NORMAN — It’s here! Black Friday! As you sit down to read this paper, it is likely that thousands of shoppers have already spent millions of dollars. With Thanksgiving leftovers still in the refrigerator, Madison Avenue has declared today the first day of the Christmas season.
I will never forget my one and only foray into Black Friday. We had only been parents for a few years. I was still in school and our budget was tight. As relatively new parents, we wanted to provide our daughter with something beyond the ordinary. Yet, with limited funds our options were few. Relaxing in front of the TV after a filling Thanksgiving feast, I began to thumb through the store ads. There it was! The perfect gift for my little girl! And the price was “slashed!” We could make this work! But, there were only a “few” at each store. We would have to arrive when the doors opened at 5 a.m. Wrong! My wife informed me that we would have to arrive BEFORE the doors opened — you’re kidding me. So, before the sun had even peaked over the eastern seaboard, we were on the road to Tulsa. Our plan to arrive early was a smart one, because the crowd behind us grew as the hour approached. Did I mention that it was cold and the wind was blowing? The doors opened and the mad dash began. My wife went to find the shopping cart and I ran to find the coveted prize. Success! We claimed one of the few boxes on the showroom floor and with great pride we celebrated our conquest, anticipatingthe great joy of our daughter on Christmas Day—even though the guy in the red suit would get the credit.
But, the story is not over ... Leaving the store with our gigantic Playskool Playhouse box, it dawned on us that we had yet to consider how we were going to get it into our Achieva (2 doors, small trunk, little back seat). Did I fail to mention that while in the store it began to rain, as in the heavens openedup? Actually, the frigid, blowing wind made the rain look like sheets of water sweeping across the parking lot. I looked at my wife, shrugged my shoulders and said, “Let’s go.” We sprinted across the parking lot. Tearing into the soggy box, we pulled each piece of our playhouse out of the box and stuffed them into the trunk and back seat. Drenched, freezing, and battling the wind, we were about ready to go when my wife asked, “Did you get the directions?” Back to the box I went, retrieving the “key” to our morning adventure.