Instead of shopping, let's all take a nap

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- David Strasser, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, discusses the outlook for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the holiday shopping season. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, reported a 9.3 percent gain in third-quarter profit as growth abroad helped make up for sales declines at U.S. stores. Strasser speaks with Margaret Brennan on Bloomberg Television's "InBusiness." (Source: Bloomberg)
By Petula Dvorak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 25, 2010; 9:28 PM

The white glow of the parking lot lights didn't make the frigid morning any warmer. Some of us faux-jogged in place, waiting for the store to open, smiling at one another as we acknowledged the craziness of our situation.

At last, a clerk unlocked the doors, and we streamed in.

Mountains of yams - 39 cents a pound!

Towers upon towers of canned pumpkin - 99 cents a can!

Flour - a buck a bag!

Temporary insanity is included with each cranberry purchase.

This was not a typical Black Friday shopping tableau. It was something far more desperate.

Welcome to Working Woman Wednesday, the prelude to the holiday marathon that leaves so many of us overwhelmed.

On the day before Thanksgiving, we wanted to beat the crowds, make sure we got sweet potatoes before they sold out and buy a bird that we could somehow jam into our fridges for a day.

Just about every shopper I talked to who came to the GlenardenWegman's in the pre-dawn darkness was in the same situation, racing to buy food before heading to the office to finish a week's worth of work in three days' time.

We were exhausted before it was even time to cook.

And most of us wanted absolutely nothing to do with the most horrifying of American traditions (besides the insistence that pop stars should be turned into dolls): Black Friday.

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