So, yesterday I embarked upon two grossly American traditions. We'll start with the actually disgusting one. Yes, I went post-thanksgiving shopping. I think I've done this before, but never earlier than 7:00 a.m.
Yesterday I got up at 4:30 a.m.
I've been wanting a CD player for my car. There was a nice one on sale at Circuit City, and I'd figure I'd just go in and see if there were any left. It wasn't a big deal if I got this specifically advertised one because I was planning to buy one anyway and there were a lot of good deals. But just for kicks I thought I'd get there when the store opened at five. Okay, I know that Black Friday is supposed to be crazy. But a line of 200+ people at 5:00 a.m.??! I decided to hang out in the parking lot until the massive line had subsided. There were a couple dozen people I was standing with who had also just arrived and I figured they had the same plan. But when the doors were opened the stampede begun. I just stood outside the building in shock as I watched those standing beside me run toward the doors and squeeze into the front of the line (not without hurling insults from the ones who waited, mind you). But what could anybody do? The employees were all in the building making sure their precious merchandise didn't get trampled upon. So I stayed outside with wide eyes as everyone flew by me, kind of slow-motion like in a movie. I imagined this scene occurring at millions of stores nationwide, suddenly disgusted at the greediness of human nature. I mean I've heard of this, but never really experienced
it. I was almost too ashamed to go inside the store myself. But once most everybody had packed themselves inside I casually sneaked in and headed toward the car audio section, where I inquired a lonely salesperson about the special. First I asked him where the line was. But the area was fairly empty (evidently everybody wanted those plasma TV's and digital cameras) and he brought me the CD player and another guy standing by a computer rang it up. It felt like I cheated or something. I guess I made my purchase just in time though, because it was while he was swiping my card that everyone else realized they didn't have to go to the register in front of the store so they started a line behind me. I thanked him and wished him luck, mentioning that I was going back to bed and I wished that he could do the same. He chuckled and I took my bags. I walked around the store for about 15 more minutes just to observe this phenomenon. Then I walked out, got into my little metro, and drove home to sleep until 10:00.
The second post-turkey day tradition was the decorating of the house that evening. I blared some Handel's Messiah and Grandma and I got up the tree and all the rest of the Christmas decor. This took a little longer than expected (Grandma's got a LOT of stuff) but it was really fun and a much more comforting experience than the one earlier that day. After everything was up we turned on the tree, turned off the lights, and each sat down with a glass of sparkling grape juice. These are the traditions I hope I remember.