I have to admit, I’ve never gone shopping on Black Friday. Not once. In my early 20s, I had to manage a retail store on the day after Thanksgiving. That experience was traumatic enough that I’ve vowed to stay safely at home every year on the nation’s biggest shopping day. So I don’t have a huge understanding of the joy some people get out of competing for an additional 10% off of something they wouldn’t normally buy.
That being said, I can still understand why some people get such a kick out of waking up super early on a day that they could otherwise spend sleeping in to get $100 flat screen televisions and $50 Nintendo Wiis. I mean, saving money is fun. Some people are competitive about absolutely everything, so it makes sense that they want to turn holiday presents into a situation where they can “win.”
While I have a vague understanding of the reasons that other people go out shopping on Black Friday, I have absolutely no idea why a mom would ever want to take her young kids shopping with her. And yet, I can specifically remember mothers dragging along exhausted toddlers through the mall when I worked retail on Black Friday. I know some moms who consider these shopping trips a “bonding experience” with their 5-year-old daughters. I know more moms who use their 8 or 9-year-olds to push carts and grab extra sizes.
On one hand, I have to admire these mothers dedication and control. There’s no way I could convince my daughter to behave through a marathon of waiting in lines, pushing through aisles, and diligently comparing prices. Unless I was bribing her with a gift at each store, we’d never make it through a day of shopping. If we started at five in the morning, we’d be home in time for a family breakfast around nine a.m.
On the other hand, the craziness of Black Friday is more than some adults can take. Most years, people are trampled while trying to get into stores as quickly as possible. This year, a man threatened to stab those around in him line at a Kmart in Sacramento. Even if you avoid the more violent crowds, there’s still an overwhelming number of people who have completely forgotten any manners they ever knew. I can’t imagine trying to drag a small child into that mess.
Normally, I’m extremely pro-stroller. As in, I am a polite and respectful stroller user so I don’t think people have a right to get cranky with me simply for existing. But Black Friday just has to be one of those times when strollers simply aren’t appropriate. There’s no way to be polite and respectful and avoid people’s toes or ankles with crowds that large. At the same time, a stroller would seem like the only way to keep a kid safe. They’re so little, I would be afraid of them getting sucked away into a crowd.
Black Friday will never be my cup of tea. I’d rather stay home on that day with an actual cup of tea. (Like I am right now.) That being said, adding to that insanity with the presence of a young kid… Well, I can’t decide if it takes superhuman control and disciplinary skills or if it’s just plain super crazy.