Friday, November 27, 2009

The Lure of Black Friday

I have never been a fan of shopping, traffic, or waiting in lines. My opinion of this fairly newfound tradition known as Black Friday is pretty evident. Even the term is a turn off for me. It sounds so negative. If I have to go shopping, I am generally armed with a perfectly-detailed list, or at the very least, a strict idea of just what I want.

I admit that I'm not a monk, or whatever the shopping equivalent is for browsing and buying abstinence. There are times that even I am tempted by promises of big savings and huge sales. So when I learned that Staples was offering deals, I was intrigued.

It just so happened that they had what I really wanted—a 21" flat screen monitor for $89. Holy cow that is almost the size of my television set. I really wanted it. Then, I learned that they also had an illuminated keyboard. And it was on sale for only $29.00. How cool was that? I'd never heard of such decadence.

The only catch was that the sale was between 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the dreaded Black Friday.

What a hideous way to spend the morning after a rousing good time with family members. But, I couldn't help myself. I wanted this monitor. I had been using an adequate but very outdated 17" monitor since 1999. The thing was huge and heavy. It was repaired once already and who knows how long it would last, even thought it was, at the present time, working flawlessly.

But for how long?

Then I thought about the keyboard. My keyboard was not very old, but I've never liked it. It was a wireless keyboard and mouse combination. It too was adequate, but there were times that it skipped a letter or space now and then. That could be pretty embarrassing if in a news story, one of those got by me. Truthfully, I wanted a wired keyboard. They were much more reliable for professional writing. On my old keyboard, the letters had worn off the keys—I have done that to countless keyboards. So when I heard about an illuminated keyboard, I was so excited. So, I made plans to jump in and do my shopping thing.

My husband and I got up at 6 a.m., had only one cup of coffee before unplugging the pot, got dressed, let the dog out quickly, fed the cats, and were on our way. He noticed that there was no Staples ad in the paper. We didn't expect anyone to be there at 7 a.m. We learned about the sale when we had gone in the store a week earlier to buy an ink cartridge for my printer. While I was admiring the flat screen monitors, the store salesman asked me if I wanted one. He then told me they would be on sale on Black Friday.

The parking lot was completely full. Flyer or not, they knew. But, it wasn't unbearable. Store clerks were very helpful. We found what we wanted and were on our way home within 45 minutes. We plugged the coffee pot back in and by the time it was hot, John already had my monitor and keyboard up and running.

Black Friday, and I really hate that name, was good to me. As often as I stare at a monitor a computer screen and tickle the keys on the keyboard, this was a worthwhile, if not a healthy purchase. This new screen is huge. It is easy to arrange all the 'stuff' I have on my desktop. While I don't need to see the keys when I type, there is a benefit to seeing the function keys of which I'm unfamiliar. I thought it was rather silly to have a lighted keyboard, but as I sat here, what began as a bright, sunny day slowly slipped into night without my even noticing. Admittedly that happens often. So, I see the benefit of a lighted keyboard. And, I like it.