I've taken the early morning, wait-in-line-for-hours-wearing-Depends plunge once. And based on that experience, I consider myself an expert. I have also been a retail employee for Black Friday... Once. Again, this does make me an expert. Here's your survival guide for Black Friday guaranteed to get you deals and in some cases, guaranteed to create a dignity deficit in your life. You can approach Black Friday one of three ways:
The Black Friday Ninja Warrior of Doom - 98% Chance of Survival
The BFNWoD is an expert at getting that golden cow of Black Friday deals. You know, the laptop for $50 or the 40" TV for $100? To achieve this status and accomplish the goal of grabbing deals so unreal the items are limited by 2 for the region, you need to prepare as follows.
Park your tent and sleeping bags outside the store of choice on Wednesday. Choose wisely because all your best "booty" will come from this store. Turkey dinner, if you are so weak that you need one, will have to be delivered by a trusted family member.
Better stock up on depends. Giving up a place in line to use the bathroom is a classic rookie mistake. If you are a coward, you may try tag teaming another family member for bathroom breaks. Careful, technically you aren't in line if someone else "holds your place". This could lead to a riot.
Nothing short of full body armor will do. Stampedes are common for the best deals and what good does a broken arm do you when you need both arms to push people aside? Hockey masks, football pads, sports cups are all mandatory. Feel stupid? Your junk won't!
The Power Mom "Manipulation Master" - 85% Chance of Survival
True Power Moms know how to Manipulate. They come in with a game plan, an argument prepared, and will annoy anyone who stands in their way. In order to pull this off, you have to be ready to go all Sarah Palin on sales associates. No, that does not mean shoot them from a helicopter! That means accent and all, you know that fine print.
You still need to line up early in the AM, but you know better. Just 3-4 hours before the store opens and avoid fluids for 8 hours prior. You'll use the potty before you leave the house and wear the forgiving leggings and sweater rather than the usual mom jeans. Handwritten list and sales ad in hand, you know what to pick up for everyone in your family.
You'll visit several stores today and have memorized minimum stock, rebates, door busters, and hourly sales. Item substitutions, rain checks and the "let me speak to your manager" weapons are all ready for deployment. Your no nonsense eighties up-do reflects your "take no prisoners" attitude. Your day will end around 8pm after the last special sale ends. You'll have knocked out everyone on your list, started a fight with a few managers, and spent $5,000 before the day is through.
Be rude to every other shopper. Remember, they are the competition and whose family matters nearly as much as yours? Jacob is getting his XBox, you don't give a flying cupcake who has cancer.
The Rachel Strategy - 99.999999% Chance of Survival
This is the best strategy to date. You can still shop Black Friday, but it's the best possible outcome for your wallet and health. Masters of this plan must possess a strong sense of logic and understand economics. Also, it doesn't hurt to be adorable, talk too much, or think you're better than the chumps suckered into Black Friday.
You're interested enough to get black friday deals. At about 5am, open several internet windows, rapidly purchase your items, and have them shipped to a location you will be throughout the following week. Whatever you miss, you'll get Cyber Monday. Then you put your laptop down and roll over back to sleep until around 11am.
When you wake, waffles sound great so you and the fam eat some delicious waffles and drink hot chocolate. Your kids suggest putting chocolate ice cream on the waffles and it sounds fantastic. Once the kids are on their sugar high, send them outside to romp while you stretch out on the couch to watch holiday specials in your super cute Kermit slippers.
Around 6 or 7 (PM), decide to go out "shopping" but in reality it would be entertaining to laugh at people who are exhausted after a day of torture. You chuckle, because you know how useless that all is. You saved money, you stayed home, and UPS is literally doing all the heavy lifting. Sure, you didn't get that $200 television. That's because it was an off brand and in a few weeks, you can go to Best Buy and talk them down on an open-box 55" LED. Plus, they usually throw in the warranty.
As you can see, there are many options.
Obviously mine is superior.