As much as we hate to admit it, Black Friday shopping is pretty neat. Even though going shopping at midnight (or apparently now Thursday at 6 p.m.) is an entire ordeal, we cannot deny that the markdowns are juicy. Plus, the more money we save on that 60-inch flat screen means the more money we have to splurge on our booze wish list.
We also cannot deny though that Black Friday can be an absolute shit show. Between children used as shields and screaming matches over who saw the cashmere cardigan first, it can be an experience that has you thinking, “I am not drunk enough for this bullshit.”
Have no fear, Black Friday Shopper. We may not be experts on hiding clothes in display drawers, but we know a thing or two about drinking. Each stage of Black Friday shopping requires specific imbibing strategies so we crafted this one to be as efficient as possible. Ten stages, 10 drinks, one goal: make Black Friday your bitch.
Stage 1 – THE PREGAME
Despite Black Friday managing to claw its way into Thanksgiving (IS NOTHING SACRED ANYMORE?) the turkey still needs to pop and the Shopping Squad is going to need its energy to make it through this night. What’s the recommended pairing for a self-proclaimed chef armed with two 350-degree fireboxes and a fleet of pots and pans floating on top of a sea of flames? A super- refreshing holiday cider to get your buzz started and get you through this cooking extravaganza.
Stage 2 – THE DINNER
Sure, the stuffing was ~delish~ but the only thing sweeter than Gram’s candied sweet potatoes are the MF deals you’re about to receive on the biggest shopping day of the year. Dinner isn’t just about being thankful and all that jazz — dinner is about strategy. A Gamay is the wine of the night and will assist you in sketching out your maps and designating the team’s duties for the evening.
Stage 3 – THE SUIT UP
The pies are gone, the leftovers packed, and the relatives who aren’t part of the Shopping Squad are either taking their post-feast nap or going the hell home because you are preparing for a battle. Don’t worry about doing the mounds of dishes because the weak-spirited have that covered. Armed with a wish list of this season’s must-haves, you’re going to need a stiff Irish Coffee that will get you fired up.
Stage 4 – THE 6 PM DOORBUST
After waiting in line for what feels like hours, the doors are about to burst open. You can see through the windows that the employees fear for their lives. In fact, some of them are even saying their last goodbyes to their loved ones because Black Friday is an extremely dangerous day to work. This is everybody’s last chance at peace and quiet, so pour a shot of cinnamon whiskey for you and your friendly neighborhood retail worker, because after a shot of cinnamon whiskey life can only go up.
Stage 5 – THE HOT-TICKET ITEM
The doors have busted and the holiday-shopping Kraken has been released into the aisles. Of course, they’re all looking for that “super exclusive 75 percent off gift of the year” that everybody is dying for which the store conveniently only has limited stock of. Some people just like to watch the world burn. After avoiding elbows and dodging mothers whipping around their rogue strollers (how villainous), you’ve successfully secured the package. Take a swig from your flask filled with ~good~ bourbon to celebrate — but know the night is still young and your list is still long.
Stage 6 – THE LINE FROM HELL
Since the country has reached a point where retailers force their employees to ditch their loved ones at home and spend the rest of their holiday attached to registers, there are plenty of lines to choose from when it comes time to check out. Sadly, this doesn’t save those lines from still moving at a glacial pace. Warm up the process and keep yourself entertained with some red wine hot chocolate. Just make sure to keep it together when it’s your turn to check out, as those chip readers are difficult enough sober.
Stage 7 – LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT
One store down, only nine more to go! It’s going to be a long night spent digging for that shirt in your size in the best color, so it would be in your best interest to treat this shopping spree as a marathon and not a sprint. Keep your spirits strong by breaking out the Michael Bublé holiday tunes and pouring out some eggnog. Festive AF.
Stage 8 – THE 4 AM HANGOVER
Oh no, it’s here. The consequences of drinking since the green beans went in the oven are finally reaching the peak and the Black Friday Hangover is about to hit earlier than originally planned. This is one of the FEW instances we’re going to say skip the booze at this stage and rehydrate yo’self with some water or maybe even a Pedialyte. Maybe take a nap while you’re at it.
Stage 9 – THE BLACK FRIDAY BRUNCH
Did someone say Bloody Marys? There’s only one way to bounce back after a night full of 50-percent markdowns and free gifts with purchases of $75 or more — #DRUNCH. Whether you prefer to start your late mornings with spiked tomato juice, spiked orange juice, or maybe even a spiked coffee when it comes to Black Friday, it’s all gravy.
Stage 10 – THE RESTOCK RALLY
In the midst of last night’s festivities and this morning’s brunch, you’ve managed to run out of booze. Thankfully, your local wine shop is even running some Black Friday specials and you might as well head over there for one last hurrah. Treat yourself to that bottle of Cabernet you’ve been eyeing. You earned it, champ.