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Black Friday...................your thoughts?

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my idea of shopping is browsing ebay and amazon while cozy on the couch with a mug of coffee and wearing my favorite angry birds fleece pj pants.

At least there's someone with the common decency to shop AT HOME in his pj's.

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I got an email about a deal on running gear, so I got a pair of shoes online.

Will had an appointment for his portraits to be taken at 11a on Friday, so we wandered into Target. Target had a lot of the TV deals still stacked up on pallets. We managed to score one doorbuster, a magic bullet type blender for $12. We got some vintage concert tees for my nephew, some blu-ray movies for stocking stuffers, various other gifts. Slept in, no shoving, checked out right away.

We did the whole 6a doorbuster thing at Best Buy back in '98, maybe? It was when they were still giving away the Christmas music CDs in the peppermint tins, along with the yellow tag Beanie Babies. Someone stole something out of our cart, Dave stole it back, I got shoved out of the way by someone looking to score the last VHS copy of Titanic, then we stood in line for over an hour to check out.

Didn't enjoy it. Never again.

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I think all the fuss is over stuff people normally wouldn't want but its all part of the game. They've tricked people into thinking their deadbeats if they are not out there hustling for crap.

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I think all the fuss is over stuff people normally wouldn't want but its all part of the game. They've tricked people into thinking their deadbeats if they are not out there hustling for crap.

For fun around this time of year I like to read the comments on Walmart's Facebook page. The best this year was a woman complaining she had to leave in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner to go to Walmart "to buy things I need."

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I did the online shopping thing and then later in the day my Family and I went to some of the stores to look for deals. Got some different type items at reduced cost. The big winner was from Apple.com who never does sales, except on Black Friday. I got the new Macbook Air that I wanted with the Haswell processor and they emailed me a free $150 gift card that I'm already enjoying for the Apple Store online or in-person. Figured I wanted to buy a Macbook Air anyhow, so why not get the free gift card. Didn't have to wait in line from the recliner.

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I checked out the stores on Friday. Chinamart was busy, but nothing special (drove through the lot). I went into Lowes who seemed to have more employees than customers. The local mall was not that crazy. The only place that looked busy was the movie theatre which was showing "Hunger Games II" or whatever it is called.

This is in a small rural town of about 17,000 people in NW Ohio. It's like watching a town die in slow motion. The creeping blight is surrounding us from the outskirts and patches within the city limits. Schools closing (2 in last year), services no longer as good as they used to be, more houses for sale, less jobs (and lower paying), and nothing in the pipeline to help.

But the Mayor and council want to build a dog/person trail around the city. Oh goody. How 'bout first, you fix the damn streets. The holes are getting big enough to swallow people, not to mention they are hard on the car's suspension & tires.

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I made the mistake of going out on Thursday night. Normally, I would not leave the family on Thanksgiving, but my daughter's eighth birthday was Friday, and money's been so tight since the divorce, that when I found out the gift that she wanted was going to be half-off at Walmart, and nearly half-off at Target, I had to take advantage. Walmart was an absolute zoo. People shoving and crawling like animals, items strewn all over the floor like a tornado blew threw the store, cursing, swearing, shoving. And why were there so many children? Little children. The ones you want to preserve the legend of Santa Claus for. And there had to be at least two thousand people in line for the checkout. The amorphous blob of people fighting for position in line stretched from the register to the middle of the store, choking off the clothing departments that it overtook. By time I found the spot where the item was, there was an empty space instead. I felt dirty when I left.

On to Target. Crowded, but not as uncivilized. A lot fewer children. Better checkout protocol. I found my item. Picked up a couple of trinkets to go with it, got a card and went in line. Target utilized a single line. It wove up and down the twenty short aisles on the south side of the first main isle, then crossed the aisle and wove up and down ten short aisles on the north side of the first main aisle. There were employees directing traffic, and at the end of this giant serpentine, there was a red-shirted employee directing people to the shortest register line. It took about an hour, and I wish I had used a shopping cart by time it was all over. But my trip to Target was a success. I should have gone there first.

And my daughter loved her gift. I've never seen her so happy playing in my family room.

Edited by shabba4detroit

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My wife volunteered to work a shift on Thanksgiving at KMart. She usually works one shift on Saturdays, but with the added pay, she figured she'd find herself a nice pair of boots the next day.

Because she was gone, I decided to check out all the large retail stores in Fenton - KMart first, Walmart second, Target third and then a quick trip to Meijer in Hartland.

KMart was busy, interesting full of bustle, but it wasn't filled with crazies doing idiotic stuff. The customers were cool and the employees did a pretty good job with customers. My wife was working in the layout department, so this gave me a great chance to look for stuff she might like at KMart (she loves a lot of their stuff) while she was working and preoccupied.

I went to Walmart next. It was clearly very busy, and it seemed the Walmart employees were a bit more clueless what to do. But to be fair, they were busier. I saw four different people I know well and we talked. I left.

I went to Target next, and to my surprise the store wasn't open yet. It was opening in 10 minutes. So while I had nothing to purchase, (believe it or not I did this), I figured what the heck let's see what the opening of the door craziness is like. They just had the single door on the side open (most Targets have it) and just let people in slowly but consistently and orderly. It worked really well. Target was civilized. It took me about three minutes to get inside once the line started moving, and I was pretty far back. Yet, there were tons more in back of me. I wanted to check the DVDs because I remembered last year they had a lot of good TV show DVDs. I was hoping Dexter would be on sale, but it wasn't. I could've gotten the first half of the last season of Breaking Bad, but was too late. Eh, I'll get it in five years when its $9.

Finally, I went to Meijer. There was NO ONE THERE! I guess they didn't have Thanksgiving sales like the other stores did.

Finally, I went back to KMart and got a few things for my wife and some kids in the family. I only had $80, so it wasn't like I was going to buy anything crazy. Friday morning I went back to KMart before work to get a CD/radio player that was $19.99 for our bathroom. It'll get ruined eventually, but this was the perfect replacement to our old one that was ruined.

I found it interesting, but I was more of an outsider observing what was happening. And from what I saw, it wasn't bad at all. Crowded - very crowded at all the stores (but Meijer), but very civilized and organized.

My wife came back from work and said while the KMart layaway computers were slow (they are over 10 years old) it was a decent night.

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I went to Walmart on Friday to check it out. I went at 8 PM so the rush was gone but it was still a bit busy. I hate Walmart and this trip confirmed why. The store was filthy. Customers were rude. I almost got ran over by a van in the parking lot. The male employees had pants down around their knees. Apparently they have thugs working at Walmart now. There were a lot of people yelling in foreign languages. They had nothing good so I walked out. Never again.

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That cuts it! I'll never be able to get my "Three Wolf Moon" tshirt with all these crowds!

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