Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away, and the Black Friday planning is already kicking into gear.
My father is sending me www.blackfriday.info emails to update me on who has pre-released their Black Friday deals. By the time the day arrives, we should have a well-organized and choreographed plan ready to set in action.
Black Friday shopping with my dad is a recent, yet firmly entrenched tradition, and we approach it with the stealth of The Italian Job. Before stores started publishing their ads in advance, we would gather all the newspaper inserts on Thursday night, circle our target items, prioritize the importance of obtaining that product before it sold out and map our stores in the order of attack.
Come Friday morning, we rose early — but never earlier than Starbucks opened, since that’s the first destination. We’re usually sitting in the parking lot with our headlights shining menacingly on the front counter to remind them to hurry up and open. My dad does few things before he has his Starbucks coffee. Then we’re off.
I need to explain that this is not typical Black Friday shopping. We don’t stand in line at Wal-Mart at 4 am to get this year’s must-have toy, or make our way over to Belk’s so we can grab the cashmere sweaters or diamond earrings on sale. Nope, this is boy shopping. Tools at Sears. Electronics and DVDs at Best Buy. Software at Office Depot. Anything at Lowe’s.
Sure, we’ll wander into Target later, probably for kitchen appliances, but real boy stuff is the name of the game. I usually hate shopping as a rule, but finding boy stuff, especially with the laser focus of my father, is pretty fun. I’ve found some amazing deals over the years — a $3 crockpot, HDTVs and a surround sound system, whole TV seasons on DVD for nothing, $10 real Snuggies for my coworkers (don’t judge), a stainless steel pot/pan set, a TomTom navigator, a front-loading washer and dryer — all for much, much less than usual.
This year will be a bit different. We used to spend Thanksgiving with family in a much smaller metropolis, where we could drive everywhere in less than 10 minutes (with traffic) and the crowds were never out of control. This year, we’re staying at home, so the competition will be fierce.
I think we’ll need to start at 3 am.