This past Friday I slept in until about 9:00 a.m. and then wandered out of the house around 10:30 to hit the stores, without kids - usually my idea of heaven on earth. I wasn't really in the mood for the typical craziness that accompanies the day, so I wandered aimlessly through a dozen stores or more, wondering more than once WHY I continued on when I obviously wasn't in the mood. I am really trying to get into the Christmas spirit, but I would love to find a way to make the focus more on the meaning of the day and less about the "gimme" attitude that people seem to focus on. The clerk I talked to at Wal-Mart (where I bought milk and cereal, nothing else) told me that there had been three fights that morning and they'd even had to call the ambulance for one of them. What's wrong with this picture?!
I had never done a "Black Friday" shopping spree until about five years ago when my mom somehow convinced me that it would be "fun" to stay over on Thanksgiving, sharing the couch with 2 dogs, and then wake up before the crack of dawn to go out in the freezing cold. Great, sign me up! And you know, it really was fun, if for no other reason than nobody else in the family (in other words, the kids) wanted to tag along, so we actually had quality time just the two of us, which never happens anymore. We enjoyed it so much that we did it again the next year.
Three years ago, just weeks before Thanksgiving, I ended up having to have a hysterectomy. Me being me, it couldn't just be an easy, stay-for-1-night, typical operation, and I ended up having pretty severe internal bleeding and an emergency operation again the next day to fix the problem. Needless to say, it was not a fun time and my recuperation time was extended quite a bit. I definitely wasn't up for sleeping with the dogs on the couch and going out early! However, being the bargain shopper that I am, I couldn't help but look through the pounds of ads in the paper that day.
On Black Friday, I was feeling more than a little sad because I couldn't be out with the crowds, finding all the great deals, or more importantly, having that important "mommy-daughter" time that I'd come to look forward to. Tom, showing a husband's true love, took pity on me and took me out (although NOT at the crack of dawn) to Wal-Mart. This from the man who suffers from a severe case of "mall leg" if he even steps foot in our small, local grocery-store! Anyway, he bundled me up, drove me to Wal-Mart on the busiest day of the year, got me situated in one of those electric carts they provide for those who need them, and gamely followed behind me. I just have to say that driving those carts is not as easy as it looks, especially if there happens to be 3,000 people crammed into the same aisle as you. We laughed our way through the store with him liberally apologizing for my lack of driving abilities. I was terrible!
That year I did most of my shopping online, and I honestly can't remember if we found any treasures that had to be taken home with us that day, but I will never forget the fun we had and the sacrifice he made to take me ... I do believe it was the LAST time he's ever been there even though I'm pretty sure his shins have healed by now.