Recommended wine for today’s entry: Here’s another Italian wine suggested by my in-laws: the Salcheto 2004 Chianti Colli Senesi. The Web site describes it as “lightly sweet in terms of fruit aromas, with a touch of juniper and, thanks to the American oak, a touch of vanilla. Medium bodied and fruity on the palate.” They suggest pairing it with a burger or pizza … sounds like a good combo to wean you off the turkey leftover diet!
Are you one of those Black Friday people? I think you’re either born able to tolerate it or you’re not. I’m not, for a number of reasons that include my high blood pressure, hatred of morning, dislike of shopping and phobia of crowds.
Oh, and I have never, ever had a good experience with being trampled.
I do like to watch video clips of the shoppers on the noon news while I’m having my cereal on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
I know it’s not like being there … how could it be? On TV, we only are able to discern two of the five senses.
From what I can see, it’s a lot like people waiting to run a marathon, except these people have all the cash they could gather at one time shoved into a gaping open purse, begging the guy next to them to dip his grubby little hand in and pull it out. But because people are swarming and writhing like a bucket of nightcrawlers, I don’t think you’d know you’d been robbed until you had secured the very last Wii system and stood in line, fending off scary large men who tried to wrestle it away from you, and you finally got to the cashier. THEN you’d discover that you’d been robbed. And then, as I understand it, I think the crowd is allowed to stone you.
And from what I can hear, there’s a lot of “ooof” “pow” and “kaboom” noises, as people elbow their way to prime position by the J C Penney doors. I know there are Door Buster Specials … what do they have, like three of each item on sale? But how do these people all know that every person there is vying for the same treasure that they are? There are thousands of items in those stores. What makes everyone think that the chick next to them is the enemy?
And besides, I guarantee that in those last five minutes before the doors open, sales associates are scurrying around the store hiding all the hot items in a place that only their mother knows exists. Duh.
And even if you do get a $79 microwave for $59, it’s not such a great deal after you pay the co-pay at the Immediate Care Center.
I have to use my imagination to fill in the rest of the senses. Here’s what I’ve conjured:
Smell: I think it smells yucky. Like a blend of stale beer breath, stale coffee breath, sweat, cheap perfume trying to cover sweat, turkey-and-stuffing gas, exhaust fumes (it is a parking lot, after all) and that iron-like smell of blood. And fear. I think you can smell the fear from the poor part-time holiday help who finished training on Wednesday and this is their first day on the job.
Taste: I imagine if I were there, in the bucket of nightcrawlers, I would taste acid and/or full-fledged vomit. The older I get, the more claustrophobic I get. I mean, I freaked out when the cats had me trapped in my bed yesterday. I’d be the one who barfed on everyone and then got pummelled for barfing.
Feel: I can just about guarantee that there’s a whole lotta gropin’ goin’ on in the frenzy. I mean, if you were a creepy sick-o, why wouldn’t you plant yourself squarely in the middle of a group of people — primarily women — who 1) won’t be able to tell which person just grabbed them; 2) couldn’t get a good swing at you to retaliate; and 3) wouldn’t give up their place in line to chase you and/or prosecute you?
I spent yesterday trying to think of something, ANYTHING that would make me stand in 30-something degree weather, in the dark, with smelly people, waiting for doors to open. Nothing.
Then I thought, what if it I REALLY needed a TV and I was really poor? Then maybe I’d stand with the nightcrawlers. Nope. Because I thought back to a time when I WAS really poor and I DID need a TV (this is the way sociologists form their theories on human behavior, in case you’re interested) … it was that 6-week period between graduation and my first real job. Well, that’s not true, it was actually the 6-week period between when my parents cut me off financially (because I’d been watching Kramer Versus Kramer over and over on HBO instead of looking for a job) … between that and my first job.
I lived in a house with about eight other recent graduates and three of us were waitressing. Well, they were waitressing and I was spilling things, snapping at the manager and whining to customers. Needless to say, I wasn’t making much money. But I could have used a TV of my own. My Just-Say-No-To-Kramer-Versus-Kramer support group leader told me I needed to get out of the cycle … find new friends who didn’t bring me down like that.
THEN would I have stood outside at 3 a.m., drawn to J C Penney like a moth to a light?
No. THEN I would have led on one of the yucky old decrepit men that said lewd things to me and touched my fanny while I sloshed the soup across the restaurant.
C’mon people, big picture: Who ended up with better electronics — the chick that narrowly escaped a trampling at the mall yesterday or Anna Nicole Smith?
I hope I don’t see you on the noon news next Black Friday.