Queer Eye From A Straight Guy: Shop Til’ You Drop
When you become a mid-twenty something, it’s not often that you still have any type of tradition with your family. Some might go see a movie on Christmas day. Others may attend a church service on Easter. My tradition happens to be Black Friday shopping with my mom.
I take my Black Friday shopping as well as the tradition that surrounds it very seriously. Each Thanksgiving evening, Mom and I occupy the living room with a large pile of the newspaper advertisements. For the next hour or so, we sit indian style (optional) and pick apart each ad like it was the world’s most delicious crab leg. Possible gift items are placed into a pile and everything else instantly becomes wrapping paper for relatives we just aren’t that fond of.
With a plan of attack set in stone, the two of us sleep soundly and wake up between 2:30 and 3:00 AM with fire in our eyes. Suddenly becoming soldiers to an otherwise worthless Friday, our clothes are uniforms that are worn with pride. The thin sheets of paper that many may see as simply newspaper ads are our weapons of choice that will be used to defeat an invisible enemy for the glory of absolutely nobody. And once our boots are laced up and our M16’s are cocked and loaded, we march out the front door and onto the front lines of a war between “logical gifts” and “the reason terrorists hate us.”
The situation this year was not much different than years past with the exception of a midnight launch as opposed to a crack of dawn extravaganza. The lines were just as long (if not longer), the air was just as cold and the people were just as pumped to save ten dollars on electronics that will look great in their inevitable yard sale next Summer.
The war on economic common sense was all according to plan until I passed by a group of teenagers in the television DVD aisle who were obviously at a Bestbuy at 12:30 in the morning for one of two reasons: either America’s suburban parenting guide hasn’t shipped yet, or these puberty stumps were just really excited about buying season 4 of Mad Men.
As I passed them, I could feel their eyes passing over me, pouring scalding hot judgment on every inch of my body. And just when I thought it was an aggravated moment that would become nothing more, one of the kids unleashed a fake chuckle and said to the others:
“Wow. Grown dude shopping. What a woman. Go get laid or something.”
I stopped, paused and considered my next move. Sure, I could steal a few pages from the Stone Cold Steve Austin playbook and plant these kids on the floor and cause a cleanup on aisle 5. I could dropkick them into the shelf housing every season of Family Guy ever made. I could cause a scene and end up on the front page of Gawker just as quickly as I could end up behind bars less than 3 hours removed from a peaceful family gathering.
And had I not been carrying 8 DVD sets, 3 Xbox games, a blu-ray DVD player and my Mother’s purse, I absolutely would have.
I realize that admitting to a yearly shopping tradition with my Mother severely damages my credibility as a self-proclaimed straight male. I am aware that waking up early to stand in a shopping line probably doesn’t have its own Chapter in Maxim’s “How to be a dude” guidebook. And “hey, I got my sheets during the Black Friday sale at Kohl’s” isn’t the first pickup line I use when I meet a pretty lady in a bar. But sometimes you just have to sacrifice your public perception to make your Mom happy. If nothing else it’s because bar fights, chest hair and whatever else makes you a stereotypical dominant male just aren’t some of my Mother’s favorite’s things to do over the holidays. At least not yet.
So if making my Mom happy for a few hours on the biggest shopping day of the year makes me less of a man, then so be it. If it makes me less of a strait male, that is something I am perfectly comfortable with. Because when it comes down to it, I will stand on Broad Street and swing a tampon around my finger like a neighborhood lifeguard all afternoon before I turn down a perfectly good opportunity to please the most important woman in my life.
And last time I checked pleasing the woman in your life is what being a man is really all about in the first place.
Well, that and boobs.
Chad Brown is a straight male living in Richmond. He enjoys bourbon on the rocks and appreciates a firm ass. Male or female.
Black Friday is the day that we all know as the big shopping day after Thanksgiving, most retail workers, however, refer to it as hell. Years ago, Black Friday, labeled as such because it usually takes businesses “out of the red and into the black” for the year, started at 3:00 am but retail stores have [...]October 15, 2013
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