Joanne Palmer: Black Friday or sweet dreams? |

Joanne Palmer: Black Friday or sweet dreams?

Joanne Palmer

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or

Every time I try to save money, I end up spending more. I don't know how it happens. Case in point: Last week, I spent $5 on a chance to win the $250 million Powerball pot. I lost. But I did enjoy a good 24 hours of daydreaming about what I would do if I won.

The next day dawned, and I was back to thinking about ways to save money. My family had a good laugh during the weekend at the sight of me trying to scrape what I thought was a Ski Haus buck from underneath the refrigerator. Alas, it turned out to be a cracker.

Sadly, I am that person who finds a great online deal for airfare, and by the time I've located my wallet, the price has gone up $100.

My failure at frugality is why it's hard for me to get excited about Black Friday. I'm convinced my car would have a mechanical failure on the way to the sale and have to be towed somewhere.

Also, Black Friday brings up the problem of conflicting desires. Do I want to save money, or do I want my beauty sleep? Now that I'm past the age of 21, I'm afraid beauty sleep wins. With the exception of scoring front-row seats to see the Rolling Stones, I'm not sure there is anything else that trumps beauty sleep.

But wait!

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While researching Black Friday, I discovered I don't have to get out of bed. Some retailers are offering a virtual line. They will email me the deals in advance, and I can stay in bed and wait for the offers in my inbox.

Hmm … sounds too complicated and like an opportunity to invite spam.

Let's go the other direction. What if I had won $250 million in last week's Powerball? What could I buy from the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog? Historically, Neiman Marcus always has offered one over-the-top extravagant gift in its Christmas catalog — I think one year they even had his and her submarines — and I got to wondering, in this economy, if Neiman Marcus would offer an outlandish gift in 2011.

Yes, indeed!

For a cool million, I could order a dancing fountain for my backyard. Not just any fountain, but one with underwater robotic nozzles that created a watery "Dancing with the Stars"-style couple. Call me a grumpy old lady, but that doesn't do it for me

Uh-oh. Now, here's something I do want. Neiman Marcus subtly is encouraging people to ditch their electronic reading devices in favor of books.

For $125,000, I could buy a custom-built library with hardcover books. I've always wanted to have a library full of books in my house. A library so big that it would require a ladder on wheels to reach books on the uppermost shelves.

My fantasy library would have a fireplace, an antique roll-top desk, hardwood floors and comfy red leather club chairs to read in. There would be chairs to nap in, comfy throws and lots of window seats.

If there were a Black Friday sale on this dream library, I would get out of bed and stand outside in the cold waiting for the doors to open. Until then, I'll just ask Santa to leave a few hardcover books underneath the tree.

What about you? Are you a Black Friday shopper?

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