Damn you, consumerism.
Black Friday shopping is a long-standing Higa tradition. In the fall of 2007, Lynnette and I were just about to move into our new home and we went Black Friday shopping with the “we’re furnishing a new home, let’s get whatever the hell we want!” mindset. We bought everything from a vacuum cleaner to a TV. Every year since, we’ve spent the early morning hours at Walmart mostly buying gifts for other people since I could not longer use the “BUT WE NEED THIS!” excuse for myself. This year, however, Walmart’s deals start at 6 PM on Thanksgiving day. As usual, we have lunch with my family earlier that day, so I don’t know that we’ll be able to make it worth our while out at Walmart. This is a sad, sad day.
I have to be honest – it’s not even really that we’ll be missing out on sweet deals or anything like that. It really is a tradition. Of the few things Lynnette and I have in common, shopping has always been one of the strongest (a close second to eating). In fact when Madison was only 7 months old in 2008, we brought her along with us to Walmart in this adorable little bear hat. Of all the things Madison has outgrown, this is the thing I miss the second-most. First most of course, was that era when she didn’t talk back to me, but still.
Aside from 2010, Madison’s always been a champ when it comes to Black Friday. I don’t exactly know why, but I assume it’s some combination of the novelty, the crowd, and the fact that she doesn’t have to go to be at anywhere near a decent hour. During the first three years, she kind of just slept intermittently in the stroller or baby carrier. During the last two, however, she’s been an ace. She sits in the shopping cart with a meal of McDonald’s and actually helps Lynnette with the list while I run around the store like a freaking madman playing my own personal game in which the only objective is acquiring as many of the things I want. It’s competitive shopping heightened by incredibly high demand.
I know that most of my adult friends have moved on to online shopping to get Black Friday deals without the hassle of getting their toes run over by shopping carts, getting elbowed in the eye, and having to call bullshit on line-cutters. But I don’t want to give all of that up! As a rule, I hate crowds and I hate lines, but I overlook them for the spectacle of Black Friday. There’s a weird pride that wells in my chest when I load the last plastic bag full of crap into the trunk. I want to shout like Tom Hanks in Castaway: LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE CREATED! Even if all I did was hunter/gather, then swipe a plastic card into a plastic machine.
Now, Lynnette and I are in limbo. We have no idea what our Black Friday plans are. There’s some rumbling about Eden in Love – and I’m not against it in the least – only I don’t think I would be satisfied by dresses and cute tops and accidentally bumping into attractive women. Hey, that’s just me. And trying to find parking at Ala Moana with half the parking lot a pile of rubble? Insane! But we’ll probably try at some point. I feel lost. I just want my Black Friday back.