Date Ideas

Here’s How to Turn Black Friday into a Perfect Date

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A message for crazy people

With all the obligations to family, friends, and stuffing one’s face that the holiday brings, a relationship – especially a new one – can easily fall by the wayside during Thanksgiving week. But believe it or not, the early-morning orgy of consumerism that is Black Friday is the perfect chance to sneak in some time with your love interest.

Wake Up Early, But Not Too Early

Thanksgiving is for turkey, pie, football, and naps, in that order. It is not for shopping. Black Friday is for shopping. You shouldn’t worry about hitting any stores that open at midnight – and if you plan on attending a sale that starts at 6 p.m. on Turkey Day proper, I don’t even want to know you. See also: the insane people who’ve been camping out in front of Best Buy since Monday. That isn’t shopping, that’s homelessness.

But you, you’re not an insane person. You’ll want to allow sufficient time for your belly to process the seasonal smorgasbord you’ve just consumed, lest the object of your affection realize exactly what a flatulent, bloated mess you (read: all of us) really are.

That said, do set an alarm – heading out while it’s still dark is key to the Black Friday experience. It’s a little transgressive, a little sexy to be up that late at night (well, early in the morning), especially with someone you’re attracted to. I recommend waking around 5 or 6. Otherwise, you might as well wait for Cyber Monday. Like a chump.

Pick Your Battles

Nowadays, almost every large shopping venue offers Black Friday deals. You could try your luck at a stand-alone Target, Walmart, or Home Depot, but honestly, that will probably be terrible. I recommend going to a mall, particularly an outlet mall. (Then again, as a New Jersey resident, I recommend going to a mall, particularly an outlet mall, in most situations.) You’ll be toasty and dry indoors, with plenty of variety to keep either of you from getting bored.

See, this is what you want.

Black Friday mall

And this is what you don’t want.

Black Friday Target

Whatever you decide, double-check in advance that your store of choice isn’t opening at noon. A dark, deserted parking lot is less romantic than it is murder-y.

No Lines, No Lists, No Stress

This is the single most important piece of advice I can give you. Almost everyone you know is doing Black Friday wrong – or at least, they’re doing it without having even the slightest amount of fun. Contrary to popular belief, you are not on a divinely mandated, one-day quest for the white whale and/or Holy Grail of your holiday shopping list. No discount, however steep, on a 60-inch TV or iPad Mini or Beats by Dre is worth the ordeal of waiting in a four-hour line with five hundred people who would happily slice your Achilles if it meant snagging your spot.

Besides, you can usually find that stuff online for comparable prices, you dummies.


So, here is the cardinal rule for your Black Friday date: no lines, no lists, no stress. If you are desperate to grab that iPad Mini – no matter how long it takes – then don’t bring company with you in the first place. Abort mission. Your date doesn’t want to see you like that. Hell, you don’t want to see yourself like that.

Just take it easy.

People Watch

Forget shopping. This is the best part of the entire day. The inevitable highlight of my Black Friday experience is rolling into the mall at about 7 a.m. to find people literally asleep on benches, using their enormous shopping bags as pillows, after a harrowing bloodbath of all-night bargain-hunting. Trust me – you’ll actually enjoy (well, sort of) being around the Achilles slicers when you can take in the crazy from a safe distance.

Best Buy

And don’t forget to people watch each other. What interests you? What stores do you feel like checking out? What spur-of-the-moment, 90-percent-off purchases will you make? Black Friday is a surprisingly great opportunity to get to know one another.

Don’t Get Trampled

No, seriously. It happens every year.

Second Breakfast

How better to celebrate the end of your exciting morning together than with a hot cup of coffee and a short stack of pancakes? Eat up – you’ve earned it. After that, you might considering inviting your date upstairs for a nap.

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