I didn't leave empty-handed, however. Instead, I ended up with the following items.
1. An office chair. We still use it, but we never really liked it. It's uncomfortable and crappy. And it isn't like you can toss it in the closet to get it out of the way. So until the dog successfully rips the fake leather to shreds with her untrimmed claws, it's ours, and it's a constant reminder of my previous folly.
2. A laminator. Why? Because it was free. I didn't have any NEED for a laminator. I had nothing to laminate. And I soon discovered that a package of lamination sheets cost the same as your average above-ground swimming pool. The laminator is still in the original, sealed box somewhere in my attic.
3. A spindle of CDs. Remember CD's? I still have about 75% of them left. I will probably never use them.
I mean really...were any of these items worth waking up for? I love a good deal as much as the next cheap bastard. I drive my family nuts by refusing to go out to a restaurant without a coupon. Ask either of my children what daddy says when they ask to buy a bag of chips at a Turnpike rest stop for $1.25 when there are perfectly good snacks in the car, and they will respond by explaining that they aren't allowed to talk about the days when Angry Dad comes to visit.
The more I read about Black Friday hysteria, the more I think it is a conspiracy hatched by the media in conjunction with the government and retailers to suck every last ounce of soul out of every last American. I mean seriously, what idiot sets up a tent outside an electronics store, skips three days of work and Thanksgiving dinner with their family, with the end goal of picking up a $250 laptop that will likely catch fire the first time it has to save a file to PDF format?
I think it's a fine time to modify a classic cliche. You will never regret buying the best. You will, however, regret buying the cheap crap you find searching out the best Black Friday deals.
This Friday after Thanksgiving, I'm sleeping in.