The Black Friday Cabbage Patch Doll Fight

Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how far a grandmother would go to get the hottest Christmas toy for her baby granddaughter? I didn’t until I witnessed how desperate my mother was to get a Cabbage Patch doll for my baby niece in 1983. A violent incident that changed my life forever.

We stood outside the Toy “R” Us store on a cold November morning, waiting for the doors to open early at 8:00AM. I don’t remember if this was Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the first official day of the holiday shopping season. If it was Black Friday, I was still comatose from all the deviled eggs I ate the night before. Nineteen other mothers with their sleepy kids stood around for the doors to open.

My father waited inside the car to smoke his cigarettes and listen to the radio. He never came into a store with my mother if he could avoid doing so. My mother took forever to look twice at everything in the store, even if she was buying only one or two items. Not yet a rebellious teenager, I had no choice but to go inside with her.

When the manager unlocked the sliding doors, every mother grabbed their kids by the hand and ran pell-mell into the store. We flew across the worn white floor tiles without our feet ever touching them. Everyone arrived at a mountainous display of Cabbage Patch dolls that sat in front of the wall of board games, between the sports and video games aisles.

An impressive sight considering how difficult it was to get a Cabbage Patch doll that holiday season. The Internet, eBay and online shopping didn’t exist back then. If you couldn’t take physical possession of a Cabbage Patch doll inside a store, you were so out of luck.

Read the rest of the essay at Medium.

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