Black Friday.

I went shopping today, as is my annual tradition. Mom & I go every year. We get up at crack-o-dawn, hit the sales, get breakfast at McDonald’s, then hit more sales. Those are the most important pieces of my Black Friday puzzle. This year was a bit more intense than usual, because we went with a friend who wanted to be in line at Wal-Mart at 4:30 a.m. to buy a Nintendo DS for her son.

Yes, that’s right. I got up, showered, dressed, and was in line at the Placerville Wal-Mart at 4:30 in the morning. This was a bit of a stretch for me. It seems like in the past we’ve hit mostly the 6 a.m. sales, maybe a few 5 a.m. sales, but I don’t recall being in line at 4:30 any time in recent years.

Was it madness? Most definitely. But there was a strange feeling of power in getting to the back of the store while there was still a pile of Nintendo Wiis, there for the taking, at the lowest price I’ve ever seen. I didn’t buy. I just looked, and thought, “Huh.”

In these modern times, we don’t hunt much. I think something about the day-after-Thanksgiving sales taps into that primal urge to HUNT. GO FASTER. PUSH PAST THE OTHERS. MOVE IN FOR THE KILL.

The other notable event of the day: I met them. The people who want “fullscreen” editions of their movies. Two different stores had “The Devil Wears Prada” for sale at an insanely low price. I enjoyed that movie, and I would have bought a copy, except that ALL of the copies at both stores were fullscreen. I don’t buy fullscreen movies. I stood there, looking at the DVDs, thinking, “Who ARE these people that buy fullscreen?” If I buy a movie, I want to see the WHOLE movie, thanks much. Then, as though summoned by my consternation, they appeared. A man in overalls, and his wife in a sweatshirt.

Woman (to her husband): “Make sure you get the FULLSCREEN one, Harold*.”

Harold then dutifully checks to make sure the DVD he is holding is, in fact, the fullscreen edition. A minute passes.

Me: “So… you like the fullscreen edition, then?”

Harold: “Yeah, I guess so.”

“Ah. I see. You like whatever she likes?”

“Yeah, pretty much. Well… isn’t the fullscreen the one that fills up the whole TV?”

“Yes.”

“And the widescreen has those black bars?”

“Uh-huh.”

“I hate those bars.”

“Really? See, I was just here wondering why anyone would buy the fullscreen edition, because I always buy widescreen.”

“Well, what’s the difference, other than those bars?”

“Well, see – if they fill up your whole screen, then they have to cut off the sides of the film, so you don’t get to see the whole thing.”

“Oh. I guess I never thought about it.”

“I like to see the whole movie.”

“Well, it don’t make much of a difference, though – really.”

“I suppose not.”

So. There they were. The people that genuinely prefer, and are driving the market for… fullscreen movies. I don’t understand them, but I know that they exist, because now I’ve seen them with my own eyes.

Ten and a half hours later, I came home. And although we were out for a LONG time, I didn’t actually buy that much. But I really, really, really enjoyed the shopping. Spending a day shopping, perusing, browsing, wandering… is a luxury. While I was out, I saw some interesting things, talked to some interesting people, had some interesting thoughts, and I got to spend the day with my mom (also interesting).

Overall: A+++ WOULD SHOP AGAIN.

*not his real name.

*Post updated (twice) with this link and this link for those interested in learning more about widescreen vs. pan-and-scan.

2 thoughts on “Black Friday.

  1. Sara

    I never knew you don’t get to see the whole movie in full screen. I thought the bars at the top were annoying, and that full screen was just the same movie but without the bars. You have taught me…

  2. Robyn

    I really love that the examples shown were screen shots from The Labyrinth. I love that movie. The goblins scare Mason though.

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