I have a confession.
For the past six years I have been one of those crazy people who stays up all night till the stores open on Black Friday. And yes, I have been known to elbow one or two people along the way.
Some might already know that I am from Chicago. Every Thanksgiving I go home to have a feast at mom’s house and then I stay up all night waiting till the stores open.
The first time I went shopping was the first year the Chicago Premium Outlets opened at midnight. Bad idea.
Friends and family all jumped into two SUVs. We get on the highway only to find an unbelievable amount of traffic. It was so bad that the emergency lane became a regular lane. We were about five miles away when we realized there was no way we were going to get out at the outlet exit.
To make matters worse two of my female friends needed to go to the bathroom. Lets just say there was a cup involved. Luckily I went before we left so I was fine.
That was my first experience.
Since then I have decided to stay away from outlet malls. I usually go to Orland Park Mall in Illinois — a Simon Property owned mall. I like to shop at department stores like Boston Store, JCPenney, Kohls and Sears. That’s were the real deals are for a girl like me on Black Friday.
I haven’t decided if I’ll be in Chicago or in the Milwaukee area during Thanksgiving. I've even thought about skipping out on the shopping tradition. Every year when I am out in line standing in the cold I say “never again.”
I’m meeting with Southridge Mall manager Mary Mokwa on Monday morning. She will be giving Black Friday shopping tips. Hopefully that will ease the pain for moderately insane shoppers like me. Stay tuned!