Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Fuchsia Friday

Screw all this “Black Friday” stuff. I get it, it’s all about stores coming out of the red ink and into the black, but good lord, folks, you really NEED to trample your way in? I was thinking about all of this yesterday, as I considered reviving my tradition of going out shopping on Black Friday, wondering when it all turned from a shopping day with more excitement into a fuckin’ piranha tank.  There’s very little I need that would require me getting up at 3 am at this point in my life.  James even reminded me of this adventure (“Remember, you said you weren’t going anymore?”)

Oh yeah. And here I was, contemplating Joann’s AND CostCo. I still was, until I saw that I’d been looking at the wrong day, and that Joann’s didn’t open at 7 am, but instead, at 6 am. One hour was enough to make me really question if it was worth it or not. So I jumped online to calculate just how much I’d save on that damned OTT-Lite, and lo and behold? Joanns.com was having a sale. With a floor OTT lamp for $50, and free shipping if you spent $75. Since I was going to shell out over $100 on the lamp alone (with the extra coupon), I tapped in all my info, got a replacement bulb and one thing I needed to complete a gift. Grand total of $75.97, free shipping, bay-bee!

I did go out later, made a grocery store run and a trip to Westlake Hardware, and let me just say, I don’t know if they have a special training course at Westlake Ace for how to treat women when they come in? But the car industry could learn a LOT from these people.  I needed to get a few nuts and bolts, a new humidifier filter, and what I thought was a thumb screw. Within a minute of entering the store, I was greeted by two people, and the man working the floor asked if I needed help finding anything. Indeed I did, and within five minutes, we had all the nuts, bolts and washers I needed, at the correct size and length. He looked at the part I brought in, pronounced I already had a screw in there, but needed a tiny allen wrench (for thirty-nine cents) and I was on my merry way, with everything I needed and no frustrations.  As I left, I was reflecting on how awesome everything had gone (I had imagined myself digging through compartment after compartment of bolts, probably spilling some) and that my experience is like that every time I go. I don’t work for them, no affiliation, I just have to say, I’m either lucky, look unbelievably pathetic, or they’ve got some really good customer service, and I’m betting on the latter.

At CVS, I couldn’t help but stare at the woman who was checking out in front of me, and she looked back at me with some glimmer of recognition, but didn’t say anything. I pondered how Kansas City gets smaller and smaller each year, and sometimes people who work in other places I frequent will pop up (say, at the grocery store, and your mind struggles to place them.) I didn’t think much of it, but she returned, because they’d overcharged her for photos, and she had no photos. She looked at me again, and I finally had to say, “Do we know each other? You look really familiar.” And she said, yes, we did, and told me who her husband was, who is someone my husband got into it with during his last months with a local waterfowl organization, and so there we had it, not only did we have a connection but it was utterly fractured and stupid.  I was instantly regretting asking her who she was and realizing exactly why she didn’t greet me in the first place, and so we stood there at the pharmacy counter, awkwardly, like Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant and Mrs. Robert E. Lee somehow got stuck at the same tea table  (I’m playing the role of Mrs. Grant, btw, I don’t care what side Missouri fought on.)  I graciously told the cashier to handle her refund first, and we both stood there staring at her while attempt after attempt to credit her back failed. Then she had to call a manager, who didn’t show up, and she finally asked Mrs. Lee if she could take care of me real quick while they waited for the manager. I scrawled my name on the line and escaped as quickly as I could, wondering how in the hell they were now in our neighborhood. Like I said, small town, big city.

So it was a good day, no crazy shopping, though I’ve lived vicariously through others, as people post pictures of their giant tv’s and exhaustion from having to either work the sales or from still dealing with family. Me, I’m having a British crime procedural marathon, watching episodes of MI:5 (Spooks) and nibbling on cheese. If I were to paint the day a color, it would be the shockingly bright, happy magenta I love so dearly, making it a very fuchsia Friday indeed.


  1. meesha.v

    I bought few things online, which were just as good of a deal as the one I would have to fight for in the store. No tax, free shipping, I am happy and unhurt. Happy holidays!

  2. PlazaJen

    I agree, Meesha, online’s the way to go!
    I saw some reports that companies were going to block the internet during the workday on Monday – I say, dudes, if it helps strengthen the economy, just write off the time and crack the whip on Tuesday.

  3. shannon in oregon

    i had to work on the sales floor. we never have big blow out sales, we don’t open at insane hours (well, our one mall store had to open at the dumb hour of 6), and we had some pretty cool folks in. however, i will always get sick of the question/statement, “what, you don’t have any sales happening?!” when i tell them we’re a small business and can’t afford to have the big blow out sales, they look at me with disbelief. then they buy their shoes. well, some of them.

    i so look forward to tomorrow when i can sleep in and not have to talk to customers.

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