Monday, November 28, 2005

The most wonderful time of the year, part II

After Friday's minor shopping adventure, yesterday I drove out to the Danbury Fair Mall out in Connecticut. For those of us in northwest Westchester, it's a nice alternative to White Plains' Westchester Mall and Galleria. With Macy's, Filene's, Lord & Taylor and a host of specialized stores, I like it better than competing with the frenzied Manhattan crowds. The C&C Unisex there is also a great place for a haircut and style; Carol usually does my hair and always does a great job.

I-84 eastbound traffic was heavy, with people heading home from Thanksgiving vacations. After leaving the mall, I had a few stops to make further east, and traffic was even worse. It was practically a standstill from exits 5 through 7. The last time I recall being in such bad traffic was when trying to escape D.C. after going there for Reagan's funeral. My friends Amber and Eric warned me to stay on the outer beltway, which was still a virtual parking lot.

Later this week I might go with a friend to Century 21, the discount department store I mentioned. She's much braver than I am, because as I said, the masses of pushy (literally) shoppers is bad enough outside the holiday seasons. Maybe now that "Black Friday" and the first official holiday shopping weekend have passed, it won't be as bad as I fear.

Capital Freedom wondered why we don't call "Black Friday" something else. I expect businesses will stick to the term because that day marks when many small businesses will be "in the black" (as opposed to red ink) for the total year. My aunt's wine store is one of them. Because of heavy local competition, prices are cutthroat throughout the year. Only the last five or six weeks of the year are significantly profitable, and solely because of volume. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's probably give some customers the illusion that she's making money hand over fist, but without them the store wouldn't really be worth running.

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