Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

November 29, 2013

Check Brown Thursday off to-do list

By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — You know how there are times when you’ve never done something, but you go ahead and do it just so you can say, “Yeah, been there, done that.”

Well, I can honestly say that in reference to shopping for bargains on Thanksgiving Day, which has been dubbed as Brown Thursday, the day before Black Friday.

I shopped two stores, looking for specific items that were advertised.

I traveled to a nearby town with the anticipation of purchasing the items. I arrived early. In fact, a little too early. I pulled into the parking lot of one store a little before 6 p.m., thinking the store would already be open. I thought I could be in the store, shopping, and would be able to get in the check-out line at exactly 8 p.m. when the advertised Brown Thursday sale began with my merchandise already in hand. Wrrrrrrooooonnnnngggg!

The parking lot was virtually empty, but there were about eight brave souls huddled together outside the door, waiting in the mid-30 degree temperature.

Upon seeing these folks, I thought, “Man, they are crazy!”

There is nothing I need from a retail store bad enough to stand out in mid-30 degree temperatures for nearly two hours.

So, I went and got a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke and ate slowly in the warmth of a cozy restaurant.

Afterwards, I went back to the store and parked a lot further away from the entrance than I had previously. I noticed more people had gathered to stand in line.

Still not wanting to stand out in the cold, I went to a neighboring store and shopped for about 30 minutes. When I exited, the line to the store where I initially wanted to shop had grown tremendously.

I thought if I was truly going to do it, I might as well as join everyone else. Luckily, I was only in line a short period of time before being allowed to enter the store.

I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting once I got inside, but I hoped I wouldn’t be caught in the middle of snatch and grab sessions over sale items.

As it turned out, everyone behaved quite well. There was no drama. There was no chaos, at least there wasn’t while I was there.

I casually walked down the aisle of the store to the area where I thought I would find what I wanted to buy.

I was looking for two turtlenecks — one black, one white.

I found the display. Quickly scanned the labels, checking the sizes. I paused and then went back over the display, checking the sizes again.

Wouldn’t you know it? The store didn’t have my size. Not in black. Not in white. Not even in purple — a color I liked, but not one that I needed.

I did however find a crewneck, long-sleeved, cotton, black shirt, which was also on sale, that I liked.

I made my way to checkout and wound my way through the roped-off area to the end of the line, where a sales associate directed me to a cashier who rang up my purchase.

With one swipe of my credit card, I was out the door and on my way to my car at the end of the parking lot in less than an hour.

Then it was on to the second store, where I was able to park rather close to the entrance and waited for a brief period of time before joining many others who were standing in line.

It wasn’t long after joining them that the line began to move.

There was one item in particular I wanted at this store — .22 -caliber long rifle bullets. Clearly I was not buying these for myself, but for someone in my family. The store was limiting the purchases to one per customer.

A woman in line behind me was doing the same thing and commented that of all the things she could stand in line to purchase, she never thought it would be bullets.  

Inside, I learned I had to stand in yet another line near the back of the store, before I could go to the front of the store and stand in another line before making my purchase.

I inched my way toward the counter with others who were also in line. I had almost made it to the counter, when a sales associate announced they were out of the bullets I was there to buy.

Needless to say, I was disappointed to have wasted my time. I got out of line and made my way back through the store to the exit.

That was it. I was done. No more shopping for me. It was time to head home.

In my lifetime, I’ve only been shopping on Black Friday a few times, but never did I go looking for something specific. In the past, I had gone shopping on Black Friday just to get myself in the holiday spirit and to see if there was anything I needed, or if I could find anything to buy as a gift for someone else.

I now realize I probably shouldn’t have gone looking for specific things on Brown Thursday, because I certainly didn’t get to purchase them.

As for whether I will be out shopping on Brown Thursday again next year, I doubt it. It will have to be something really special and really cheap for me to stand in line for any length of time to purchase it, and the temperature will certainly have to be higher than the mid-30s.

But at least now when people comment about shopping on Brown Thursday, I can say, “Yeah, I’ve been there. I’ve done that.”

Gina Kinslow is a staff writer for the Glasgow Daily Times. She can be contacted by e-mail at gkinslow@glasgowdailytimes.com.