Sure, I love a half-price blender as much as the next girl. And who doesn't need a discounted life-size Olaf doll? But the lines, the crowds, the fighting over a 20% off Elsa dress like survivors battling over a can of tuna on The Walking Dead -- those are all things I can live without.
As a mom to two small kids, I have enough stress in my life. In fact, Black Friday shopping is a little too reminiscent of a bad day with my 2-year-old. Here are five ways dealing with Black Friday Shoppers is like dealing with my melting-down toddler.
1. They need a nap. Yes, I'm talking about you, wild-eyed Walmart shopper who's been waiting since 5 a.m. to save $40 on an iPad. If I wanted to deal with a sleep-deprived crank bomb shouting at me for not walking through the door fast enough, I'd listen to my 2-year-old rant for an hour because he missed his nap. Sorry, but I think I'll stay in bed until someone without a circular rouses me at a more humane hour.
2. They need a cookie. Think that shopper who's been dreaming of sugar plums and Target door busters is going to break for a nutritious breakfast? Not likely. Just as my toddler melts down when his tiny tummy is empty, a shopper who's replaced sustenance with discounted shower curtains is not a pretty sight.
3. They need a time-out. It's no fun trying to appease a toddler who's screaming like a howler monkey because I moved his toy truck while vacuuming. It's even less fun dealing with a 40-year-old man throwing a fit because I'm standing between him and a shiny new Nintendo Wii, complete with Super Mario 3D World. I'm pretty sure I get enough crazy at home.
4. They need a pacifier. It's one thing for a sassy 2-year-old to command me to "move!" when I cross his path in the supermarket. It's quite another to feel like I've rolled my shopping cart onto the set of Pulp Fiction. There's something about competitive shopping that brings out the potty mouth in bargain hunters -- and I'm referring to stronger words than the "poopy head" occasionally heard around my dinner table.
5. They need a lesson in sharing. My toddler's favorite word at the moment is "mine" -- which apparently includes everything from his sister's doll to Mommy's car. Similarly, a Black Friday shopper is obsessed with accumulating more and more stuff. During this season of giving, it would be nice if we could take a break from frantically grabbing all the toys in sight, and appreciate what we do have -- instead of shouting "mine" each time we spot a 30% off smartphone. After all, isn't that what Thanksgiving is all about?
I know Black Friday is a tradition, and many people survive it with their dignity and bank accounts intact. I, however, plan on staying home this Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Surviving a meal with a toddler is challenging enough without dashing off to the mall while he's still attempting to inhale the pumpkin pie.
And, come Friday, while the shoppers are battling the hordes at the local chain store, I'll be doing what I do every day -- battling for a few moments of peace and quiet. And, of course, thanking the universe for my overtired and adorable blessings -- potty mouths and all.