My New Black Friday Tradition

Yes, I’m a woman, a mom, sister, auntie, and friend. I feel victorious. I have convinced important women in my life to hit the stores WITHOUT me on Black Friday. Afterward, they’ll meet me at my very favorite tattoo parlor (where we are all getting new ink) and then join me for a beverage or two at some of my favorite local hangouts.

I refuse to do the traditional Black Friday shopping this year. I’ve had it with the lines, the shoving, the demand for better prices, the prices that were only good until 9 am but now it’s 9:03 am (nevermind that I’ve been in line since 7:34 am), and especially the parking lot rage.

Things were different when my kids were young, when I was certain they NEEDED the newest thing on the market, and online shopping was just a glimmer of hope in my mind’s eye. I demanded three copies of the local papers on Thanksgiving Day, took over the largest table in the house, made a list, then an order of stores, and a plan presented itself. I would be up at 4 AM, coffee in hand and car warmed up half an hour later and at the first stores by 5 AM at the LATEST. This borderline claustrophobic 5’3″ woman would find herself trapped in the middle of a gaggle 6′ tall dads trying to the newest Gameboy for her kids—and since I was already in the ring—for my nieces and nephews too!

I’m not shy about not liking crowds. My friends know I can’t stand being touched. Why in the hell would I subject myself to shopping on the busiest day of the year? I barely survived yesterday with my family at the mall—seriously—I came home and was in bed by 7 PM.

I don’t care if anyone else shops—this is NOT A JUDGEMENT—I just am taking myself out of the parking lot chaos, the line of the mom with a laser focus on the name brand jersey that happens to be 3 inches behind my head, and away from the lighting that makes my head pound.

I’m hitting up one local store that morning. I’m doing a book reading and signing. Then I’m meandering at my own pace across the street to a gorgeous brick building. I’ll buy myself whatever coffee drink I’m feeling, and head up the stairs to get a new tattoo with my sisters-in-law and nieces. When everyone is done, we’ll slowly and calmly wander over to a local watering hole and enjoy one another’s company.

‘Tis the season and this year….I’m giving myself a gift. I’m gifting myself permission to create my own day.

Joy Hedding

Joy aka Evil Joy is wife to one Dr. Evil and mother to four children she often refers to as spawn. Joy is a snowboarding fanatic and loves to share her exploits - snowboarding and otherwise - on Instagram. She currently spends copious amounts of time taxiing her children from one place to another. Frequently funny, always honest, and occasionally serious Joy blogs about everything from dealing with messy teenagers to navigating life after PTSD. Joy has been published in the anthologies "Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor" and "Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee" and has been featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds and UrbanMommies.com. Her blog is Evil Joy Speaks and you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.

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