UNITED STATES─ It has been a tradition in my family for years, where after Thanksgiving dinner we indulge in Black Friday shopping. It’s an opportunity for us to bond even more as a family, and it doesn’t hurt to get a bargain at the same time America. However, I am not sure what transpired in 2019 where it was utter chaos at many big box retailers and at the shopping malls.

For starters, I’ve seen some chaos in the past, but nothing like this year. It was beyond baffling, annoying and just damn disrespectful if you ask me. For starters, if you’re waiting in line at a store to open, the store should NOT allow people to just cut in line. It annoys me to the core, that while you have people sitting and waiting out in the cold and someone just hops out there vehicle and attempts to cut in line with someone they know who is already waiting. Plain and simple, either get in the line when it forms, otherwise, get to the BACK of the line!

Now, another issue which I’m still trying to wrap my mind around: why people bring their kids shopping on Black Friday. It is literally one of the busiest shopping day of the year. The crowds are epic, you shouldn’t want your kids running rampant in the stores, let alone get lost and you are unable to find them. Plain and simple, if you don’t have a babysitter, leave the kids at home people. It’s cold, wet, snowy, and they don’t have the patience to wait in long lines like adults do.

However, what baffled me more than anything in previous years was the fact that people acted like the world was going to end if they didn’t get their hands on that doorbuster item that was on sell. I mean people were literally running in the stores, running up escalators, running to get to the elevator. It was just disturbing to watch. Why? People failed to realize that items they thought were free were NOT FREE, it was after the rebate. Do you honestly think a retailer is going to just give out free items to the public just because? Of course they will not. Read the fine print in the ads people before acting like utter idiots in the public sphere.

When workers at some of your biggest retailers have to tell the customers to calm down and to not act like fools that says a lot about where we have come as a society. With that said, another issue is parking and those behind the wheel. I visited two malls over the holiday weekend, and one had quite a bit of parking for the public, the other not so much. I mean we drove around for close to 30 minutes at one shopping complex, so much to the point that the mall had to be completely full in terms of parking spaces. It was so crazy people were parking distances from the mall and walking to their final destination.

That is only the beginning because tons of people were just walking and leisurely taking their time. That’s fine and dandy, but do not obstruct traffic by walking side-by-side where people are unable to move. Move to the side. I know this sounds crazy, and perhaps I’m starting to understand why so many people decide to shop online; you never have to deal with such chaos and annoyance.

The last thing I want to discuss are people not knowing what they’re going to do when they get to the register. It’s simple: you’re either paying with cash, credit or debit. You should be prepared to submit payment by the time you get to the register. You should not be digging through your wallet to find your method of payment. It slows down the pace and you start to get customers who become restless or annoyed.

While things might seem negative, with the bad comes the absolute good: deals are better in stores than online. I mean when you can get a pair of Tommy Bahama shows regular $250 for only $14 you have indeed nabbed the steal of a lifetime. Online you tend to save money, but it’s usually 20 to 30 percent less than if you were actually at the store in person.

I don’t know what to say about Black Friday beyond as much chaos as it can be, it’s a wonderful time of the year for family, bonding, deals and just an experience that you’ll never forget.