When Jen announced her plan to take KK (who wanted the “experience” – la dee da) and head out to Old Navy at 3 AM today, my jaw hit the floor. Jen has a hectic life, but yet and still, the woman likes her sleep when she can get it. We’re talking about a lady who could hibernate for 10-12 hours anytime, even while lying down for a nap, in high school. Work, household, KK and Rosebud leave little time for such indulgences now, but surely I belived Jen would have a bit of a lie in the day after Thanksgiving.
As it turns out, in a year of spiraling medical bills, a declining economy and little retail therapy for my baby sis, the pull of low cost schwag was a siren’s call too loud to ignore. She ran down the great list of items, in perfectly plotted coordinates, that she planned to score from Old Navy and Traget for less than $120, while we munched our Thanksgiving turkey. The variety was too much for my poor memory to handle, but I know a slow cooker, pajamas and an air mattress were in there. Door busters make stange bedfellows.
I will grant Jen that she did actually need all of these items, and I certainly admire her pluck, as well as KK’s in venturing out, to save some money. It was a witch’s tit of a windy morning too, the first bonafide winter day we’ve had this month.
Jen was kind enough to provide me fodder for this post by adding FaceBook status updates from her iPhone whilst wrestling with the chilly masses:
Yesterday at 10:39am: Mapped out my black Friday plan. Old Navy at 3 am, Target by 4am, then Kohls and maybe Wal Mart if I don’t receive any injuries before that.
15 hours ago: NOT enjoying my first doorbuster shopping experience. I spearheaded a 20+ person fight to get in line.
13 hours ago: Done!
Now by my calculations, since it’s 7:40pm now, Jen and KK briefed us on their initial doorbuster disaster at at 4:40am. Once I realized this, I felt a tremendous shudder of sympathy for my little lambs. Then I got angry.
My question is this: Why must retailers put people through this crap? If they can afford to introduce some loss leaders to bring foot traffic into the store, where they always offset the finacial hit, why can’t they do so on a normal day? And for Christ’s sakes, not at 4 AM. I have a funny feeling they enjoy the sight of us acting like desperate mice, saving the dollars that matter for our families and willing to do anything to get it. It’s like the ultimate reality show for the fat cats.
People are on hard times this Christmas season of 2009, more so than most of us can recall in recent memory. If the retailers want our consumer confidence back, the one we lost with the collapse of the nation’s financial institutions, job market and housing sector, throw us a bone. Let us get stuff we need at reasonable prices all year round. We will pay more for some luxuries than others granted, and that seems like a fair market practice. But let us get some rest too. Lord knows we all need it.