Midnight Madness

I’d heard about it — people lining up to begin shopping at 12:01am on the Friday after Thanksgiving — but I’d never seen it until now. And let me tell you, it was a spectacle.

The parking lots at the Rehoboth outlets were gridlocked. Drivers were running red lights and turning left from the right lanes across traffic trying to get into the parking lots. Others opted to park across Route 1 and then take their chances darting across the highway in the dark between cars. There was honking and screaming and laughing and cursing. Americans in search of a shopping bargain — 20% off the 20% if you shop between midnight and 6am.

So who are these people? I’d expected lots of fat women in track suits smoking cigarettes. Women who’d spent Thanksgiving day over-eating in an over-heated house and counting the hours until they could shop. Women with bleached blonde hair who favor sweatshirts with witty sayings like “Shop Till You Drop” and “Chocoholic.”

Boy, was I wrong. Oh sure, there were a few, especially lined up in front of the Christmas store. The lionshare of the throng, however, were high school and college aged girls and guys, probably bored after too much family time and looking for discounted Aeropostale, Polo, and Tommy Hilfiger clothing. There was alot of flirting and cruising going on among that crowd. The more serious, stylish, older crowd queued up for a chance at that ultimate Coach bag or wallet. And from the crowd in front of the Timberland store you’d have thought Beyonce was making a guest appearance.

I felt lucky to get out unscathed.

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