Ten Things to Remember About Black Friday

black-friday-madnessAh Black Friday, the kick off to the holiday shopping season. Don’t you love it? Actually, I don’t. Just the crazy videos of brawling over cheap goods in Walmart, that populate Facebook are enough to make you stay home with a good book.

But there are many who thrive on a challenge and live for the deal. So before you head out for your big shopping adventure you might want to keep the following in mind:

1. No TV, smart phone, or appliance is worth being beaten up or arrested over.

2. Tomorrow or next week that item will be on sale again or is on sale somewhere else.

3. Cyber Monday is less risky, you don’t have to camp outside a store and you can shop in your pajamas while sipping your favorite coffee drink.

4. Two things can’t occupy the same space at the same time, so breathing down the neck of the person ahead of you in line won’t put you in front of them (or win you any friends).

5. Is that parking space really worth fighting over (or dying over?).

6. If you’re really determined to stand on-line outside a store all night, leave your children at home. It’s better that your child be disappointed than crushed or trampled by an over-tired, anxious, greedy crowd of bargain hunters.

7. The best deals are on Christmas Eve. Retailers will blow out stock by as much as 75% – and most people are home trimming the tree.

8. If the store has sold out of the item you came for, accept it. Arguing with a store clerk, the manager or the customer who snagged the last one will not magically produce the item for you. (And chances are another store has it anyway.)

9. Dress appropriately, have a full tank of gas and eat before you leave. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year, so traffic will be heavy, parking spaces will be at a premium, you may have to stand in long lines and every local eatery will be jammed. Taking care of the basics will help keep you from becoming anxious.

10. Be safe, be smart and don’t take your frustration out on your fellow shoppers. In your quest to get the deal, remember that everybody else in the store is after the deal too. Tempers can flair, hostility can erupt and you could become an unwitting victim. No physical object is worth endangering yourself or your loved ones. Ever.




If you have any tips, tricks, or sage advice, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Writer Chick
Copyright 2014

We All Need


Kim over at Good at Getting Better did this little ditty and I thought I’d give it a try myself. You go to g**gle and type in “(your name) needs” then list the top ten needs. Mine were pretty funny and frighteningly accurate. So what does Annie need?

Analysis. Annie needs to be rescued by the armed forces (displaying male power), the entire rescue mission having been set in motion by the preeminent father figure [This one is an obvious no brainer. Any of my readers could have come up with this]

Companionship. Volunteers are taking her out of the kennel each day, but this in no way replaces the companionship Annie needs. Annie needs a home. …[Yes, I am so lonely and I had no idea that others knew I lived in a kennel]
The Four Word Film Review. Annie Hall (1977). 77 reviews. Film rated 4.4 / 5 (Chick rating: 4.3 / 5) (Guy rating: 4.5 / 5 …. Manhattan Pygmalion needs eggs. … Annie needs a Woody. …[Not clear on this one, do I need a film review or a woody?]
A foster home. Please Save Annie!!! Needs a FOSTER home!!!!This is Annie, a mountain cur (?) puppy who desperately needs someone to love her unconditionally, spend time with her training, and can teach her not to be …[Yes, please save me!]
Coffee. Why Annie needs her Coffee~’Why Annie needs her Coffee~ Hi everybody, We were out of our favorite coffee this morning, which made me remember this story. [I always need coffee – jeesh, this is too easy]

A new door. She keeps her door unlocked, slightly ajar. If Annie needs someone, or if someone needs her, she cannot open the door. No one robs Annie. … [You better believe no one robs Annie – or that Annie has anything to rob]
Insight. Finally, the court concluded that the grandparents are “good people,” but their lack of insight into Annie’s developmental needs, the grandfather’s …[Can’t argue with this one – and really it is all about my developmental needs]
A real home. little annie needs a real home [And big Annie could use a real home too]

To Grow up. Another Police Rampage in DC”Annie” needs to grow up and take her politically correct “liberalism” over to Daily Kos where it belongs, with the other “liberals” who want to impose …[Who said I was a liberal????]

To Get Dressed. AJ gets dressed and insists Annie needs to get dressed too. Then the three of us hop in the car where we either go out to the library, or if it’s a M, …[Crap, is there a hidden webcam on this thing?]

Okay, so apparently that is what I need. I would add to the list, fame, fortune and several published novels, but G**gle clearly doesn’t know me that well.

What do you need?


The Bargain Gene

I think all of us get some sort of talent from our gene pool. Not just our tallness, or beauty or perfect skin – but actual talents and character traits.

Now, my Ma has many talents and you wouldn’t know it because for the most part, she doesn’t know that these gifts she has are talents. For one thing, the woman can cook. She can cook any ol’ thing she wants and it comes out great. In fact, I truly don’t ever remember eating a experiment gone bad. She is one of those people who can put together dinner for 8 with nothing in the fridge or the pantry. A real talent and one I believe that inspired me to become a good cook and my love of food. She’s also a heck of a gardener, or at least was. She always had the roses, peonies, honeysuckle and God knows what else growing in the yard. But of all the many talents Ma’s gene pool provided the very best one was the bargain gene.

Nobody but nobody could find a bargain like my mother. She had an attitude, a savvy, a radar that could sniff out a bargain and get it in her cart before anyone was the wiser. Her policy- if it ain’t $3.95 or under, it ain’t a bargain. Okay, I exagerate, but with a family of seven and one income my mother fed, clothed and housed all of us. I don’t remember ever going without anything really. Oh sure there was stuff I always wanted but those were extras.

Anyway, this gene has apparently passed down to me. From the time I was old enough to earn money doing anything, I was a shopper. A bargain huntress, always on the lookout for un-noticed treasures and deals of the century. This year alone, I found 2 Kate Spade bags, a Prada bag, a Coach bag, a set of six crystal wineglasses, a rare, limited issue book, and a brand new foot massager, each for under $10.

Thrift stores, consignment shops, vintage shops, back alleys of antique shops, garage sales, outlets, what have you – if there is a bargain I will find it. I just have the gene for it and it all came from Ma.

Every weekend, just about, I’m out there, slugging my way through racks of crap to find the one gem nestled among the trash. Digging through piles of junk and pull out the antique jewelry box or designer silk shirt. I’m telling you, it should be against the law, I’m so lucky in my finds. In fact, if I don’t come home without at least one really unbelievable find, I feel cheated. As if the universe is punishing me or something.

So, while I can’t swim, or catch fish. Can’t do trig or the new math. And will never be able to figure out how to properly program a vcr or dvd player – I will always be able to find food or anything else at a bargain and feed myself and anyone else who wants to join me at the table. While it’s not everything. It’s quite a bit.

Now…what gene did you get?


Bargain Bitches

I don’t know about you guys but I love to shop. Not just shop but bargain hunt. Consequently, I spend time in not just regular stores in shopping malls but in consignment shops, thrift stores, second hand shops, Goodwill, outlets and so on.

I know that turns a lot of people off. Buying other people’s castoffs- doesn’t necessarily conjure up pleasant pictures. But then again, that’s what dry cleaners and laundramats were made for – you know? For example, there are some things like an Audrey Hepburn Chanel suit that you aren’t going to be able to get anywhere but a vintage shop. If you like vintage or retro clothing you aren’t going to get it at Macy’s. If you want fantastic Italian leather shoes for a fraction of their typical cost you will either have to go to Italy or find an outlet (Gerry Pillar’s out in my neck of the woods) and spend the time going through the stacks to see if you can find that gem.

I suppose it’s really a matter of preference or perspective. Some people think that shopping is a time consuming task that is best gotten through as quickly as possible. I, on the other hand, think of it as ‘the hunt.’ For me, it’s hunting season all year long. And believe me, you better be willing to come with weaponry and ammunition because those other bargain bitches mean business.

Like today, I decided to visit one of my favorite haunts for a couple of things. They didn’t have what I was looking for but I thought I’d hit the racks anyway because I knew I could always use another shirt or blouse. There must be a special shopping pheramone (sp) because I’ve noticed whenever I hit a rack and there is no one around for miles and I’m just flying through, all of a sudden other bb’s show up sniffing around. They position their carts so I can’t get by or they start right ahead of me or right behind me – doing the bargain stalk – hoping to spook me and get me to leave. But I don’t fall for that crap any more. If some bb knocks me with her cart, I knock her right back and act as if it was an act of God. If some bb tries to push ahead of me I stick my fat ass in her path. If another bb tries to reach over me I give her the ‘I’m a gonna kill ye’ look and she backs off.

This is serious business and if you think you can waltz into some bargain establishment and just patty cake your way through it you are sadly mistaken. You must go with a kickass attitude, a grimace on your face and a look that makes people wonder just what kind of weaponry you carry in that bigass purse slung over your shoulder. But I digress….

I went to one of my usual haunts and was flipping through the blouses and some grunting, muttering creature sidled right up next to me. She was special. She had this really spooky, grunty, breathy talk to herself thing she did – which immediately conjured up images of Kujo. I didn’t really want a blouse that bad so I moved to another rack. But in short order she was there again. And again and again. Wherever I went she appeared within moments. It freaked me out a little. Though she wasn’t trying to throw me off my game she was doing it anyway. I grabbed a few things and checked out quick.

It’s the kind of thing that can really ruin your bargain hunt experience. After I got in my car, I sat a while, wondering if she would come out and shed her human suit and reveal that she was a werewolverine or something. But no luck. Still, I may have to work hard to get the breathy grunty mutter outta my head.


Zelda, Shopping and the $500 Limit

I love to shop but compared to my chum Zelda, I’m an absolute slacker. I envy her ability to find the most unusual items – ceramic dogs for guarding the fireplace, silver deco style reindeers, LCD tv’s, sheep-skinned throws, armoirs, shoe stretchers, replica hardware, shade sails, cinnamon-scented pinecones and well, just about anything. In fact, if I didn’t know Zelda I doubt I’d know that most of these things existed.

Whenever we get together it is either for a meal or to shop – or both. Our last shopping trip was to get a lamp for the guest room. A $100 item at most. So off we go to Old Town where there is a particular shop that has antiquey looking items – a sort of bananna republic of furniture. We find a parking space that she expertly squeezes into (another amazing ability Zelda has is that she can fit into any parking space, regardless of the size of the vehicle she is driving – particularly if it is within 200 feet of where she wants to go.) and after careful extraction out of the car we bounce inside – all aglow with the prospect of buying pretty things.

Now I have a little ongoing game with Zelda – after she fills her basket I guess how much she’s spent. My job as her shopping mate is to keep her to the $500 limit – a challenge to be sure.

The shop of course is filled with all the delightful items that one finds in catalogues that are beautiful and way too expensive to actually buy anything from. I am hit by a stupor of too many pretty things. But I am resolute in my duty to keep Zelda on the straight and narrow.

“Wow, look at this chair,” she exclaims.

“Lovely darling,” I murmur, “but you need a lamp for the guest room.”

“Oh yeah,” she says as she pries herself from the soft-as-butter leather chair.

She wanders to the silk drapery hanging on display and begins to inspect it with tailor-like authority. She runs her hands over the shimmery fabric and murmurs of delight bubble.

“The lamp, dear. You are looking for a lamp.”

Her brow creases since I am clearly cutting into her fun. “Well, okay,” I say – ‘but that $500 is getting ever near.”

She shakes her head – “I’m not spending $500. I’m just getting a lamp.”

We go through this routine for about an hour. Every section holds a new delight – like sparkling Christmas ornaments catch the eye of a child anticipating St. Nick. But she is resolute – just the lamp.

At long last we peruse the lamp department. This one too tall, this one to plain, that one too fat. Distress crackles between us – what if they don’t have the lamp ? I grill the sales girl who hovers like a stalker with a free camera. She has some others, all of them wrong, but it doesn’t stop her from showing them and detailing all their many benefits. I shake my head – nope. Then I spy a display model. It’s the perfect scale and design – Zelda loves it and she picks that one.

The sales girl explains that it is a display model and they haven’t any more in stock. I insist that she can sell it to Zelda (at a discount of course, because after all, it is a display model.). The sales girl agrees, though none too happily. After much discussion about proper shades, we pick one.

It looked good, Zelda was going to spend a mere $80 and we were going to be out the door in no time flat. Except that they had to rummage in the stock room for the shade and we had to wait.

Never leave Zelda idle in a store full of beautiful things. I mean, never. So we wandered…. Uh-oh, there is the bathroom fixture department and she could use that glass shelf, and there are those special sponges she can never find, better buy all of the ones they have in stock since you never know when you might find them again, and drawer pulls are a sudden must have item, hook knobs, and off we go.

By the time the lamp and shade were brought to the check out counter, Zelda had several other items to add. As the delerious sales girl added it up I said, “$500.”

Zelda shook her head. “Nah.”

“That will be $478.39,” the sales girl almost leapt out of her skin.

Zelda forked over her credit card and gave me a reproachful look.

I laughed with delight, since I love to be right.

There are many things in the world of which I am uncertain, but one thing I know for sure is that when Zelda goes shopping it’s a $500 adventure.