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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
Black Friday: save a little money, gain a lot of pain  

My parents woke up at four in the morning the day after Thanksgiving.

They came home at noon, haggard and hungry, to eat leftover Thanksgiving dinner for breakfast.

This Black Friday tradition has been in my family for years. When I was little, I used to go with them; that of course changed the year I almost got ran over by a shopping cart at Wal-mart.

Now I sleep in while they run around all the electronics stores in the morning. Then in the afternoon, we would go shopping for clothing.

This year, Iíve noticed a pattern of drawbacks of the day after Thanksgiving. Here are the topic three reasons why post-Thanksgiving shopping can be a pain:

1. The lines. The sheer length of time wasted standing in the lines. It is absolutely absurd when it takes five minutes to pick up a product and two hours to buy it. I remember a couple of years ago when we were at Best Buy getting a new computer, I literally sat on the computer box for over two hours waiting in line. It was probably five in the morning and the whole store had been snaked out in a never- ending S curve. This year, I picked out a shirt from American Eagle and dropped it right after I saw the line starting and ending at the entrance. If stores are going to give enormous sales on the busiest retail shopping day of the year, they should be smart enough to open a couple of extra check-out counters.

2. Accidents. Cars, stores, merchandise, anything thatís accident-prone will occur. On my way to the mall, I spotted three car crashes, two of them in the mall parking lot. Heavy doses of sleep-deprived people under heavy doses of shopping mania spells trouble. Likewise, in the stores, everything was out of order. Cloths were scattered, people were pushing, kids were screaming, and all the workers had a short temper. But itís hard to blame them since they have to put up with a whole day of this chaos.

3. Rebate forms. A personal favorite of my family, it seems like the week after Thanksgiving is dedicated to filling out and mailing these little gems in order to get the free product. A couple of days ago, dad came in with a handful of rebate forms ready to be filled. It was probably all the stuff they bought that Friday morning. Whatís worse, a lot of times the forms get lost in the mail, and a quick buy will turn into a month-long nightmare.

Well, in the spirit of tradition and money saving, Black Friday will always be the busiest and most popular shopping day of the year. But as the name implies, the day definitely has a dark side.

Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star. She is a student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  December 27, 2006