This guy's on a quest to have fun shopping

November 24, 2011|Bill Kohler

As you read this, I likely will be out there among the people.

I’ve run out of excuses, so I’m jumping into the Black Friday fray today.

Maybe because I haven’t done the Black Friday shopping thing in six or seven years, I’m saying to my wife, “Let’s go out there and have some fun.”


Yeah, what could be more fun than being on your feet for hours, waiting in line with people — some of whom are smelly and a little scary — that you don’t know?

Pushing and shoving — and even running — for the hot toy that is only three bucks less than it will be on Tuesday, when no one is in the store. Sounds like a blast!

What about the parking and the waiting? That’s when the real fun begins. Like when you try to get the quarter-mile from Sears to the on-ramp to Interstate 81 at Valley Mall and your daughter announces she has to go to the restroom. That’s the best.

Or wasting half a tank of gas driving around the parking lot at the outlets just to find a spot that’s a 10-minute walk. Uh huh. Good times.

But hey, the big thing here is quality time with the people you care about the most: family and friends.

My wife loves it when we shop together — as long as I don’t “hover,” and don’t start tapping my watch or begin walking toward the car.

And to be honest, I like to window shop at some stores. I enjoy looking my best and actually don’t mind checking out the latest in men’s fashion.

I also love Lowe’s and other hardware stores. I could wander around for hours looking at stuff.

I realize I’m not the norm. Most guys get in and get out if they go anywhere near retail.

But back to my point: This day shouldn’t be about the deals (yeah, right) and the 3 a.m. doorbusters (seriously, is a $300 LCD TV really worth having to get up in the middle of the night?). It should be about the fun, adventure and hanging with your crew.

Guys are into chases and conquests. Maybe my wife will give me a flier, a deadline and a kick in the rear, and send me on my way. I’ll return in time with the prize and enough cash left to go stand in line for 30 minutes at the food court.

Now that sounds like fun. I just hope my daughter remembers to go to the bathroom before we get in the car ...


During Thanksgiving week, we are often reminded to consider the things for which we are thankful. I used to be pretty bitter about my father’s death (he died in early 2008), but time has helped ease the pain.

Over the months and years, I’ve come to treasure the times I’ve spent with my dad and other loved ones lost along the way. I still miss him terribly, but looking back, I was fortunate to spend as much time with him as I did.

You can’t go back in time, but you can be thankful for the times you’ve had with the people who matter most.

And for those still around, I’m grateful I am able to make more memories.

I think that’s something for which we all can be thankful.

Bill Kohler is Tri-State Editor of The Herald-Mail. Reach him at Follow Tri-State news on Twitter at @HMinPA or @HMinWV.

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