The Novice’s Guide to Black Friday

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer C/Flickr. CC by 2.0. “Gifts”

By Scott Brindiar

Consumerism is upon us, and this is not a drill. This year on Black Friday, many stores will be opening earlier than ever before on Black Friday Eve — or Thanksgiving, as your grandparents might call it — and, if this is your first year going out to battle, you’re going to need some help. If you’re a Black Friday pro, this article is not for you. Keep walking — and shoving and pushing your way to that $200 50” TV. For those of you Black Friday newbies, however, we highly suggest reading these tips. Black Friday is war, and this is your boot camp.

First and foremost, Black Friday is not an ordinary shopping day. It isn’t a leisurely stroll through your local Target. It’s war. You will be going into battle, and you’ll need armor. Right after Thanksgiving dinner ends at 4 p.m. — because dinner is inexplicably early on Thanksgiving — you’ll want to start preparing. November is cold, and you will most likely be spending a decent amount of time outside. Dress warm. A coat is a must, and earmuffs are a good investment.

Aside from standing in the cold, you will be doing a lot of fast waking, some running and possibly a little kicking. Wear comfortable, durable shoes. Flip-flops? No. High heels? No. Crocs? Never. If your middle school gym teacher wouldn’t let it fly, it’s a no. If you don’t follow these rules, do not complain about the cold or your sore feet. Nobody likes having to stand next to that guy in line for 45 minutes. Before you leave your house, throw on some war paint and give your best “let’s do this!”

When you get to the store, remember that everybody is your enemy. Remember all those manners they taught you in preschool? Go against those. All is fair in war; anything goes. If you want to survive the night, you’re going to have to break a few hearts and destroy a few dreams. Always remember the golden rule: “I had it first.” If you and another shopper go for the same item, politely tell them that you had it first. Yes, even if you did not have it first.

You’re also going to get stuck behind somebody at some point who clearly doesn’t understand that there are deals to get to (direct them to this article). They’re basically asking to be pushed. Don’t push them hard, but don’t stop to apologize if you accidentally bump them on your way around. This is acceptable only on Black Friday — iPads aren’t $399 every day of the year, pal. If you notice that you haven’t gotten stuck behind this person, please stop and re-read this article because you are this person.

Although manners aren’t necessary on the most important holiday of the year, it’s also good to remember not to be a rude little prude. Stores are going to be crowded, and you cannot expect personal space. If you turn around to tell somebody in line to back off of you, they have every right to take whatever they want from your mini basket (tip: don’t use a cart on Black Friday unless you love being a nuisance to society).

Also, be nice to your cashiers and the store employees. The cash register is the one place where you can slow down and catch your breath, and all of the employees are giving up family time so you can go shopping. On top of that, they’re giving up snatching all of the deals themselves (except for one store that allegedly lets their employees shop before the store opens, but we won’t K-mention the name). Last, be nice to elderly people who went out to grab eggs because they didn’t realize what day it was.

Okay, let’s review. Coat. Earmuffs. Shoes. I had it first. Move quickly. Rude little prude. Employees. Elderly. Oh, and don’t take your babies out on Black Friday, as it can be dangerous.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be golden. After you’re done, eat a good meal and take a long nap. You’ve earned it!