Saturday, November 24

Black Friday Madness

Yesterday was a very busy day, full of shopping, basketball, games, and food. But let's just get one little thing straight--I am not one of those people that gets up before sunrise in search of the ultimate bargain. I might be cheap, very cheap in fact, but sleep most definitely ranks higher in my mind than shopping. Every year I look through the ads in search of something that might help me to understand why some people line up at Target at 4:00 am, but I have yet to see a single bargain so good that it warrants losing sleep. You can tell me that there will be $35 DVD players for the taking, but I will remind you that there will still be DVD players at the store when I get there at 11:00 am. I really don't care if I have to pay $40 at that point. A few hours of sleep is worth $5 to me any day.

While I don't go early with the crazy people, I do shop every year on Black Friday. It's a family thing. More specifically, it's an in-laws thing. Every year all the women-folk get together for lunch at the Olive Garden then wander through the mall for a few hours. I grew up in a small family, so it astounds me that just a gathering of some of the women-folk for lunch means you'll need a table for 17. Crazier yet, we all like each other (or at least I like them and they still invite me every year, so I think they feel the same). It's a very rare thing for a family to be as large as my husband's is, and yet all get along. It amazes me any time I think about it and is something that I'm very grateful to be a part of.

After lunch with 16 of my favorite relatives, we hit the malls. I would like to say that I shopped 'til I dropped, but I walked out with just one bag. Full of stuff for myself. Totalling $20. Obviously, it's about the experience more than anything.

Another annual experience is the family outing to a Pacers game. My father-in-law, youngest brother-in-law, husband, and myself go to a Pacers game every single Thanksgiving break. It's our thing. This year, we were fortunate to be able to add two other brothers-in-law (one who was home from Iraq) and our 3-year old niece. Usually we wind up seeing a game that is not exactly the most exciting, but last night's was one of the best ever. Not only did we have great seats (thanks, Mandy and Dad!), but we got free t-shirts and boom sticks before the game. The t-shirt is one that I will actually wear since it just says "Indiana Pacers" and the boom sticks ROCK. Anything that makes noise ROCKS. (BTW, "boom sticks" are two long tubes that you inflate like a balloon then beat together. They make a killer booming noise if you hit them just right.)

I spent the entire first half trying to find the sweet spot on the boom sticks and was WAY EXCITED once I did. Of course my husband, the Master of the Annoying Universe, succeeded in about 1.2 seconds. Seated behind us were three future Masters of the Annoying Universe. The three boys were probably 11 or 12-years old and I wanted to fold them up, stick them in my pocket, and take them home with me. I'm sure some people found them to be annoying, but they were some dedicated kids cheering endlessly for their team. If I could just get them an infusion of black and gold blood, they would totally rock as Steelers fans.

The Best Pacer Fans:

Another highlight of the game was the most awesome fight EVAH! Basketball was my first sporting love, but it's lost some of it's fun in the past few years as the players have become more thug-like and the game has become more selfish and street ball-like (Does anyone know how to box out anymore? How about running a play? Anybody remember what that means?) But just because I hate that the a few dozen players belong in jail rather than on the court doesn't mean I can't LOVE the fact that the Dallas Mavericks Coach got his panties in a bunch, ran after the refs, and got ejected from the game after an admittedly questionable call. Good times, good times.

My only regret of the day was that Alexis missed all the fun. She spent the day hanging out with her Grandparents so she didn't get to enjoy the shopping or Pacers victory. I know she loved her time at Chuck E. Cheese, but she's totally going with us next year.


  1. I'm with you on the Black Friday thing! My sleep is WAY more important! And, honestly, if you can offer the deal at 4 am--why not offer it at 11 am? I do not understand it at all! Plus, I am not going to get my kids up at some unimaginable hour just for shopping. I know so many people who love it- good for them, I'm just not one of them. Olive Garden and shopping - that sounds like my shopping! I can taste the breadsticks just thinking about it! Glad you had a great time!

  2. As a person who got up in the middle of the night, for the first time evah, I loved it! I am totally doing it again next year.

  3. I am definately not into basketball, and we have a family tradition that we stay inside and avoid all the madness every year for Black Friday, but I'm glad you had fun! Hopefully next year Alexis can join you. (Now I'm craving Olive Garden food - thanks. Is it possible to go there and not wait at least 45 minutes?)

  4. Yes, Jen, it is possible. We always get there at 10:50 (they open at 11:00) and are out of there no later than 12:15, even with more than a dozen people.

  5. BTW, Jared (as in Subway Jared) is in the second photo. His back was to me as he stood courtside. He's in a blue/gray shirt just to the left of the security dude on the court.

  6. Chuck E? You mentioned CEC. WOW