Being this close to Thanksgiving and the wonderment of that most basic of all days, Black Friday, I thought that maybe some shopping tales might be appropriate.
I have, once and only once, been a party to the craziness of shopping the day after thanksgiving in a big city. I highly recommend doing this—once. In my case it did not involve the 3 a.m. lining up to get an electronic game that I would have absolutely no idea how to play. I actually don’t really remember buying anything. I do however remember it taking about forty minutes to go through a light at Kietzke Lane onto South Virginia Street down about 400 feet through another light and into Meadowood Mall in Reno. By the time my sister-in-law and I got there we opted to not even get out of the car. We ended up grabbing a Starbucks Frappuccino and headed back to her house to watch the men of the house sleep during the BIG GAME they just had to watch. Never again.
Through that malaise I found that there is nothing in this world worth going out, at o-dark hundred hours, get in line freezing my ears to nubs, to buy anything! So with that learning experience under my belt, I now stay home and enjoy the warmth of the fire and the coolness of cold turkey sandwiches. But I do watch the news to see all the other crazies that have yet to learn what shop ‘till you drop really means. Now that’s entertainment!
But here is a shopping story, if you are a sale shopper that I bet you can relate to. This little story took place after all the holiday hub-bub was over. In an effort to create better sales numbers during the cold and bleak winter months of January and February some department stores have what is commonly known as a “White Sale.” Not that everything they sell is white, it is just easier to advertise a white sale than a “HUGE-we are cleaning out all the old and tattered left over stuff from the Christmas bombardment and everything else we can find hiding in our back room-SALE.”
Several years and many dickering sessions ago around the mid 70’s, the queen of bargain hunting who taught me everything I know about the art of bargaining, my mother, took me and what was then my fairly new husband to a HUGE White Sale at a large department store in January in Reno. You are going to find this hard to believe but I am a bit shy when it comes to being first in line. Truly! But I was shopping with a woman who was the very first person in the door of the new Sears & Roebuck store in the brand new Park Lane Mall when it opened in Reno sometime in the early 60’s. So shy or not, the mother, I and the new husband were the first three in the door as the poor saleswomen opened the glass portals. The rush of the wind as the herds mooed and snorted our way in was felt all the way down to Carson City some 31 miles away. Now this was my farmer husband’s first true sale shopping event with the mother-in-law and he was being a grand sport—right up until he time I nabbed the last king sized dual controlled electric blanket on sale for $14.99 out of a bin of about fifty blankets. I believe now that it was the only king size blanket in the store. It was a come on for sure, but I was the victor and my poor husband was put in the dangerous position of being the guard. I threw the blanket to him and as I took off for the sheet section I said hold onto this for me. My mother added instructions to him, “For goodness sakes whatever you do don’t set it down.”
I can still see the terrified look on his face as I looked back at him over my shoulder and saw a flock of ladies surrounding him, almost chanting, “Drop the blanket sonny, drop the blanket sonny.” Priceless. I can still feel the warmth of that blanket and even though it only lasted one winter, it was worth every penny.
We still laugh about that sale excursion every year as we gather around the turkey covered table. That was a memory making time that I have a feeling every family has had in one form or another. Of course it is held near and dear to the year we ended up going to the uh, houses of ill-repute in Ely to gather up family members that had gone astray during the family celebrations. Such another story.
Living in Nevada does have its very own color wheel to brighten up the holidays. As I am sure all other states do. Like Idaho, Utah, California, Wyoming, Oregon…
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your memories with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.