driving · New York · shopping · television · You Tube

Black Friday Withdrawal

I’ve only ever been inside a store (Macy’s) on Black Friday once and that was enough to terrify me for life. I won’t set foot inside any store on Black Friday these days. I don’t care what’s on sale. I will pay extra just so I don’t want to get trampled.

But this year, I discovered that some of my favorite stores (who am I kidding: store–Amazon.com) decided to get in on Black Friday by having ‘lightning deals’ and all manner of crazy limited time offer sales on much of their merchandise. And still, even after Black Friday was over, there was Cyber Monday. And so I thought, this is a bad time of year for shopaholics and my heart went out to them.
On Black Friday, I had all kinds of fantasies about all the things I WANTED to buy:
1. A blu-ray DVD player with instantly streaming Netflix
(…to replace my awful Samsung blu-ray DVD player which we got on super sale last year and now keeps telling me my Netflix account has been hacked and won’t play instant Netflix films which is the sole reason we purchased this player since we don’t have cable TV. And did I mention the bugger likes to skip out on sound at important parts of the movies? Don’t buy this DVD player!)
Because let’s face it, my webcam is awful no matter how good (or bad) the content of my You Tube videos gets. Plus, this is my last year in New York, shouldn’t I immortalize it forever? Not at those prices!
Need I say more? My anniversary is coming up and I am wishing for this knowing that when my anniversary finally rolls around, my husband will probably say, “Want to get something at Barnes & Nobles?”
Last year, we went to a steak dinner we couldn’t really afford so I had a salad and let my husband eat all the steak we could afford. My friends can’t fathom not getting glittery jewelry on their anniversaries. I’d much rather have a glittery electronic device and in this economy, I think I’ll make the steak, we’ll pop in a DVD (or use our discount tickets for a movie) and then cap the night off by heading to the bookstore for our presents.

4. Gaiam Balance Ball chair

A friend got one and when I tried it out, my posture was muy perfecto. Alas, I will have to forgo this quick fix and actually show up for those Pilates and core strengthening classes at the gym. Pity me and my muy useless abs.

5. Roundtrip tickets to Santo Domingo
I haven’t been to the Dominican Republic since 2007 which means I haven’t seen my family there since 2007 or 2005, if I didn’t catch them on that last trip. In the meantime, I’m trying to coerce all the Dominican relatives onto Facebook. It’s not the same as hugging them under a palm tree while sipping a piña colada on a beach but we all have to make due in this economy.
Honestly, I don’t have any idea how my mother on welfare could afford to schlep us to Santo Domingo every other summer. I don’t have any idea how some of my relatives still manage to do this every year. There was obviously lacking in my Dominican education.
But anyway, here’s what I actually got on Black Friday in case you’re curious:
1. Three DVDs: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and The Dark Knight on Blu-ray for only $9.99 each!
I know that if I had a Walmart nearby I would feel ashamed for paying this much for a DVD. Or I would be ashamed about shopping at Walmart.
2. Thermal underwear from Essential Apparel
How else do you think I keep my legs warm while wearing skirts in the winter? It’s certainly not those sad little boots from Payless Shoes. I went to the Upper West Side trolling for quality boots and found out that despite the recession, the price of some good leather boots has gone up. Plus, none of the salesmen there take me seriously. Apparently, I don’t have that “I’m from the Upper West Side and plan on spending lots of money here” look about me.
My husband says instead of getting boots this year, maybe I could just stop going outside. He’s joking. I think. But it would be a great deal cheaper than $150 boots. Let’s not even discuss what happens when I wear bad shoes, remember that I am the girl who had to wear special shoes for most of her childhood thanks to genetically special feet.
3. A Roku player which instantly streams Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand
And when our forlorn little blu-ray DVD player finally dies, I’ve even figured out how to attach my little old 10-inch portable Zenith DVD player to our television! Snazzy? Or a fine example of why I need to write more articles if I ever want a new DVD player, much less a blu-ray DVD player.
4. A black robe
(…for my husband so he will stop stealing mine. And now we’re all presentable for the UPS guy when he arrives with the next gift for my husband…)
5. A GPS device for my (“I’m from Los Angeles!”) husband so he will stop getting lost in New York City.
The GPS device also comes with Bluetooth so that when I call him, I know the device is projecting our voices instead of him fiddling to get the speakerphone to work on his Blackberry in his lap as I yell: “Don’t talk to me when you’re driving! And you wonder why I had to get a life insurance policy?” I want this man to still around if I get to live to ninety eight (which my great-grandmother will be in April, G-d willing) even if he’ll only be ninety six since he’s a little youngster compared to me.
But alas, I confess, here’s what I should have bought on Black Friday:
1. A roundtrip to the Columbia Presbyterian Dental clinic to get my TMJ, receding gums and aching wisdom teeth checked out. I am practicing class A avoidance. I actually love going to the dentist but I know that though the students at the clinic provide dental care at an incredible discount, it will still cost me two or three times as much as all five things I did buy on Black Friday that gave me immediate gratification despite not curing my periodontal gum disease.
Dear Mr. O, what are you doing about my dental health care reform? According to the letter I received yesterday, my “affordable” health insurance now costs $695 a month but it offers “no dental, no mental” health coverage. And that Los Angeles allergist still gets to bill me $600 for a summer of helping me breath while the other doctor charges me $600 for helping me…well, you don’t want to know what.
How was your Black Friday and was it different than two years ago when the economy was a little less bleak? Was there something you did buy that made you feel guilty because you needed the money for something else?

3 thoughts on “Black Friday Withdrawal

  1. Not much purchasing going on this Black Friday. I simply enjoyed the fact that I had absolutely nothing to do. But if I were smart, I would've bought thermal underwear and a 3/4 length wool coat. I also want to buy a good pair of boots (or several!) with quality insoles. I'm not a shoe connoisseur or anything. I have wide, flat feet, so finding stuff that fits and looks good on me can be . . . challenging. Boots are the rare type of footwear that can accomplish this.


  2. There is a 50% off sale at Essential Apparel starting today. I cannot live without thermal underwear!

    Literally, I feel your foot pain. I also have wide flat feet. I always give into function over form. I think this is why I prefer electronics to footwear.


  3. Hey Aliza

    That Gaiam chair looks just the thing for me, with my ruptured disc (and the other one which looks a bit 'dodgy', technical term from my doctor!!). I know that when I sit on a Swiss ball, my posture is, as you say, muy perfecto.

    Hmm… thanks for the link!



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