When I was older, oh say about 13 or so, after Father moved back to town, Nana started a tradition with me. Nana loved to shop. Pap did not. He would go and hold her bags, but it was obvious he wasn’t having fun.
My mom works in the banking industry and always had to work black friday. Lee would go with friends, or father, or pap.
Nana would pick me up early and we would shop. I grew up in a small town. Basically your choice was the mall or the small group of stores around the mall. There was only 2 ways to get to the mall, causing a yearly traffic jam. Still I loved it.
Nana taught me her black friday shopping rules. Rules I still follow to this day.
-Never go out with specific items in mind. You will likely not find them.
-Do go knowing who you need to buy for and what things they like.
-No matter the deal, if you don’t need it, it isn’t worth it.
-Always stop for coffee at least once during the day.
-bring a small purse or just money in your pocket. You don’t want to loose a purse in the giant crowd.
-Keep a list of people to cross off as you go so you don’t end up overshopping for anyone.
It was something just nana and I did together, and I have a lot of good memories of it. I’d do about anything for just one more trip with her.
And so now, now I go whether I have money or not. As a way to honor Nana and remember. And I always stop for coffee and a pretzel. We don’t have any Orange Julius anymore, but I always stop somewhere, and remember.
This year I do have a little money to spend. I also have the day off. You wouldn’t believe how dead the grocery store side of Meijers is on black friday. I will go shopping, maybe with my sister in law, maybe by myself. And i’ll have fun, and look for bargains, and I’ll remember and probably cry a bit too.
And I’ll remember, for my Nana, whom is 91 with advanced Alzheimer’s, I”ll remember what she no longer can.