Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black Friday...What was I THINKING?

In the days leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, my mind began to turn to Christmas. That's unusual for me. Really. I tend to completely relax about it, not think about it, until after Thanksgiving has come and gone but not this year. Odd thing. My husband started it. It's all his fault. He kept finding 'deals' in the circulars in our daily newspaper and like an idiot, I began to pour over them. As I'm sure you can imagine, with two kids setting up their own households, they just need EVERYTHING. Now, I've never done Black Friday shopping before, scoffed at the idea as a matter of fact. Shopping the day after Thanksgiving sounds to me like the worst sort of torture but I let myself be 'lead' by the lure of huge bargains.

So when I randomly mentioned to Mr. Regina that I thought I'd check it out this year, he gamely offered to go along and 'share the experience'. I checked to see if maybe he was drinking or something and when I realized he was completely serious, I said...okay, it's a date. On Thanksgiving night, I poured through the ads and found the stores where I thought we should go and we set the alarm clock for 4 am. My honey jumps out of bed and leans over to whisper in my ear...Blue Light Special, Blue Light Special. Yeah, he's a smart ass.

At the butt-crack of dawn, we bundled up and headed out. I was immediately surprised by the number of cars out. Yes, there were others as crazy as we. What a relief! We arrived at our local Target store to a packed parking lot and trudged inside to be greeted by a cheerful dude wearing a stocking cap. "Welcome, welcome, folks! Come on in! Cold this morning, huh?" Okay, friendly greeting so I figure this might be a pleasant experience until I learned there were no shopping carts left. GAH! There went our big plan to each grab a cart for the large items we were hunting down. Instead, I headed back out into the parking lot to scrounge up a cart from SOMEWHERE. After a frantic search (while freezing my ASS off) I finally located one and wheeled it inside. I knew it was unlikely we could fit all of our items into one cart but I was game to try. We could do this.

The next indication that we might have made a huge mistake was when, upon entering, we see lines had already formed all the way to the back of the store. Now anyone who has been inside a Target knows these are big, big buildings and there were about five of these lines. Everyone IN the lines looked pissed off, tired or bored mindless. Three teenaged girls were actually sitting on the floor, in line, playing cards. My brave hubby and I looked at each other and knew we were in big trouble here. I smile and say...hey, it's a new experience! Right? We can do this!

Thirty minutes later, we scarfed up on great deals, our basket was loaded to the gills and we were ready to check out. As it turned out, he stood in one line and I was in another. Nobody to talk to. Bummer. That's when the real fun began. Most of the folks had no basket and simply nudged their piles of toys and games with the toes of their shoes as the line inched slowly forward. My 'electronics' item was at the counter already so I didn't have to deal with that. A good thing. Gave me lots of time to look around and wonder about things.


Why would anyone bring a toddler to Black Friday? Why? I saw several and barely managed to refrain from shaking my head in wonder. In front of me stood elderly twins. They were roughly seventy, wore identical clothing and hair styles, each held a box of Life cereal and a dvd. You notice these things while standing in line. I wondered WHY. Why would anyone stand in line for an hour and a half to buy a box of cereal? Others had small items that on any day of the year might sell for twenty bucks. Were their savings so much they felt the urge to stand in line to purchase?

As the sun was coming up, we loaded our purchases and looked at each other. "Well now, wasn't that an experience," I said. "You want to do this again?" he asked. "Nope, think I'll pass." In the end, we bought about $1,000 worth of stuff for a bit less than $500 and that was good. We had most of our Christmas shopping done and found bargains. But the experience? It was pretty much unforgettable.

21 comments:

Allie Standifer said...

Only you would think this was an 'experience'. You couldn't pay me enough to stand in those line. I did the same shopping from the comfort of home with lots coffee.
Next year try cyber sales!

Love ya, babe!!

Allie

Regina Carlysle said...

OMG. You are soooo right. Cyber shopping is DA BOMB. Next year, I'm making coffee and will let my fingers do the walking.

Tess MacKall said...

I've never done it and never will. I have stood in line to get something that is in short supply. Like when they came out with Ninetendo Wii. Oh yeah, THAT was an experience for sure. Sixty-five hours total of standing in line. Twenty of those hours were spent at different stores. The last forty five hours were spent at Game Stop--which is where I decided I would have the best luck with it. And no, it wasn't forty five hours straight. It was five days worth---every morning I was at their door at seven thirty for them to open at nine. And the line formed behind me. Yep, I was always first in line. My kid was going to get what he wanted for Christmas. lol

This year? Looks like I'm going to have to do the same damn thing and I so dread it. Jess has promised to stand with me. We'll see how she holds up. lol

You and David are braver than me for sure. Love the way he whispered blue light special to ya. lol

Regina Carlysle said...

Why IS it that every blasted year there is something the kids MUST have but that you can NEVER find. I was discussing this with my fella a few days ago. Every year there is some toy or game in short supply. These companies do this on purpose just to make parents nutso.

C. Zampa said...

Oh, I remember the mad faces when I did my years of Black Friday Shopping.

My sister, daughter and niece used to do it. And, to tell you the truth, we had a blast, made a day of it. It was just our tradition.

BUT...BUT...we went into it with just 'fun' in mind, pledged not to get uptight, to block out the angry faces, and focus on just the pleasure of each others' company.
If it could be that way, I'd still do the jumping up in the middle of the night to shop. But our lives have taken different paths and it's just not possible to do it anymore.

I miss it.

Regina Carlysle said...

I get that, CZ. There were some ladies behind me talking on their phones to friends and family saying they were meeting up for lunch and such. The IHOP next to Target was packed, too. Maybe it's all in the attitude.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

You're right...what were you thinking?!? I avoid Black Friday like the plague that it is!

Natalie Dae said...

If the past two days of my life are anything to go by, I don't envy you going out on Black Friday. I've had enough of Christmas gift shopping and thank God I only have two things left to buy. And they can wait!

:o)

Molly Daniels said...

Several years ago, a friend got up at the crack of dawn to get a $20 VCR/DVD player. Guess what? A week later, they were STILL $20:) We ribbed him for weeks about his 'unnecessary' trip:)

I used to love doing that with my Mom at the Mall...but now I skip it and shop in my PJ's online:)

Or get it all finished by the end of October...

Regina Carlysle said...

I know, Julia...why??????

Regina Carlysle said...

I hear you, Natalie. I'm not one who particularly likes shopping in the first place and getting up at 4 am to do it? Not my thing.

Regina Carlysle said...

hahahhaa. Molly, I have to laugh. I was thinking this as we shopped on Friday...how much of this stuff will remain this same price throughout the holidays. Most of it, I would guess.

Abigail-Madison Chase said...

Armed with 3 credit cards I stood in line and chatted away with people I will never see again. Besides almost getting knocked down and having a game snatched out my hands I am still alive (lol)! I have been Black Friday shopping since I was a teen with my mom. I still did some Cyber shopping on Monday. But there is nothing in the world like Black Friday I actually like it. The sales are awesome and the people you meet are sometimes too. I am still talking about my saving days later to everyone I know......

Amber Skyze said...

If I was crazy enough to venture out at 4am and saw those lines, I would've turned back around and headed home.
We went out one year looking for a laptop for our two older kids. The three stores had lines around the outside of the buildings. There was no way. I'm all for cyber Monday! :)

Regina Carlysle said...

It's fun that you always did that with your mom, Abigail. I have to admit, I met some nice people too. It's funny, I was thinking today that I've just almost finished with my shopping.

Regina Carlysle said...

An around the block line, I wouldn't do. I actually thought if we hadn't found a cart, we would have headed home and said FUGGIDADOUDIT.

Madison Scott said...

I've never done it, but think I actually might like to sometime. I'm with you though, it is not something I would take my little ones too. And keep in mind, now that its over is when I'm saying I might do it. Every year I never do. lol

Anne Rainey said...

I used to work in retail and remember Black Friday from the other side of the counter all too well. I get a cold chill just thinking about it. Uh-uh, never again! LOL

Brindle Chase said...

I think anyone even venturing outside on Black Friday is mentally disturbed... but that's coming from me who loathes any sort of shopping altogether. Hehehe. But I salute those brave BF warriors who wade into the fray, unafraid and determined to score the best deals of the year!!

Author Koko Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Koko Brown said...

I used to go out in the late afternoons on Black Friday a couple of years back when Circuit City was still in business. They always marked their CDs down to $5 each.

I usually don't shop for Christmas gifts until the weekend before because it only takes me a few hours to knock it out.