I’m a seasoned shopper. I cut my teeth on credit cards and started training in Back to School sales. I’ve learned the hard way that the Black Friday tsunami is filled with highs and lows. It is not for the faint of heart or the casual shopper. There are spoils to be had, but only if you can win the battles along the way. So before you head out this holiday season, refill your Starbucks mug and memorize all the rules of the Black Friday Survival Guide.
- Don’t drink your Thanksgiving dinner. When you’ve got to be bright-eyed and sharp elbowed at 4am, you cannot afford to spend the night face down in your mashed potatoes. Skip the extra rounds and save your cocktails for a post-shopping celebration.
- B.O. is a go. Don’t waste precious early morning line time in your shower. The more people are shying away from your stench, the less elbows you’ll have to throw to keep that coveted place at the clearance table.
- Stuff your tote with the three C’s. Caffeine, charge cards and coupons.
- Time for a pee? Don’t do it! I guarantee that while you’re standing in the toilet line, someone else is snatching up the last discount cashmere cardi in your size. Your kids never let you pee on a normal day, so why should this be any different?
- Nice gals finish last. There’s no room for niceties or weak stomachs in the battle for the perfect gift. Either sharpen your talons or be prepared to hear whining on Christmas morning.
- Finders keepers. Put on your spelunking hat and dig into those dark corners if you can’t find the size you need. If that doesn’t work, tackle the gal that did get the last one and claim your prize Viking style.
- No rest for the weary. That pile of clothes you’re dragging into the dressing room will start to look mighty comfortable after a few hours. Resist the temptation to get some shut-eye when you catch yourself whimpering in a pile of party dresses.
- Prepare for the long haul, literally. Put on your most comfortable shoes and then benchpress a kid or two on your way out the door. Those playstation games and Barbie accessories aren’t going to carry themselves out to your car.
- One final suggestion. If Black Friday feels more like the apocalypse than an opportunity, cuddle up on your couch with your laptop and save your dollars for Cyber Saturday instead. It’s hard to beat a sale you can shop while drinking spiked eggnog.