Black Friday is gross and demeaning and bad for the world. I should have stayed home and Bought Nothing, but I needed a laptop and I couldn’t sleep anyway, having inhaled roughly 4,000 gravy-and-pie-related calories. So I got up just before midnight and sallied forth to Best Buy to see what might be seen. It was raining, but I figured, Hey, an adventure.
The parking lot looked like Calcutta. I got that lonely-in-a-crowd feeling, so I started talking to the woman next to me. I had an in because she was waring a University of Alberta sweatshirt.
“Canadians don’t really do this, eh?” I asked. She allowed that no, they did not, but — like most Albertans in public — she was less than effervescently friendly. Plus, she and I were looking for the same laptop, so our line-friendship was doomed.
The doors opened, whereupon the throng fell upon 50-inch plasma TVs with glad cries. I ran to the laptop aisle, grabbed a $379 miracle of Chinese construction, and got in the checkout line. The customers behind me were a group of bros* waxing poetic about their new electronic toys and their post-doorbusting plans:
Bro #1: “Bro, we’re going to IHOP, right?”
Bro #2: “Fuck yeah.”
Bro # 3: “I’ma get waffles, yo. Pancakes are fuckin’ GAY.”
Ordinarily, I’d have turned around and given a stern “watch your mouth” speech — they were teenage boys, and I can handle those — but, right at that moment, there was an unexpected occurrence.
I started my period. With cramps.
Here’s where I got a taste of Black Friday shame: I couldn’t step out of line and head for the ladies room, because I’d have lost my spot. The line was three city blocks long. So I decided to be stoic and stalwart; to stare stone-faced into the middle distance like Maxine Hong Kingston’s woman warrior, Fa Mu Lan (who was also known for letting her moon blood flow).
Except I bet Fa Mu Lan was wearing underpants.**
Anyway, I left Best Buy just in time to save my socks, and returned home like a warrior: rain-soaked, covered in blood, and victorious. Now I have the laptop I’m typing this on, some pie, and a heating pad. Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all!
*A group of fish is a “school” and a group of crows is a “murder,” but we lack a name for groups of roaming frat boys. I suggest a “ram” (a “douche” being both misogynistic and politically problematic). A ram of bros.
**I just don’t feel like you need them with yoga bottoms, you know?