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The Big Chill

November 30, 2009

A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need. ~ Sidney Carroll

Do you shop on Black Friday? Wake before the sun to fight the crowds, endure the long lines all for a great deal?

Once upon a time I moved into a new home with no refrigerator. I used a cooler for the first few weeks I lived there. That meant a daily trip to the place I least like to go, the dreaded grocery store. Now you may ask yourself, why didn’t you just buy a refrigerator? I was young which translates to, I was poor. There was no e-Bay, no Craigslist. You can imagine my excitement when I spied an appliance chain store having a blow out sale. Being niave I showed up around noon that Saturday and to my dismay the refrigerator was long gone. However, I was informed there would be another sale the following weekend but I had to get there early… VERY EARLY. I also learned there is only ONE of the listed item and it would be HIDDEN  and I would also  have to FIND THE ASSIGNED SALES PERSON in order to purchase it. Hmm, being inexperienced, which translates to stupid, I  figured, how hard could that be?

Refrigerator BadgeThe next Friday night, I found myself standing in a line that could have been for Springsteen concert tickets. This was the first sign I was getting old. I was standing in line for a refrigerator. Overnight. In the cold. Where did I go wrong? As the night progressed, the line grew until it wrapped around the building. Thank God I brought a thermos of coffee. Some people brought lounge chairs. Others were wrapped in sleeping bags and blankets. Some brought instruments and entertained the rest of us.There was a camaraderie formed. We knew each other’s names, people shared photographs of their children. They exchanged war stories of the last sale they attended. Rumors spread that two people got engaged and married in line. It was a long, dark night.

The crowd grew rowdy as the sun started to peak over the horizon, hopped up on caffeine and lack of sleep, demanding what they came for. A couple six hundred yards behind me yelled they were there to get the refrigerator, that I was wasting my time and to go home. New found friends that only hours ago exchanged phone numbers were turning on each other, remembering the mission, each man for himself. Sale clerks were parking cars and entering the building, rushing past the mob seeking safety inside the store. The line was at least five miles long when the doors finally opened and we flooded in … I felt like I was in the Super Bowl. Employees were lined on both sides of the entry way clapping and chanting: Go! Go!! Go!!! Go!!!!Mob

It was at this point I had my first out of body experience. I became a mad woman; wild hair, glazed eyes, waving arms, in a frenzy, screaming: REFRIGERATOR! REFRIGERATOR! REFRIGERATOR! Exhausted and delirious, I ran around the store in a giant circle not knowing where it or the salesman was but determined to find them. It was not a pretty sight. Suddenly the refrigerator was before me casting a blinding light. I heard a choir of angels. I ran to it. I ran into it. I plastered myself against it, like a dancer at a ‘gentleman’s club’ in need of extra tips… muttering “It’s mine I tell you, all mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.” I sounded like Daffy Duck when he shrunk and ended up in the oyster drooling over the pearl. The couple that had warned me earlier in line, walked by, but were too terrified to make eye contact. It was too late. I was taking home the coveted prize. I won.

The fridge lived a full life in my kitchen and died peacefully in its sleep one night twelve years later. I still get teary eyed thinking about it.  After all, a woman never forgets her first major appliance.

My point is I will NEVER again venture out for some mega sale or Black Friday… It’s much too dangerous. I could run into some version of my younger self.

But today is BLACK (Cyber) MONDAY. Best of luck people! Pay no attention to the sparks flying from my finger tips.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2009 6:14 pm

    Good for you for keeping your eye on the prize. 😉 This story is HYSTERICAL! And, also exactly why I don’t leave the house on Black Friday, lol! I guess it’s a bit better now that there are places like eBay and Craig’s List, though. I remember some of those “pre-internet” sales and they were gnarly.

  2. January 27, 2010 12:08 pm

    Oh my goodness….I can’t imagine! You won out of all those people. The Daffy Duck description was priceless!!! So funny, so funny.

  3. February 10, 2010 5:51 pm

    This is both silly and sweetly sad. I remember the poor years and totally understand. Can’t say as I did anything so desperate though (O:
    I’m still smiling, imagining you with your arms wrapped around the fridge door..and the look in your eyes! I love it!

  4. November 29, 2010 9:11 pm

    Yay!! So glad to hear that you won that refridgerator! 🙂
    I am a Cyber Monday girl, all the way. In fact, that’s how we usually buy most of our Christmas presents. Online. My husband and I also HATE going to the store. Especially when it’s busy.
    Have a nice evening!

  5. December 1, 2010 10:29 am

    You had me laughing the entire time Deborah. I have never and will never do the black Friday sales just because I enjoy my mornings too much. 🙂

  6. March 11, 2011 12:57 pm

    You know this is the first year that I actually felt sorry for myself that I had never been to a black Friday. My Sister shopped from 8 at night until ten in the morning, got all of her shopping done and my bro in law took care of their crew while she slept it off the next day. It kinda sounded like bliss.

    I was blistaken.

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