ’cause there are no good stories about how it happened.
So to the people who ruined Black Friday by conveniently forgetting to abide by the golden rule of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”: May your internet be slow, your car run out of gas, and your Prime account get hacked.
About Gina Ballentine
Gina is a wife,mother, and terrible maid pushing paper by day and sweeping crumbs at night. She has been featured on Mamalode, MrsMuffintop, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Scary Mommy and Bon Bon Break to name a few. Follow her on Facebook at or Twitter.