Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy black Friday!

I just posted a blog about what we did for Thanksgiving

As I mentioned before, historically, I have spent Thanksgiving with my family in Virginia.  Now that we're in Texas, it's not so easy to go "home".  But Bill's mom was with us and we had a really nice meal at the same French restaurant we visited on our anniversary.  Mother-in-law spent the night and just went home.  So now I'm sitting here, pondering going to Costco to break in our brand new membership.

We need to get Christmas lights and garlands… and perhaps a new tree.  We bought our tree from Roses' Discount Store in 2002.  We were broke then.  It cost $50.  Over the years, it's become harder to put together and take apart.  We have another smaller tree that we got in Germany because for some reason I forgot to pack our Christmas stuff.  The German tree was "pre-lit".  We had to remove the lights when we got back to the States, because they were on 220 voltage and had a European plug.

I don't generally make a habit of shopping on Black Friday.  I hate crowds.  In fact, I usually do most of my shopping online.  You would think having grown up the daughter of small business owners who made a living off retail sales, I'd appreciate this annual event.  I don't, though.

Back in 1994, I briefly worked retail.  I had two part-time jobs in Williamsburg, Virginia.  One was in a chocolate shop and the other was in a menswear store.  I liked my boss and co-workers in the chocolate shop.  I hated my boss and most of my co-workers in the menswear place, though I liked the people who shopped there.  Conversely, the people who got coffee and chocolates tended to be a lot more demanding.

Somehow, I had never heard of "Black Friday" before I worked these jobs.  I hoped to go to Granny's for Thanksgiving, not realizing that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year.  I remember my boss at the menswear store got snippy with me.  She made a thinly veiled threat that I'd be fired if I didn't work.  I asked her point blank if that was really what she was saying.  She said it wasn't, but that people didn't want to work.  Now…  I realize now that I was naive about this thing… but if she had just calmly explained it to me, I would have understood.  Instead, she said I could come to her mom's for dinner on Thanksgiving.  Uh… it's not about the food.

I seem to remember going to Granny's that year, but I had to come back early and work Saturday.  It was very busy.  I'm glad I got to go to Granny's, though, since the following two years, I was in Armenia, working as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  I got strep throat one of those years.

When I got back from Armenia, I determined that I didn't want to work in retail ever again.  I ended up temping for awhile, then worked in a restaurant that was kind enough to close on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year's.  Since then, I've been blissfully protected from Black Friday.  I don't relish going out in the crowds today, but I figure we might as well get the trees up… even though Christmas has sort of lost its charm over the years.

This is a pretty good book about what it's like to work retail… (link is fixed for now)


  1. I'd hate to work retail.In most situations it seems as though either the clientele, the management, or the coworkers would be ugly. I'd obviously do it if I had no other source of income. It beats working the fields in the opinions of most poeple.

    I've never shopped on black Friday. I don't do much physical shopping, either, and Black Friday would seem to be an especially unpleasant day to do it. Instead I'm practicing my violin, vegetating and doing just a bit of review before finals today. Alyssa wants to see a movie later, so I may go with her.

  2. It wasn't too bad. We got a new tree, lights, and garlands. Our halls are decked.


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