I am not going anywhere near any malls or stores today. In fact, I'm not leaving the house. The big three are with their grandmother, and the baby is napping. I've got a hot cup of tea, several unwatched movies, and a bunch of Christmas knitting to work on. I'm happy as a clam right here at home.
Besides, I did the "Black Friday" thing once, and it was enough to scare me off for the rest of my life.
It was 1987. We were visiting my grandparents, who lived in New Port Richie, FL, which is in the Tampa Bay area. The week before Thanksgiving, my mother and I had been searching the stores for a dress for me to wear to my best friend's debutante party. We had found a lovely embroidered linen skirt and blouse that were perfect for the party's tea dance theme, but mom decided that we should hold off on buying it and look for other options Thanksgiving weekend when we were at my grandparents' house.
So the day after Thanksgiving we loaded up the station wagon, with me and my sister riding in the rumble seat in the way back, and headed to Countryside Mall, which was considered a BIG deal back then - it had lots of stores AND an ice skating rink. The plan was for my dad and grandfather to take my sister skating while mom and grandma and I shopped for dresses - on the busiest shopping day of the year.
I was in no way prepared for the agony the next two hours would bring. While my mom and I were on pretty much the same page in terms of what kind of dress or outfit we were looking for, my grandmother kept bringing me dresses that were too frilly or too flowery or too frilly and too flowery. I'd have to try them on and then find some excuse to explain why I was vetoing them - the sleeves were too long, the arm holes were too tight, the skirt was too short, etc. - to keep from hurting her feelings. It slowed the already insane shopping process down considerably.
Two hours later, we met back up with my dad, grandfather and sister, who had pink cheeks and a hot chocolate moustache from her skating adventure.
I had a headache and the very same skirt and blouse I had picked out the week before at the store in Sarasota. Two hours of shopping madness for the very same outfit - and it wasn't even on sale.