Whether you’re braving the high street armed with your toughest recruits – sorry, we mean best friends – and an emergency whistle like a real-life Monica Geller or browsing online at your desk (we won’t tell your boss if you don’t), here are the eight stages of Black Friday shopping. Cue the chaos!
1. Black Friday? So over it.
Stage one: denial. You will not get sucked in again. Not after last year. You almost gave yourself a black eye trying to dodge the elbows as you made a grab for the last pair of boots in your size, and you had to survive on beans on toast for an entire week after that massive online haul. Besides, your wardrobe is practically bursting at the seams. You don’t need anything new, right? Right?
2. OK so maybe I’ll have a quick look online…
There’s no harm in looking. It doesn’t mean you’re going to buy anything. You are a pillar of self-control and restraint. You are a strong, independent woman who don’t need no discount code. *Hair flick*
3. OMG. I want EVERYTHING.
So many clothes. So many shoes. So many half-price novelty knickers that you just have to have. Right, just do it. Add to basket. Check-out. Done. Phew. Well, at least that was over pretty quickly.
4. But what if there’s more? What if I’ve missed something?
Delirious from your earlier Black Friday high, you need to have another look. You can’t help it. You tell yourself that if you have a bit of a spree now, then you won’t have to buy anything for the next few weeks. And anyway, you just spotted a bag that you’ve had your eye on for ages. It would be rude to just leave it there.
5. Right, better get cracking on those Christmas presents!
Now that you’ve treated number one, you know it’s time to smash your Christmas shopping list. Gloves for your mum? Check. Scarf for your gran? Check. Stocking fillers for the squad? Check, check and check. Honestly, you are so good at this. You are a Black Friday pro. What were you ever even afraid of?
6. I’m on a roll! Time to head into store!
Not content with the five online orders you’ve made so far and undeterred by the crowds spilling out of the shopping centre, you decide to head into store for a few last-minute bargains. Although you recognise that this move almost certainly means you have fallen head-straight into the Black Friday abyss, there’s little you can do about it. There’s no going back. This is your life now.
7. Why is everyone screaming?
OK, maybe this was a bad idea. You should’ve gone home like you were supposed to. But you’re here now so you might as well get on with it – but you need to act fast. Tie your hair up, roll up your sleeves and get your elbows at the ready. Those Black Friday shoppers won’t know what’s hit them.
8. It’s over. I’ve done it. I’m done.
Congratulations – you have survived Black Friday and escaped unscathed (well, just about). But you are exhausted. You are communicating solely in discount codes and keep having flashbacks of that woman running to the tills holding twelve pairs of shoes. You need to rest now. Preferably in a dark room with no internet access. Well, until Cyber Monday at least.