The Ten People You Meet on Black Friday
For many people, Black Friday sales are as much of a holiday ritual as decorating the tree or mailing coal to relatives. But those who show up for the madness year after year eventually notice something: that the people around them fall into a pattern which, once seen, cannot be denied. Here are the ten people you will meet if you venture into the retail wild this year.
1. The Strategists
Who they are: the family that’s planned this trip like it’s a mission to steal launch codes from the Kremlin
Telltale signs: walkie-talkies sewn to coats; store blueprints swiped from the county clerk; eyes colder than a $40 mini-fridge
Often spotted: three moves ahead of you
2. The Campers
Who they are: people who had better things to do than sit at home spending time with the people they’re buying presents for
Telltale sign: they brought things...so many things
Often spotted: catching up on sleep between sentences
3. The Nervous Employee
Who he is: a regular person who watched a six-minute training video on crowd control
Telltale sign: he has the same helpless expression as everyone else, except he's wearing a name tag
Often spotted: jumping at loud noises like a rookie police officer
4. The Accidental Shopper
Who she is: an innocent. Someone who thought this would be a good day to buy more cereal. This was not a good day to buy more cereal.
Telltale signs: a mostly empty cart, a mostly sinking heart
Often spotted: reaching the entrance, realizing her mistake, weighing the value of more cereal against the time investment of obtaining more cereal, venturing a few steps forward, thinking again, leaving to spend the next few weeks in bed
5. The Squabbling Couple
Who they are: two people who liked each other as recently as yesterday
Telltale sign: the ability to ask a question about warranties in a way that communicates resentment with each other
Often spotted: yes, they are often spotted
6. The Shady Reseller
Who he is: possibly just a guy who needs a whole lot of blenders
Telltale sign: there’s no way he needs that many blenders
Often spotted: demanding to know where to find more blenders
7. The Out-of-Place Child
Who she is: a kid, man. Just a kid. Why isn’t she in bed? What kind of ploy is this?
Telltale signs: smaller than everyone else, though oddly less inclined to throw tantrums
Often spotted: scampering through the crowd’s legs with the last Blu-Ray player
8. The Weird Santa
Who he is: hopefully, someone who works here
Telltale signs: beard as white as snow, eyes as red as poinsettias
Often spotted: on the news the next day, though you didn’t catch why
9. The Extreme Couponer
Who he is: someone who likes a bargain. Is that so wrong?
Telltale sign: his coupons are stored in any manner other than shoved in a pocket
Often spotted: trying to stack a BOGO on an expired peelie
10. The Spirit of Disgruntlement
Who It is: the anti-Santa. The bleak mood in the air. That feeling that maybe you should be somewhere else, doing something else...anything else.
Telltale signs: dressed in black and carrying a discounted scythe for each of Its cousins
Often spotted: whenever you close your eyes
If you prefer to do your shopping at home for some strange reason, you can always buy your gifts on Groupon. If you’re not convinced, read our guide on how to evolve your gift-giving traditions to cause actual, lasting happiness.
(Images by Jess Snively and Michelle Klosinski for Groupon.)
Sean is a senior editor and a gradually improving cook. He once asked a man at an airport if he was Kevin Sorbo, and the man said no, but it was totally Kevin Sorbo.