Happy because theyre not at Walmart?
  • Brian Davies/AP
  • Happy because they’re not at Walmart?

My aunt Emily has soldiered through nearly two decades of Black Friday at Walmart. Every year, on the morning after Thanksgiving, she wakes up before the sun even begins to peek over the horizon and descends the hill from my grandmother’s house in the old-school southern coal-mining city of Harlan, Kentucky—where she and my mom grew up and my grandmother still lives. She parks her car near the back of a lot the size of Delaware and huddles with the masses, not itching for it, but dreading the opening of the doors. Dreading a scene like this. I got her on the phone for a few minutes to tell me about her Black Friday experiences over the years: