Black Friday

Black Friday


We all know that the Friday after Thanksgiving is full of retailers trying to get us into their stores. This has become affectionately known as “Black Friday” and used by the advertisers to tout the day. But, the name originally came from the fact that there was horrendous traffic, pushing and shoving, huge crowds and ill-mannered people trying to beat you to the best deals. Wait, it hasn’t changed but the name has been sanitized to make the day seem like a good thing!

When we lived in Raleigh, NC, there was an outlet that was a pottery warehouse, but that sold almost else as well. It was west of Durham and east of Greensboro, actually pretty near in the middle between them. From our house it was about 45 minutes on US 70 (which is now mostly I40).

My parents liked to visit us often at Thanksgiving, usually every other year, since we often joined Warren and Ellen for their yearly huge family party, which has been going on for at least 30 years. This particular Thanksgiving, my parents, Geri’s Dad and his wife, Mattie were all visiting for the holiday. 

I need to explain that Mattie (Geri’s Dad’s wife) loved Black Friday, she really enjoyed looking for bargains and getting the bulk of her Christmas shopping over early and quickly. Geri’s dad like me and my dad were a bit more ambivalent about it all. Anyway, we decided to start early and we loaded up two cars with six adults and two kids around 8:00 AM and went out to the Pottery Barn.

As expected, the place was beginning to become packed and the parking lot was as well, but we managed to find two spaces next to each other fairly close to one of the entrances so we thought we had done very well. It was starting to become very crowded inside as well and since it is a large building (it may have been several buildings, I don’t remember now) we spent about three and a half  hours there.

By this time it is a little after one in the afternoon and the place is absolutely packed to the gills as Geri would say. We packed our cars with all the wonderful bargains, got in and tried to back out of the spaces to leave. However, there were so many leaving that we agreed to get out as best we could and meet on the shoulder of the highway. Not so fast, no one would let us back out, I mean no one. It appeared that all holiday cheer or Christian Spirit had left everyone. After 5-10 minutes of fruitless attempts to back out, my dad said, “I’ll take care of it”. He then went out into traffic and stood in front of the next car and refused to move. The driver of that car and the ones behind it began to honk and scream at him. The driver behind actually moved his car to within inches of dad trying to scare him and dad just turned his back on him which made him evermore incensed. Meanwhile, my father in law backed out and then I did. Dad got back in the car with obscenities, shouts and horns all blaring at us.

All the way out of the parking lot (which took about 15 minutes), I could see murderous looks, hear horns blaring and see the guy behind me announcing his IQ with one finger of his right hand. But we kept saying, it was his problem and not ours and all of us refused to turn around and look at him.

Once we got on the highway, he roared past me and made sure I knew exactly what he thought of and and again demonstrated his IQ for all of us to note.

After we got home, we all had a good laugh about the whole affair. My father in law kept stating how he couldn’t believe how my father had just stood there. He said at one point he had been afraid the the guy was going to hit him, but still dad stood his ground.

Now that Mattie is no longer with us, Geri and I do not venture out on the Friday after Thanksgiving, but the few times we did when Mattie and Dad Pashley visited (we went to a outlet mall near Gainesville, TX), we discovered that Texans were a bit more gracious and genteel that North Carolinians had been!

Davdan @ 2008-2018