Black Friday - the quintessential day of olympic shopping. I haven't ventured out on this day of bargains and germy crowds since my now 18 year old son was just a toddler. I hired a sitter and hit the stores to find great deals on toys and other gifts, but I haven't tried it again since adopting Ashley almost 12 years ago.
Black Friday shopping is not for the faint of heart. I was worried that with Ashley's deafblindness, she would be easily over stimulated by the crowds. And with her tentative health, I worried that exposing her to such a large germ pool would be disastrous. But I changed my mind this year.
The lure of shopping is just as great for Ashley as it is for any other teenaged girl. So, we left home early, jockeyed for parking spaces, and joined the masses of people searching for bargains.
First, we went to Circuit City. This store was to be my litmus test since it is usually one of the most crowded on Black Friday. If Ashley could handle shopping there, she would probably be ok at the mall or other large stores. She did great! She never once got over stimulated, or if she did, she managed it very well. Buoyed by her smiles, we went on to World Market, Best Buy, Target, Petco and 5 and Below. We rounded out our day with dinner at Cracker Barrel, and still Ashley was happy and smiling. In fact, my son, Chip, said she was happier than he had seen her in a long time. It's amazing what a little retail therapy can do for a person, eh?
While I was very pleased with how Ashley handled her day, I was much less pleased with the accessibility with some of the stores we visited. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow...