Countdown to Black Friday – Memories of Filene's Basement

Black Friday, the name even sounds ominous.  Like some disease or a day of mourning and loss.  I  guess some people probably do mourn and feel a sense of loss when they arrive home and start adding up the receipts.  I must admit that I have never partaken in the mayhem that we know as Black Friday.  Maybe because I dislike shopping with a passion, especially after I hit the 30 minute barrier when my back starts aching and I'm looking for the door.Black Friday

The roots of my disdain for shopping are vivid childhood memories of trips to Filene's Basement in Newton, Massachusetts. One excursion stands out among the rest, even to this day.  My story begins on a sidewalk outside Filene's Basement as my Grandmother is giving my younger brother and I specific instructions to stay close and to not touch anything.  Fairly normal things to tell two young boys that were in summer vacation mode however, the tone in her voice made quite an impression on me, this was no ordinary shopping trip.

We arrived at the top of the stairs.  “Are we going down there?” I asked.  “Hold on to the handrail” my Grandmother replied.  Down we went into shopping hell.  My Grandmother's grip tightened, my grip on my brother's hand tightened instinctively.  We were led quickly to a set of large bins where, it is hard to explain in words what I witnessed.  My Grandmother placed my brother and I strategically near some clothing racks that formed a protective coccoon around us.  Without missing a beat, she inserted herself into the writhing mob of women at the bins, somehow reading labels on mock turtle neck sweaters as they were tossed about.  There was definetlely a pecking order developing before my eyes and it was not a pretty site.  Words were exchanged. It was probably best that I did not hear them.

We left as quickly as we arrived. My brother and I were exposed to the dark side of shopping and all joking aside it did make an impression on me.  I was shocked to see how some people set aside common courtesies in the quest for a bargain.

Do you have your own Filene's Basement story you would like to share?  Leave a comment or email your story to me @ thefrugaltoad @ gmail dot com and I'll include it in a future post!

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