For years I’ve said, rather smugly, I’m sure, that I wouldn’t shop on Black Friday. Of course for the last ten years or so I’ve been at work on Black Friday, making the point moot. But our work schedule has changed, and I was home today, and yes, I went shopping. But not at the mall or the big box stores.
Two of the friends that I had Thanksgiving dinner with yesterday were going shopping last evening, which I never even considered. (Their two top destinations were Victoria’s Secret and Toys R Us, which I thought was an interesting combination.) But this morning, after several days of very cold and very wet weather, was cool and sunny, perfect weather for getting out and doing something.
I don’t do much in the way of Christmas shopping, but I had some things I needed. I was running low on cat food, I have a friend with a birthday next week, and I always need something at the grocery store. So I set out with my shopping list and coupons, only to discover that the vet clinic (where I get the diet food that doesn’t seem to causing any noticeable reduction in Nutmeg’s weight) was closed for the weekend. But by then I was out and about, so I went on to Office Depot.
Office Depot was not crowded. I bought a supply of pens, one of those folding cardboard science fair display boards (Jo Anne and I use them to hide our jigsaw puzzles from the cats, and the current one is falling apart), and a stuffed panda wearing a red and white muffler. Okay, so I’m a sucker for stuffed animals, even at the office supply store. And then the lady at the check out offered me an 800-sheet package of paper for $4. Couldn’t turn that down. No writer ever has too much paper.
Office Depot is next door to Half Price Books, as if I needed an excuse. And I had a coupon. So I came out with Charlaine Harris’ Dead Ever After, the last Sookie Stackhouse novel (I haven’t read the previous one yet, but I’ll catch up), Janet Evanovich’s Takedown Twenty (I’m up to date on Stephanie Plum’s adventures, and this one will go on the To Be Read Soon pile), and two collections by David Sedaris, whom I always enjoy when I catch him on NPR. And a stuffed Frost Dragon. Told you I couldn’t resist stuffed animals. Half Price Books was fairly busy, but no more so than usual.
Next stop, Bed Bath & Beyond, which was probably the most crowded store I hit today. I found a birthday present and some kitchen stuff–I don’t cook much, but I like gadgets. No stuffed animals. And then on to Barnes & Noble, which was not as busy as I expected. I bought another birthday present there, and one book for myself, Fixing to Die, the latest installment in Elaine Viets’ series about mystery shopper Josie Marcus. I’m a couple of books behind on that series (and a lot of others!), but I’d never pass up one of Viets’ books.
Finished up at the grocery store, which was crowded (I thought everyone was eating leftovers today), for a few things, which somehow cost me another eighty bucks. But I remembered the birthday cards I needed and a few cans of non-diet cat food to tide Nutmeg over, and succumbed to temptation when I spotted the half-price sale on Dreyer’s ice cream (I bought mint chocolate chip, my lifetime favorite).
Tomorrow is small business Saturday, and I’ve been trying to think of some independent shops in my area. Once upon a time there were lots of small books stores, selling both new and used books, but sadly they’re all gone now. Maybe I’ll have lunch at a non-chain restaurant. Or maybe I’ll stay home and read.