OA: Samantha Stiles Column November 28, 2008

Are you shopping right now? You’re crazy, sort of

I’m honored that you’re reading this right now given the 100–person–deep line you’re standing in, the 20–degree weather and the hot coffee that came from a gas station.

It’s Black Friday, of course.

What else are you going to do?

On this day there are only two kinds of people: Those who shop, and those who don’t.

Those who don’t might liken this day to hell on earth. Did you see that parking lot?

I do not come from morning folk. The Stiles like to sleep in, which is why I can’t remember my mom ever dragging me out of bed at 4 a.m. to buy my dad a VHS tape or dress shirt on sale.

Discounted TVs, radios, kitchen appliances, jewelry and what not were not worth it.

Last year was my first year to brave the cold on this day, and honestly, I was afraid for my life when Target unlocked its doors.

I would not have believed it if I hadn’t see it with my own eyes.

And I wouldn’t have gone if The Sentinel hadn’t paid me to be there.

You will not catch me anywhere near the mall this time of year, for several reasons.

No. 1, it’s crazy. I’m not a naturally aggressive person.

You have to be tough to survive on Black Friday. I feel bad jamming my elbows into little old ladies.

Also, I can’t bring myself to take the last of anything, because what if someone else needs it more than I do?

Once, I did take the last can of chili beans at Wal-Mart, but I had to. People were coming over for dinner and I needed those beans. I’m nice, too nice, sometimes.

No. 2, I only shop at the mall if I absolutely have to and usually not between the months of October and January. If there wasn’t a Target in the mall, I’d probably never go.

And I’d like to insert something slightly off topic here.

Two weekends ago I went to see the new James Bond flick. With my tickets I was handed a coupon for 15 percent off purchases at Gap.

Lo and behold the coupon is not valid online or at Gap Outlet. It’s a completely useless coupon.

Hundreds of people in Grand Junction got useless coupons that day because there isn’t a real Gap near this town.

And will TV stations please stop showing Macy’s commercials. Don’t tempt me with something
I have to drive more than 200 miles to get.

No. 3, I have most of my Christmas shopping done.

Even I didn’t think it would happen. I have last weekend’s annual Art Center Arts & Crafts Fair and the Alternative Christmas Fair to thank.

I hope you noticed this week’s craft fair roundup in Out & About. I suggest getting to at least one. .You never know what you’ll find.

Everyone else on my list is getting ShamWows from TV. Those things look awesome.

It’s a little late, but in case you haven’t already checked out http://www.black-friday.net, you should.

There’s a tab called Black Friday Deals Online, shop from the comfort of your home, no gas station coffee required.

In the mood for new holiday music this year? Bela Fleck and the Flecktones’ “Jingle All the Way,” Faith Hill’s “Joy to the World” and Tony Bennett’s “A Swinging Christmas” have gotten good to OK reviews.

Also out is a somewhat creepy from–beyond–the–grave disc, “Elvis Presley — Christmas Duets.”

So, happy holidays. Let the shopping begin.


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