I hate shopping.
And I’m not talking about Christmas shopping. I mean 365 days a year.
I hear the stories all the time about all the moms who love their trips to Target and my eye starts to twitch a little (okay, a lot).
I hate the crowds, I hate knowing that whatever I buy will likely go on sale the minute after I buy it and I hate knowing that whatever I buy will be outgrown, obsolete, forgotten about in a matter of weeks.
So when I hear about people waking up at 5am on Black Friday to do the most extreme version of the thing that I do my best to avoid at 2pm on a Tuesday in April, you would assume that I would think those people are crazy, but I don’t.
I understand it. I understand the thrill of getting the ‘best’ possible deal. I understand the charge of feeling like you just saved a ton of money.
But even Black Friday isn’t good enough for me.
I need more. And I need it cheaper. I need it USED.
See, I don’t get excited about $49.99 for my choice of furniture items.
I get excited for Midcentury Modern bookcases that hold every size of kids book (and even has a shelf for Tag readers) priced at $15 on Craigslist.
Or beat up, junky little things for $5 that can be transformed into just the perfect piece for that little nook by the front door.
I have a hard time getting excited about “My choice of Toys for $24.99”
When for $24.99, last year I was able to buy my son all of these:
All for less than $24.99. (Plus, the added bonus of momentarily feeling like a dangerous, bad-ass from a Breaking Bad episode while exchanging money in a Starbucks parking lot and walking away with a suspicious looking white duffle bag.)
It’s hard for me to get excited about 50% off Pokemon cards
When on our neighborhood Facebook Garage sale, you can get 700 Pokemon cards for $10.
And endless offers of books for next to nothing.
Or the rare, but ultimate thrill of finding the Monster High Torrelei doll your daughter has been wanting for year (which is discontinued and selling for $150+) for sale for $5.
So, while all the bargain shoppers are out facing the crowds at the mall, I’ll be here, sleeping in til 9:00 and doing a quick Facebook Garage Sale & Craigslist browse from my bed.
Even the slashed prices of Black Friday can’t compare to the crazy ass prices someone’s willing to charge for their ‘gently used’ treasures when they want that damn stuff out of their house.
Added bonus: On Christmas, you don’t have to spend hours removing those awful twist ties that secure toys withing that crazy-sharp, hermetically sealed plastic stuff use to pack toys in. The person that was kind enough to sell you that awesome Millennium Falcon for $3 already did that for you last year.
Even better, when they’ve grown tired of (or outgrown) their toys, you can simply resell them and essentially get your money back. Free toys!
To recap: No stores. Practically-free toys. No packaging. Happy kids.
Here’s wishing you a very merry Craigslist-Christmas.
Once upon a time, Susanne Kerns was a Senior Account Director at an advertising agency working for two of the top brands in the world. Nine years ago she traded in her corporate life for a life as a stay at home mom, raising two of the best kids in the world. She started her blog, The Dusty Parachute as a way to dust off her online advertising skills and begin her job search. Instead, she now uses it as a way to spend lots of time on the computer so her kids think that mommy has a job.
Susanne’s essays have been featured in Scary Mommy, BonBon Break and Redbook and she is also a contributor in the books, It’s Really 10 Months, Special Delivery and Martinis & Motherhood – Tales of Wonder Woe & WTF?!