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Jerry Davich: Shopping mayhem not for everyone

Jerry Davich.

Jerry Davich.

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Updated: December 24, 2012 6:51AM



You’re not really going to hit the stores early this morning, on Black (and blue) Friday, are you? Seriously?

Worse yet, you didn’t stand in a long line (or in a tent!) on Thanksgiving night simply to be one of the first customers to buy things you really don’t need? Honestly? Say it isn’t so.

Oh sure, I understand that waves of patriotic shoppers are doing this today in a single-minded effort to, ahem, help resuscitate our lifeless economy. It has nothing to do with the dirt-cheap sale prices of items they’ve been coveting for months. Right? Hmmmm.

At least admit to yourself that it’s not the sale prices that motivated you to leave your home at 2 a.m. today. Nor is it to help kick-start the woeful economy. Or to get a head start on your Christmas gift shopping.

No, those are merely handy excuses, reliable alibis and seasonal rationalizations. And you know it.

The real reason you are doing such an irrational act today is for the rush, the excitement and the adrenaline surge of being a part of something greater than yourself. Even if it involves the crashing of chain stores with other craze-eyed shoppers today.

Why? Because if for only a few harried and hurried hours, you’re able to escape your relatively ho-hum life to do something, well, exciting, for lack of a better word. It’s been exciting to look forward to. It’s exciting to set your alarm clock for so early, or to stay up all night. It’s exciting to see others with the same mindset. Fess up, you know it’s true.

However, such excitement isn’t for me — I’m a purchaser (preferably online), not a shopper — but I know how important it is for so many others.

I’ve been watching these people for years and, once, I even joined their early morning ranks to see what all the fuss was about. I was deeply disappointed. And very tired, plus a little cranky.

I expected shopping nirvana. I found shopping hell. I vowed to never do it again.

With that said, I’m not foolish enough to think today’s column will sway any of you diehard consumers from blitzing the stores to find The Best Deals of the Year. But I do have a suggestion for a possible alternative, or something to complement your shopping experience.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Saints Peter & Paul Church in Merrillville is hosting its annual holiday auction, offering all kinds of items, both new and used.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the event, which has been organized all 30 years by church member Dorothy Reynolds and her extended family.

“We have toys, antiques, collectibles, dolls, furniture, clothes and so much more,” Reynolds told me. “Plus a bake sale and concession stand.”

All proceeds go to the church, located at 5885 Harrison St. in Merrillville, for needed upgrades. Last year’s funds bought an outdoor sign for the church, Reynolds noted.

Now isn’t that a better option for your hard-earned shopping dollars than coughing it up to corporate America?

Another shopping alternative, this one in Porter County, is at Opportunity Enterprises in Valparaiso, with its Simply Amazing Market holiday open house. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 1 and includes free photos with Santa, product samples and prize drawings.

There, you also can buy gift sets like the Angel Sampler, which will have a portion of its sales donated to the OE Angel Tree program to provide Christmas gifts for OE clients with little or no family. How’s that for spending your holiday money wisely, and with a heart?

Opportunity Enterprises is located at 2801 Evans Ave. in Valparaiso, and its holiday store hours beginning Dec. 1 are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. For more info, call 464-9621, Ext. 289, or visit www.simplyamazingtreats.com.

These are just two alternatives to the Black Friday gift-buying frenzy you will otherwise face today. I guarantee you there are other shopping options available if you look around in your community.

Attention shoppers ...

However, if you are determined to take part in the madness, fight the crowds and swipe your credit card with reckless abandon, feel free to give me a call Friday with an update.

From noon to 1 p.m., I will be taking calls from shoppers entrenched at the frontlines during my “Casual Fridays” radio show, on WLPR, 89.1-FM.

Did you have to go toe-to-toe with a pushy shopper? Were the lines longer than you had hoped? Is there a deal or a steal that knocked your socks off? If so, let me know by calling in at 769-9577. We’ll be giving out prizes, gift cards and traffic updates.

Walkaway wife, angry husband?

My recent column regarding “Walkaway Wife Syndrome” sparked a firestorm of reader responses, from real-life walkaway wives to real mad former husbands.

“Jerry, a million thank-you’s for your column today! You said all the things wives are thinking! I am soon going to be that walkaway wife. After nearly four years of unemployment, being lazy, complacent and sloth-like, I am ready to walk,” one wife told me.

On the other hand, here’s what one male reader told me angrily: “Jerry, so it’s all our fault, huh? That’s ridiculous. These women want everything handed to them, and then some. They should feel lucky to have a guy who has a job and gives them a roof over their head. Period.”

I’ll address this issue more thoroughly in my Monday column. Stay tuned.

Listen to Jerry’s “Casual Fridays” radio show each Friday at noon on WLPR, 89.1-FM, streaming at www.thelakeshorefm.com.



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