I don’t Black Friday shop. Being five-foot-two, I have never had the desire to be trampled into a human pancake, black heel imprints on my forehead.
I work hard to clear up the skin on my forehead. I don’t want footprints on it. Acne products are expensive, man.
However, Friday (yes, The Friday, Black Friday, the big kahoona), giddy from getting my hair done, I waltzed to my nearest Best Buy, blissfully unaware of the ugly shopper’s flurry that surrounded me.
The parking lot was small, so securing a spot third from the end didn’t bother me. I considered myself blessed. Now I didn’t have to maneuver my way around the warm bodies that peppered the lot.
A Prius zoomed in beside me, and a man jumped out. His bouncing, bald head reflected the lights of the street signs nearby. He was in a hurry.
Pickup trucks were lined outside the entrance. Every other person seemed to be holding a giant TV; man, woman, and child.
Teenage boys stood at the edge of the sidewalk, large awkward boxes in their arms, arguing as they waited for their father to pull the car in.
I sidestepped the commotion and entered the sliding doors, smiling at a man wearing a black Best Buy polo. He regarded me, teary eyed, like someone hadn’t smiled at him since boyhood.
I knew what I wanted and it was an Apple Watch.
By pure luck, the Apple display was closest to the entrance. I went right to it, scanning the features on the cards, measuring up the different sizes to my tiny wrist.
“Can I help you?” A tall man with a dark goatee approached me. He wore a disheveled, off-white polo and a black tie.
I launched straight into buyer mode and asked him to talk to me. “What kind of deals you got going on?”
“Only on prices,” he quipped.
My favorite kind.
He started with the most recent edition of Apple Watch, the series 3. He listed all the great features for something he called an “active lifestyle,” such as water-proof, sweat-proof, workout tracking, activity monitoring.
I cut him off. “You’re not really talking my language here…”
He backpedaled. He said for someone “not so active” the Series 1 would work best. A customer returned to him just then and he excused himself to assist.
Knowing I wanted to buy the Series 1, I busied myself, deciding between colors. Space gray or silver? Space gray or silver…
If you know anything about me, I have the type of personality that means Jesus will return before I’ve made a concrete decision about anything. Choosing a color is torture.
I made room for a Hispanic lady who circled around the counter to study the Apple Watch display. A Best Buy shop girl trailed her like a servant, cradling a long white box. The lady said something about gold, and the shop girl shook her head.
“Only silver,” the girl gestured to the box.
The lady turned to me and smirked. “I’m getting the last one.”
“Good for you!” I grinned, joyously unaware of her snobbery at the time. “Hey, you earned it!”
Behind her, the Shop Girl’s eyebrows scrunched together. She motioned to the woman and mouthed, She said that like, “now you can’t have one!” What the heck? Her eyes rolled and she shook her head.
I shrugged and mouthed back, Whatever.
The girl seemed pleased with my reaction and went on to follow the woman to the Watch Accessory department.
Soon, the goateed man returned and I triumphantly told him my decision of a Series 1 watch in silver. He returned not too long after—not empty handed, but with a box.
He frowned slightly. “So we’re completely out of the Series 1 watches… but I think I found something you would like…” He lifted the lid and inside sat a tiny silver Apple Watch with a gray band.
He went on to explain that it was a Series 3. However, being an open-box and on sale, it came out to the price of a Series 2. “So, you’re paying a little more than you anticipated. But you’re getting an upgrade, times two.”
A naughty grin stretched across my face as IMPULSIVE SHOPPER kicked into gear. “I’ll take it!”
We chatted briefly about the crowd as he walked me to a register. “Yeah, they’ve been here since Thanksgiving,” he said.
“What? No Thanksgiving dinner?” I frowned.
“None for me either,” he continued, “I worked. But it doesn’t matter, I don’t have any family nearby anyways.”
“Oh, that’s sad…”
“And my girlfriend broke up with me a few days before the holiday.”
“Oh!” I chuckled slightly, an appalling, natural reaction to when things go horribly wrong, but suppressed it immediately. “That’s terrible!”
“Yeah. But anyways,” he handed me my receipt, “sorry for venting. Enjoy your Apple Watch. My name’s Cody.”
So here is my ode to Cody. To Cody who is having the suckiest Thanksgiving, who is having to work Holidays that “sure, I get time and a half, but after taxes and everything, it comes out to the same take-home pay as any other day…”, to Cody whose girlfriend broke up with him, and who sadly has no family that lives nearby to celebrate Thanksgiving with.
Cody, I am sorry, from the bottom of my heart, but I want you to know that today, you are my hero.
Because you united me with my Apple Watch, thus completing my Apple Product Collection (besides an Apple TV but I don’t have room for one of those).
And I shall be forever grateful for your services.
Now, I raise a glass.
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