WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Oh no, I actually caved in to the trappings of Black Friday even after stating last week how I thought the Thanksgiving holiday was the last bastion of commercially free holidays. I was sucked into the glitz and attraction to an unbelievable bargain.

    When we received two daily papers last Wednesday loaded with about four or five pounds of glossy advertising supplements, one item caught my eye at one of the area’s big box stores. It was a 32 inch LED flat screen TV for 98 bucks. Of course then I thought about all the horror stories of Black Fridays past, people getting trampled when the doors to some stores open, pushing, shoving and fighting often broke out.

    But then the more I thought about it the more I wanted to go down on Thanksgiving evening to try and get my flat screen TV. It would be nice to replace the 20 some year old venerable CRT television near my computer  desk.

    I almost always work on Fridays, so Black Friday has never been an option for me, but this was different the really good sales all seemed to be on Thanksgiving day! Well I thought, hey maybe it won’t be as busy as Black Friday. So I decided to forego our spaghetti supper until Friday. I talked it over earlier with Best Friend and she thought I should leave before 4 o’clock, but in my infinite wisdom I thought if I left at 5 o’clock that would be fine. At about three o’clock I started thinking about Best Friends suggestion, and decided maybe her advice was probably better than my judgement, as this often happens,  she was right.

    I thought since we also were planning  on replacing our Christmas tree I could look at those while I was waiting for the flat screen TV. Got to the box store about a quarter after four. I saw a couple of management looking guys in the small appliance area, and proceeded to ask them where the flat screen TVs would be, and they told me over by the baby supplies.  I thought the ad said something about handing out wrist bands at 6:00 0’clock. But I thought, well I might as well go over there to check it out, setting my compass for northeast, I headed over there and found they were already handing out wristbands for the TVs so was able to get one. Of course then I had almost an hour and a half to wait before they actually handed out the TVs. So while I waited, I decided to grab a sandwich to kill some time, then returned about a quarter to six to get in line.

    I was in line with a lady and her adult son, so  I struck up a conversation with them, and by the time they started handing out the TVs we both knew a lot about each of our families.

    About the only problem I noticed was that some people didn’t realize they had to have a wrist band to get the TV that night, although they could get a voucher to purchase it that evening for  later store delivery. Otherwise the only thing I noticed was the  store isles were so crowded it was difficult to get up to the check out. But despite that I was out of the  store by about 6:30.

    Since then I have talked to a few people that said at other places the parking lots were so full and in some cases lines formed outside the stores. Also I heard that the big Black Friday sales were pretty much a bust in most places, so I guess all they are doing is robbing Peter to pay Paul.  

    All  in all  it wasn’t a bad experience for me, but I am not likely to do it again unless the  planets come together again in perfect alignment.

    Oh yeah, Friday night Best Friend and I enjoyed our Thanksgiving spaghetti supper.

Have a great week and do good!