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Shopping Is Fun; Black Friday Is Not!

Updated on June 19, 2013
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Shopping is Good ;-)

Some people shop because they have to and others shop because they actually enjoy it, well I am the latter of the two. My current boyfriend is the kind of guy, like many others, that gets anxious is a crowded store and is bored at the mall. I can navigate a cart through the grocery store like nobody’s business. I don’t get mad when its shoulder to shoulder consumer traffic and I almost always apologize when someone else rolls over my toes with their cart. I occasionally knock down the cardboard displays or drop something off a shelf, but I look around to see how many people witnessed my shopper faux-pas and unlike most embarrassed people I smile with a look of “that was kind of funny huh”? Unlike most men, I don’t necessarily time myself when I’m in a store; I’m not on some undercover, covert mission that requires a Blitzkrieg attack. If I am not pressed for time, I don’t even pay attention to it. For me, shopping is something of a therapy. I’m not at home cooking for the family, taking care of the children or fetching for the man. I don’t even necessarily have to buy anything, looking is just fine with me.

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Ooh a Sale

I can’t resist a sale, I feel like I’m somehow “beating the system” when I pay less for an item than it’s worth. Every day is a sale; I can go into just about any store on any day and find something on sale. When I first starting earning money in my teens through babysitting, I would go right out and spend a ridiculous amount of money on one outfit. It would be nothing for me to spend $50 on a pair of jeans, and I’m talking about in the 90’s. Now, for $50 I better be walking away with at least 3 pairs. I found that I could buy a lot more clothes for the same amount of money and increasing quantity doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality. I like to think of myself as somewhat fashion forward, but to a certain extent, I let sales and discounted items influence my style. I don’t dress the same every day; I might be sporty yesterday, flirty today and business savvy tomorrow. What says we have to look the same every day? I still don’t compromise my tastes; I may take one item that I bought for next to nothing that I wouldn’t have otherwise bought had it not been on sale and pair it with other items that I already have.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2012/12/30/secret-spending-by-spouses/1799489/
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2012/12/30/secret-spending-by-spouses/1799489/

Shhhhhhhh

Being a woman and having a love for shopping could be a potentially dangerous situation in a relationship with the wrong person, but again, one must think smarter, not harder. My current boyfriend has a strong dis-like of shopping and could care less about fashion. He just “wears clothes”. We certainly don’t have an infinite bank account and because our financial supply isn’t unlimited, my shopping is not looked at as a necessity. My shopping hasn’t put me in debt; not paying the bills has (just kidding). Anyway, being a woman, I have the infamous “secret stash”. You ladies know what I’m talking about, that undisclosed amount of unaccounted for money that is tucked into some secret compartment somewhere in our purse that only we know about? I have more than one secret spot and it’s not all about lying or shopping. My boyfriend may not be interested in shopping, but he likes to spend money until there isn’t any and I like to know that I have a little in case of an emergency. Now, fortunately, I am not often forced to use my secret stash money for emergencies and once it starts to build up I feel free to dip into it. This is when I will take advantage of the $7 jeans or the $2.99 shirt.

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Like My New Outfit?

Because my boyfriend is a man and not particularly attentive nor does he pay attention to detail, I can sport new articles of clothing and he is none the wiser. So I spent money that he didn’t know existed and bought something he didn’t know I bought. Hey, I shouldn’t be blamed because he doesn’t pay attention. I am quite aware of the money that is floating in and out and would generally be able to notice something missing and I certainly would notice if he were wearing something new. Quite frankly, it was only by mistake that I realized he pays no attention. Early in the relationship I would run out and buy a “hot outfit” in an attempt to get his attention and maybe a compliment, but I realized he never really seemed to noticed, which actually kind of hurt my feelings, so now I just fill that void with more shopping.

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Black Friday Hassle

Back to the main point; Black Friday, is it worth it? I was a few years into adulthood and well into my committed relationship with shopping before I ever even considered participating in this “special day event”. I had remembered hearing my parents refer to the day when I was growing up but my family was not at all into shopping and so we never participated. My ex-sister-in-law however, is a huge sale lady. She is the type of person that will pick items up on clearance all the time and stores them in her basement as her stock of gifts for later events. I actually found my son invited to a birthday party at the last minute a few years ago while I was at her house and she brought me into the basement and I thought that she had robbed Toys R Us. She had pleaded with me for the entire year leading up to Black Friday to go with her and I didn’t love the idea because I have a huge family and even bigger Thanksgiving celebrations that always result in really late nights. Living in upstate New York, it is usually always frigid on the morning following Black Friday and it never really appealed to me. She was finally able to convince me and her and I sat together and went through some circulars and picked out some items that we were going to have a definite interest in and then planned on buying anything else that caught our eyes. I flailed myself out of bed at about 3:00 am the morning after Thanksgiving, after having been up until after 1:00 and tried to find some motivation. I had all I could do to run a brush through my hair, maybe a little mascara, lip gloss and most importantly, my wool pea coat and scarf. Next thing you know, my sister in law pulls up, bright eyed and bushy tailed; off we went. We live about a half an hour away from our shopping centers and it was dim and cold. After fighting traffic in parking lots I was amazed at the lines that I saw almost wrapping the stores and we were more than an hour early for the store’s opening. We get out and stand in line listening to a variety of different conversations. Some men, mostly women, all different ages, some laughter, some swearing, but a lot of cold breath and red noses. I started to notice that the line was becoming sloppy and one couldn’t recognize exactly who was holding down what position. Then I quickly began to realize that random people started appearing but somehow were finding their way inline closer to the door than I was. People do not like alleged line cutters. You here a clamor of whispers and accusations and then you get someone brave enough to call the “line-cutter” out. Oh my goodness, we’re about to witness a fight and we haven’t even made it into the store. We manage to make it through, unscathed, no fights breaking out and the doors are finally opened. This is where the really danger begins. I saw people pushing the elderly and I saw the elderly pushing right back. There would be groups of people trying to squeeze into the same door at the same time. When I finally realized I was on the inside of the store, I turned to make sure that I hadn’t lost my sister-in-law, but being the veteran Black Friday shopper she is, she was already a step ahead of me. Knowing what direction we needed to head for our top toy, we started off. That’s when I realized that people weren’t walking, they weren’t even simply moving at a fast pace, they were in a full blown sprint, I saw canes flying, walkers scattered. I looked over at my sister-in-law and cracked a half smile and said, “Are we supposed to run”? She just beat feet and took off and I accepted that as my answer. So now, I’m running, like everyone else, but I really don’t know what I’m doing, so I’m running and I’m laughing. By the time I got to the aisle I needed, the item I wanted most was already gone. At that point, I just started picking up items that were marked down that my kids maybe interested, but nothing that blew me over. The whole morning pretty much went the same way, by the time I would get to the store and the aisle I needed, my items were gone. I spent a lot of money that morning and I came home with quite a few things, but nothing really impressed me.

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Black Friday? You Can Keep It

I have found that I run into deals throughout the year that are no better or worse than the deals I see on Black Friday. Online shopping has also dramatically changed my shopping habits. This year for instance I shopped a lot through Ebates, for those of you who aren’t familiar it is a website that rewards you cash back through using their site to make purchases from other merchandisers. I also, took advantage of eBay’s “eBay bucks” program; (http://ebaybucks.ebay.com/) that rewards you with “eBay cash” on almost every purchase. I also used my PayPal debit/MasterCard; (https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/debit-card) that offered me 1% cash back on most of my purchases and some of my own banking debit or credit cards that offered cash back. Thanks to access to the World Wide Web, I am able to search specific items and find the best price. Many retailers offer free shipping and I found myself overflowing under the Christmas tree this year, but I didn’t really feel like I had spent a lot of money.

I’ll pass on getting up before the morning starts the day after a huge holiday, to fight traffic and angry mobs, freeze and spend a lot of money in a stressful environment on items that I can get year round for similar prices.

Black Friday and you

Do you go shopping on Black Friday?

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    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I think your boyfriend and I, see eye to eye regarding shopping.

      My wife and I went black friday shopping ONCE! We had a similar experince as you. Always missing out on the item we really wanted....and buying something that we could have done without. I also realize the older I get, the less patient I have become.

      You made me laugh and I connected with your story....very well written!

      Up and across the board.

      Chris

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Chris,

      Thank you, it's certainly a compliment coming from you. To be honest, I sometimes have to hold back from snickering when I watch my boyfriend get all kinds of anxious while we grocery shop. I don't really think shopping works well with mens' patience. Us women though, we'll knock a mother down to get what we gotta get, lol. I've dialed way back though. Material things have just been seeming much less important lately. Somehow I have a hard time picturing you Black Friday shopping; you must be a FUN husband. Thanks for stopping.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I was fun for about the first 15 minutes.

      My wife usually takes my daughter with her, and leaves my son and I back home. You nailed it though, it comes down to patience...we men, like to get what we are shopping for and move on.

      I CAN be a fun husband, MOST of the time though.....at least "I" think I can be..lol

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Ya know it's funny; I live almost a half hour away from anything "commercial" and so I usually stop at the grocery store when I'm out running errands or going to doctor's appointments. I'm talking about the middle of the day during the week; kids are in school and most people are at work. Randomly, my boyfriend will wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and say; "Let's go get some groceries". I'm thinking; "uh, on a weekend morning; he'll regret that". But no, I figure, okay, he wants to go, maybe he's in a particularly patient mood today. Then we get down to Walmart and he starts panting and hyperventillating as soon as someone stops with a cart in front of us, or blocks part of an aisle that his tuna fish is in. Then, before we've even made it to the 3rd aisle, he says, "I'm going to sit on a bench". Ha ha, so he leaves me to do the grocery shopping by myself, while he "people watches" on a day and time that I wouldn't have picked to be there. It never fails.... men; can't live with 'em... that's it, what were you waiting for more? Lol

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      This is a cute hub:) I was married for 15 years and we never once hit a Black Friday event, no matter what the sale. My ex was the sole bread-winner and made the decisions on that. Now I've been with my boyfriend almost a year and last year was our first Black Friday together and we wanted a 42" TV that was on sale for $150. Now, we're from Minnesota and of course my first incident with Black Friday it had to be 15-20 degrees in the middle of our first blizzard of the year, for almost 8 hours outside (6 1/2 hrs outside then another 1 1/2 inside) Best Buy. But let me tell you, we suffered along with hundreds of other people and they were all amazing! Many of us became "buddies" for the entire evening, packing up and moving our things down when somebody gave up, sharing our chairs, they shared their sleeping bags, it was really fun actually. I'm going to do it every year...not to mention it was a cute bonding experience for the boyfriend and I. He cuddled me and we took turns going back and forth to warm up in the truck. All in all I loved it, but I can see why it'd be a turn off to many people, definitely.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      MissJamieD,

      Aw, I'm kind of jealous of your experience. I love shopping and don't get frustrated with it easily, but it was almost a little too "intense" for me. Also, I live in New York, yeah, maybe Upstate, but even so, a lot of people are just pure miserable, which can absolutely help to ruin the experience. I think anything can be more enjoyable with the right people around you. Also, pretty cool your boyfriend is up for something like that. Thanks for stopping by.

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Yes, it was my boyfriends idea actually, he's the best:) And there's a phrase people use to describe us as Minnesota Nice. I guess it's true, people here really are nice and helpful. I enjoy that, I enjoy people. So it was a great time.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      I like people too, I can be in a good mood in the worst of situations, but it is really frustrating to watch people bitch and complain and just simply be grouchy and it seems for the silliest of reasons. I'll have to try to find my way to Minnesota sometime. :-)

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Yes, you should definitely take a trip here. It's a beautiful state. I'm going to write a hub on the beauty of it very soon. And I totally understand that grumpy people are hard to be around. We definitely have our share of them, especially during our 6 month long winters, but for the most part it's awesome:) Talk to you soon.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      I would absolutely love to read your Minnesota Hub. I know absolutely nothing about Minnesota except that Rose Nylund from "The Golden Girls" grew up there (yes, I grew up watching that, haha). I also had a neighbor a few years ago that had a family member living in Minnesota and she used to pronounce it really funny and slow exaggerating the O, much like how you wrote it out. I didn't really get it, but she used to laugh after saying it? It would be nice to teach us ignorant east coasters about a place we only know by name.

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      lol. I lived in Oregon for awhile and every time I said Minnesota the person would repeat it with the exaggerated "O" and laugh. It was so funny. They all told me I had a deep Minnesota accent so I guess we talk a little different here:) I'll get working on that hub because I don't think the rest of the country realizes how great it is here. Thanks doll:)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Oh, so my old neighbor friend wasn't losing her marbles? Good to know; I wondered what the heck I was missing; some kind of inside joke I was on the outside of? Looking forward to it. Honestly, I think I need to Google Minnesota because I don't even remember where it sits on the map, it is it's own state right? lol

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      haha:) I'm going to start working on my Minnesota hub today. Not sure I'll be finished with it til next week though. But I definitely encourage you to check back next week and check it out. too-da-loo

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      MissJamieD,

      Great! I'm looking forward to it and I will be back!

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      Great hub! It really got my attention in the introduction. I love a movie titled "The Confession of a shopaholic" which pertains to a woman and her love in shop. Like you do, and the attitude of your boyfriend is really awesome. He actually don't recognize anything?

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image
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      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      PaoloJpm,

      I never heard of that movie, but I'll definitely check it out!

      Oh no way! I could be wearing a brand new dress and heals and he wouldn't even notice. It used to bother me but now it just gives me more opportunities to smuggle more clothes into the house! Hey, it's my money anyway! :-)

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