Let A Woman Do It: Win Black Friday (Next Year)

I’ve already ruined Christmas.

I attribute my holidicide to poor planning. I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t ready ENOUGH. When the clock started ticking, I was caught with my sleigh bells in a tangle.

With the help of Microsoft Office 2010, I had an Excel spreadsheet tracking the items I was hunting for and hyperlinks to their on-line descriptions. With the help of the Map My Run app, I had charted the shortest route for my sprint from Point A to Point B to Point Etc. With the help of Xanax, I had the confidence I could pull it all off.

Then things started to get real.

About two weeks ago, I packed turkey sandwiches for my husband and daughter’s lunches, and I fed my son a turkey meatball. I gave them all a high-five, told them I was glad they weren’t dead, and crossed “Do Thanksgiving” off my list. I spent the intervening 13 days wondering if pepper spray or visible lice would be a better tactic for warding off fellow shoppers.

By the time Thanksgiving Eve rolled around, my game plan was set: I would be one of the first 200 in line at Target, and then I would proceed directly to Toys ‘R Us and onwards from there. But then I heard about super deals for being one of the first 37.33 right-handed women with freckles in line at Wal-Mart, and I saw a sign about Toys ‘R Us’s price-matching. So I wasted precious time debating red line or blue line, and I got nervous that I should do comparison shopping on Fisher Price Stride-to-Ride puppies. Because maybe I’d miss out on savings of $3.99, which I could have used to buy 80% of an Old Navy Fleece Half-Zip or 33% of something called Adoraboots. That’s like leaving money on the table, and the whole point of this exercise is to leave money nowhere but my wallet. (Which I thought I’d be replacing, but I forgot to like Coach’s Facebook page and now I’m one 25% off coupon shy of a leather rectangle covered with the letter “C.”)

As soon as the clock struck Thursday at 9PM, I was flummoxed. Then I became completely immobilized by fear. Then I ruined Christmas.

I owe some apologies. I am sorry:

  • To my husband, that you don’t have 69 new tools from Home Depot. I know you already have more than 69 tools, but it would have been fun to get 69 more in one container for which I paid a mere $10. I never made it to Home Depot because (a) I got in a fight at Sears over whether we’re eligible for triple point rewards; and (b) Home Depot and I were already in a fight.
  • To my children, that all Santa will be bringing you this year is a Samsung Bluetooth Headset (to share). That’s what happens when Santa realizes the only store with no lines or an obstacle course is Radio Shack.
  • To my extended family, that you’re all getting curling irons. They were the last BOGO item at the drugstore by the time I left Radio Shack. But they are silver, and therefore gender neutral? Also, all the 50% off wrapping paper was picked bare. Hence the tinfoil packaging.
  • To my coworkers, that you have to listen to me listen to the Les Mis trailer on a loop. By the time I made it to Macy’s, the free-headphones-with-any-perfume-purchase promo was over.
  • To myself, that I will never know if Nick and Jess ultimately get together on New Girl. By the time I made it to Target, the only remaining 32” LCD HDTV had a big hole in the screen the size of a human head. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch all that adorkableness on the scene of another man’s concussion.

But this column is all about a woman fixing otherwise unfixable problems. I should be able to fix this problem next year, even if it is one of my own creation. Here’s what we (as in the you and I that chat so often in my head) are going to do:

  1. Start gently preparing the children for the fact that I will be generally absent come November.
  2. Convert the family to Jehovah’s Witnesses, so that no one starts looking for their turkey sandwich during my November absence.
  3. Take classes in speed reading and applied mathematics so that I can digest and tabulate the Black Friday store circulars more efficiently.
  4. Attend CrossFit regularly so that carrying a television by myself feels like just another morning at the box.
  5. Remember that the holiday season is all about giving, as long as whatever you’re giving was purchased at the cheapest possible price during a riot under fluorescent lights and the scornful gaze of the Internet.

Image via ShutterStock

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