1. The Dedicated Families: You haven’t truly experienced Black Friday until you’ve seen the family with matching t-shirts printed up to document their communal experience (with an optional flag to lead the way and/or keep everyone in check). Their daily outing is better planned than a football play, with each member responsible for a specific route and an important meet-up at the register.
2. The Spending Schemer: Whether the matriarch of the “dedicated family” or a solo “schemer” who can accomplish the most without any stragglers tagging behind, this shopper has his or her—(but who are we kidding, it’s a her)—to-do list in hand and knows exactly which items to target at which shops at which times, and nobody will get in her (or his) way. There’s no fun or joking or time for celebration amidst the Black Friday mobs—it’s a mission with a strict deadline of about 11am.
3. The Exhausted Children: These children were nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their—oh wait, their mom needs that “Buy 2 Get 1 Free” deal on sweaters at Macy’s and can’t bother with a babysitter. So, needless to say, these turkey-stuffed tots are a bit unruly as they’re inevitably dragged from store to store by a distracted mother.
4. The Inexperienced Ones Who Don’t Want to Be There: These fools (largely comprised of men) don’t know their way around the mall, but they either 1. couldn’t pass up the half-off electronics that sell out before 4 a.m or 2. thought they could get all of their Christmas shopping done in a single hour by buying the first sale item they see at every store. They squeeze and swivel their way through the ungodly crowds with sighs and regrets, hypocritically cursing out anybody that would willingly subject themselves to the horrors of the holiday.
5. The Disgruntled Retail Employee: Especially on Black Friday, I don’t think this poor worker is making close to what they deserve (plus a measly store discount). No, they can’t tell you whether the store carries that top in navy in a size medium in storage; there’s only a line of about forty-six people waiting their turn to shove a load of mangled goods on the counter and demand pristine gift-wrapping in the shortest time possible. Not to mention that the endless loop of Christmas music overhead is another reason they’re about ready to blow their brains out.
6. The Hoarder: God forbid this shopper let any deal pass them by. Their arms are consistently overflowing as they stumble towards the register at each and every store. They undoubtedly want to feel the rush of the credit card swipe more than they want the items themselves, leading to a plethora of Cyber Monday re-sales or later-week returns (cue the “disgruntled retail employee,” who makes another appearance here).
7. The Coat- and Bag-Holder: Whether it be a husband, boyfriend, or unfortunate best friend tag-along, this shopping partner serves no purpose but to hold the belongings of the dedicated deal finder, with the occasional chance to provide dressing room input and the more-than-occasional trip to haul goods to the car.
8. The Happy-Go-Lucky Shoppers: These people enjoy the day after Thanksgiving strictly for the experience: they are the people-watchers, the frilly coffee-sippers, and the highly-obstructive smilers within the bustling mob surrounding them. They may only leave the mall with one or two stocking stuffers, but they consider the morning a success nonetheless.
9. The Salvation Army Bell-Ringers: Is it really Black Friday if you don’t receive a greeting from the friendly face of a bell-ringer outside the mall entrance? If only the hustling and bustling shoppers could maintain the joy and spirit of these dedicated, freezing volunteers, maybe our Black Fridays would all be a little sweeter.