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Black Friday shopping on crutches.

It will change your perspective about humanity. It was over a decade ago, but it left an impression.

After a freak accident in early November, I was sporting a leg boot, trying to heal a broken foot.

Thanksgiving plans were already in motion, I had invited about 15 members of my family to our home. The offer stood firm. I would make the turkey, stuffing, gravy. The invited guests would provide all the rest of the meal.

It all worked out really well, the amount of pre-holiday frenzy would be limited by my new handicap. Loved ones were supportive, sympathetic and grateful that I did not cancel the event.

I was on temporary leave from my job, so I would be free for Black Friday weekend shopping, something that didn’t happen very often.

After a few weeks, I’d mastered the crutches, the first in my lifetime. I had sustained injuries before; sprains, muscle pulls, knee dislocation, etc., but this was my first fracture.

There was no real pressure to purchase Christmas gifts at the time, but I was curious about the challenge.

So, out I went, at about 5 am, to the mall.

We had all seen the pictures of the ugly American shopper, stampeding at the door to save a few dollars. My experience was different this time.

Kindness prevailed.

At first, there was surprise that I would even make the attempt. After that, doors were held open, boxes were acquired from high places, offers were made to pass me up in line. There were smiles, shaking of heads, questions.

But mostly, kindness.

I never forgot. I keep those crutches in the back of my closet.

Just as a reminder.


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68 Responses to Crutches

  1. The V Pub says:

    You are braver than I, Van. However, if I do venture out again on Black Friday, I will seek to borrow someone’s crutches. πŸ˜‰

  2. colinandray says:

    When you consider how independent and self-serving our society appears to be, it is rewarding to know that good Samaritans do exist, even if the media does not consider it worthwhile to report on them. πŸ™‚

  3. Ann Koplow says:

    I love the reminder in this post! ❀

  4. You certainly were brave to face the onslaught, but you had a good experience. I wonder if it would be the same today? I hate shopping anyway, but Sales shopping? I’ve seen people pushed out of the way, items fought over in the aisle, and tempers fraying as soon as customers walk through the door. Crowds continue to make me nervous, especially when I can’t see an exit, so I avoid them as much as possible.
    I love your family gathering for Thanksgiving and all contributing. It reminds me of family picnics when everyone took something for the table. Good days. πŸ™‚

    • It was a holiday that I was forced to relax into…a welcome change. Crowds don’t necessarily make me uncomfortable, unless the behavior is boorish or overly aggressive. Then, I run. Thanks. ❣️

  5. What a refreshing experience, Van. I’ve never ventured out of Black Friday since shopping makes me anxious to begin with. It’s good to know there is plenty of kindness to counter the few who make it look like madness. πŸ™‚ Happy December.

  6. A good reminder for sure! I live in a small town and had never heard of black friday until we moved back! The first year I was ready for people to be rude and push, shove, grab. I was shocked!! We stood in line and others said “hey want one of those” and grabbed whatever it was handing them out to us! People were amazing and to this day when I go to balck friday they are really helpful and kind in our little college town. Thanks for reminding us Van!

  7. Alison says:

    Well, now there will be a frenzy on buying crutches! I once did a practicum in college where I had to use a wheelchair to learn what wheelchair bound people endure (before the ADA). I had a similar experience as you described.

  8. J.D. Riso says:

    You were a brave woman to attempt that. The very thought of shopping that day gives me the creeps. I think that the ugliness of Black Friday is concentrated to certain areas, though. My stepfather goes every year and never has a problem, but he lives in a small Midwestern city.

  9. Lady G says:

    You are a real trooper Van! I just cannot do “Black Friday” no matter what.
    Glad to know that people were kind to you πŸ™‚

  10. I think the majority of us are infused with kindness. πŸ™‚

  11. Erika Kind says:

    Fantastic experience! So, this would be a tip for many Americans who cannot resist to go shopping on Black Friday… lol!

  12. TanGental says:

    or you could pop on the boot and crutches when you really are in a hurry.. Mind you going shopping on Black Friday has to be a failing of some kind of sanity test doesn’t it?

  13. It was a very nice read and proves that kindness prevails… among most of us… πŸ™‚

  14. Val Boyko says:

    Thank you for the reminder of the goodness that we all have inside and ready to tap into Van!
    You were either naive, brave or crazy … but it was worth this lesson. πŸ’•

  15. You are a lot braver then me. What were you thinking? But as it turns out your bravery won out and attracted all sorts of kind acts to you. What an incredible story!

  16. George says:

    You’re a very brave soul to go out on Black Friday with crutches. Very surprising that that you found such kindness. You know, those crutches might come in handy on another Black Friday, if you so choose..:)

  17. C.E.Robinson says:

    Van, nice to read of Black Friday “kindness.” Yep, I venture out to shop on most holidays & have had good experiences! Great sales! πŸ’› Christine

  18. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Black Friday…never again! However your story gives me hope that there may be hope for humanity yet.

  19. There’s hope for us!

  20. lbeth1950 says:

    Makes me think of my mother. She always gets a wheelchair in the airport so she can zip through. Last time, she forgot to take off her pedometer. She logs at least a mile a day!

  21. 5am such a good time of day Van…and yes brave…but as you say kindness is always possible ❣️sending you joy ~ smiles hedy

  22. I remember my first Black Friday encounter here in the UK. Watching people trample over anything and anybody just to get a bargain. Never again. I now just about all my shopping from the safety of my study where I cam make a cup of tea and reach for an Oreo in less than 15 seconds.

  23. Wow. I was expecting a different story. That’s great, V. There is hope for mankind!

  24. Always nice to hear a story that reinforces the GOOD qualities that exist rather than focusing on the negative qualities that seem to headline the news.

  25. amommasview says:

    People sometimes really surprise you…

  26. dgkaye says:

    Good to know kindness still exists in public places. I also broke my foot decades ago. What I remember was my aching armpits lol. πŸ™‚

  27. This post has me chuckling. Phew! I was afraid of finishing it because I had an image of crutches bearing woman being run into the ground. Now, that was a lovely experience πŸ™‚

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