#67. Shopping on Black Friday.

Six exhausted shoppers (shout out to the lady who took the photo's thumb).  
Six exhausted shoppers (shout out to the lady who took the photo’s thumb).

For years, Josh’s mom, sister & their little sister join the throngs of crazy Americans in Black Friday. For those of you who live under a rock (or in a place far, far away from the states), Black Friday is a very special holiday in which retailers try to see how low they can drop prices on high ticket items before shoppers actually kill each other.

Fortunately, Josh’s family isn’t into whole 4am door busters. They’re more of a “let’s roll in around 11, buzz through a few stores, then take a little time out for people watching and food.” I can definitely get on board with that, so my mother & I joined them.

Our first stop was Gordmans in Appleton, Wisconsin. I’ve never set foot in a Gordmans before, but I guess it’s like a Bed Bath & Beyond and TJ Maxx had a baby that went to daycare at Burlington Coat Factory.  I was super psyched to find some delicate Christmas lights that would look perfect on the potted Christmas arrangements on my front stoop (I sound like I’m a million years old). I selected three boxes of white lights and threw them in my basket. We browsed through the sprawling sweatsuit and lounge-y clothes section, then perused an area devoted to cheap pillows/throws/lampshades/bean bags bedecked in animals prints. I decided the lights were all I needed, so I walked to the check out.

Once I reached the front of the store, a polite Gordmans employee pointed toward the end of the line. It started by the registers, then stretched 100 feet back to the west wall and turned a corner. Due to a towering display of Christmas mugs stating things like, “My Other Car is a Sleigh” in Curlz font, I couldn’t see the end. I started hoofing it. Lo and behold, the line continued to the back of the store.

To put this into context, I’d guess Gordmans is only slightly smaller than a football field. There were no less than 200 people in line. There’s a threshold in every Black Friday shopper’s mind, and let me tell you, 30 percent off Christmas lights (a savings of $9!) crossed mine. I returned the lights to their display. Luckily, everyone else in our group had an equally visceral reaction, and with that, we headed back into the masses, searching for a sale worth the madness.

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