31867Black Friday is a tawdry commercial invention and I won’t give it the dignity of calling it tradition, no matter how many years it’s been going on. A tradition I endorse, on the other hand, is the Black Friday horror story.

Another tradition I endorse is avoiding human contact by shopping online. But in a fit of Thanksgiving-inspired good will, I offered to brave the Black Friday crowds with Donna. Our shopping list was un-Christmaslike: we needed a new faucet for the kitchen sink, a floor lamp for the sewing room, a new chair for the office, a broom and dustpan for the kitchen, some air filters for the furnace.

To our surprise, driving was stress-free: it might have been Sunday morning in Tucson, the streets almost empty. One driver flipped us off as he passed in the opposite direction, so maybe his Black Friday wasn’t going so well. Ours was almost too easy. Our first stop was a local non-chain plumbing fixture store, where Donna found the faucet she was looking for and I fell in love with a Toto toilet that magically raised its lid whenever I walked by. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he? Also, too: a day early but we can claim we also supported Small Business Saturday.

The second stop was Jo-Ann Fabric, where the floor lamp Donna wanted was on sale. By now the roads were no longer empty, and on the way to get the lamp we had to thread our way through heavy traffic around Park Mall, a wretched hive of Black Friday madness! Jo-Ann’s was a couple of miles past the mall, but nearly as crowded. Still, we found a parking place and got our lamp with no significant fuss.

We stopped for lunch and decided to blow off looking for a new office chair, mainly because going to Office Max meant driving past the mall again. A quick stop at the neighborhood hardware store for filters and a broom on the way home, and we were done.

Our Black Friday wasn’t horrific at all. Of course, your mileage may have varied.

Real shopping, as in anniversary and Christmas presents? Amazon, baby. Amazon all the way.

Tell you what, though, you don’t get an experience like this when you’re shopping online. Click the image to roll the video:

Click to see the video

© 2015, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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