Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Black Friday Experiences

Thursday, Thanksgiving Night

After laughing and taking a few photos of the all night Black Friday campers we went back to my house for a little shut eye. I tried to fall asleep but after staying up so late it was difficult. Around 2:30 am I finally fell asleep. At 3:00 am I was awakened by what I thought was a strange noise which turned out to be my cell phone.

Remember, I had signed up for all the short cuts and emails and everything for the Black Friday sales and secrete in store sales. I answer the phone not really awake “Hello. This is your local Walmart manager calling to say Happy Black Friday. GET YOUR BUTT UP! IT’S TIME TO SHOP!” I had only slept for all of 45 minutes so I was a bit groggy. After this sort of off the wall greeting via phone I softly say “Hum, it must be one of those things I signed up for on line.” Then comes a burst of hysterical laughter on the other end of the phone. It was my brother, Uncle C, giving me wake up call.

Finally, I realize the stores would be open in one hour! I live out in the country now! We had to get dressed and start driving! I grab some clothes and start dressing as I run from my room up two flights of stairs to wake up my sister. “Hurry Up! It’s time to go!” Apparently my running sort of scared her dog Bear. He was asleep on the bed right next to her. At first he just popped his head up but as I ran up the stairs getting closer and closer to the bedroom door….Well, lets just say he almost wet the bed.

I take him out for his potty break. Pup was not about to be woken up at this time of the morning to do his business. I throw food in the cat bowls, dog bowls and rabbit cage. Auntie D was ready in a flash and out we went.

My driving had Auntie D pretty scared. She yelled a few times “SLOW DOWN! Don’t hit that car! Are you really awake!” he.he.he. We made it to Kmart in 15 minutes flat! Wait a minute. Why does it look so deserted? Oh poop! It is almost 4 am and this store doesn’t open until 6am. What can I say? The number one item on my list was the 19 inch, LCD, flat screen TV with DVD player for $197 at Kmart.

On to plan B. We head over the Circuit City for the Gold Nintendo DS and Zelda game for $139.99. On our arrival we discovered the line had indeed grown since midnight but not by much. It was almost time for the doors to open but I started thinking. With the number of people lined up outside it would take a good 30 minutes or so for us to actually get through the doors. Did I mention it was 29 degrees outside? After a few minutes of deliberation I proclaim Snow White too young for a DS and we head over to the mall next door.

While making it across the 4 lanes from Circuit City to the Mall we witness an awful accident at the light heading towards the main roads. The traffic lights were blinking Red on two sides of the intersection and blinking yellow on the other two sides. The problem was an extra large pick-up truck on one of the blinking yellow lights side came plowing through the intersection and sent a large SUV spinning. It made a horrible noise! We waited a few moments to see if they were ok. Given that the SUV and another car next to it started to back up we figured they would be ok. The pick up truck looked like it just kept going but might have stopped a little way down the road where we could not see it. Ok, I am wide awake now!

The mall stores opened at 4am so we started out in JC Penny’s looking for work out clothes for Auntie D’s new boyfriend “Chief”. She was very picky and selective about what was considered good work out clothes and what wasn’t. I wish I had her sense of work out fashion. Me, I am girly, girl. I don’t care about the brand name or what the material is as long as it would look super cute on me. Then again we were shopping for a man.

I picked up a beaded canopy for Oldest Daughter since it was half off and then another 10% off at the register. Those things are pretty expensive. When I was looking at them in the spring they ran from $75 - $150. It was on sale for a really good price so it would be one of her small gifts. We needed to spend a certain amount to get an additional percentage off at the register so I picked up a cashmere scarf set which was normally $30 but on sale for $10. This gave us the amount we needed but were told that discount is for 3pm. Oh well, they were still really good buys. We stood in line for what seemed FOREVER! Each sales counter in the store had four registers but only one cashier. Hey, it’s Black Friday! What were they thinking?

During our 15 - 20 minutes in line we made a few friends and laughed about this and that. Just when I thought the whole world had been put on pause, a lady came up and softly said “I can take some of you over here…in draperies.” Auntie D jokingly said “Oh, so you have been hiding from us?” As the woman unlocked the keys of her register I started to get a little nervous. We had been in the store for a good while and in line longer than we anticipated. Would we still get to Kmart in time for the LCD TV?

We were rung up, checked out and running for the exit. I raced down the highway and we were at Kmart 5 minutes before opening! Wooohoo! We rock! Wait? What is that I see? A line? How dare they start a line now when there was no line at midnight or 4 am. Oh well, to the end of the line we go. It wasn’t a particularly long line. There were about 70 people in front of us. People lining up behind us were complaining a little saying it was already past 6 am and what was wrong with the employees watches?
The moment arrived! The doors were opened! …then it started. People started cussing and yelling and I am still about 50 feet away from the front doors. Apparently some people came out of their cars and walked right up to the front doors. They made no attempt to go to the end of the line. Sure, the people who have been freezing out here in line will have no problem letting them hop out of their toasty warm cars and butt in front of them. “GET TO THE BACK OF LINE!” a group shouted at them. They said other things but I wont repeat them. Did the new comers do that? Nope. They waited next to the front doors and scooted in here and there when they could.

Ok, I am through the doors! Auntie D rushes off to get a cart and I head over to Electronics. I was here just a few days ago to make sure I knew where the store was. There was no barricade to this department then. The employees set it up so only one person at a time could get either in or out of the department.

Auntie D wiggled her way in since she is far braver than I. What was I doing? Guarding a completely empty cart. She is only about 4’8” so it was difficult for me to see her over the barriers. I saw people coming out with two or three of the TVs in their carts. One young woman who might have just turned 20 parked her cart right infront of me like maybe I should get out of her way. Then she started looking over her shoulder and turned her back on her cart a few times. Auntie shouted that the TVs were all gone.

For a brief moment I considered an awful thought. Maybe the next time this 20 year old looks over her shoulder I could just grab… Oh for heaven’s sake. I couldn’t do that! I had to laugh at myself for even thinking I might be able to out run her or not feel guilty for taking one of her TVs.

The woman behind me looked like she was going to really cry when she heard Auntie D say there were no more TVs. Then she raised her chin and said “That’s ok. Walmart has them for a dollar more.” Off we ran for the exist, the woman, Auntie D and me.

We arrive at Walmart and run to the Electronics department where we met Surfer Dude salesman “What? Oh. The TVs? Yeah. They’er gone. You are Soooo lucky you weren’t here for that. There was hitting. And fighting. And cussing. And yelling. Yeah. You were lucky.” At this point it is about 7 am and all I have purchased is a scarf set and a beaded canopy at JC Penny’s. Neither of these were on my list of gifts. Ok so I asked Auntie D where she wanted to go next?

She decided it would be a good idea to head back to the mall. Yeah! the traffic lights were really working now. No more blinking lights to cause crazy accidents. They did have the police there directing traffic inside the various parking lots around the mall. The accident from earlier that morning was cleaned up when we left for Kmart but a new accident involving 4 or 5 cars had happened while we were in JC Penny.

Ok we are at the mall. Gleefully swishing through Boscovs, Hot Topic, Pet Gourmet, a few Jewelry shops and I cannot for the life of me remember what other shops we ventured in to.

It is almost noon and all I had was a muffin and coffee at 3am. My body is starting to give out from lack of fuel and rest. I resign that we must eat before we hit any more stores. Auntie D agreed to eat a quick lunch at Ruby Tuesdays. As we ordered I noticed I was slurring my words and might have only had my eyes half open. I would have mistaken myself for a well dress drunk. he.he.he.

Food was good but not the answer. I still could barely move and realized if I did not get some much needed sleep my body would indeed give out. Auntie D reluctantly gave up her protests that I just needed to get my body moving again.

Oh my goodness, we made it home and not a moment too soon. I took my shoes off and fell asleep as soon as my body hit the bed. Really, I was O-U-T, out! Auntie D tried to wake me up a few times with things like “Your bathroom upstairs is flooding.” Or “Hurry! ManSon just left a message on your answering machine! He is in trouble! He needs you! Help Him!”

In answer to her first claim about the bathroom I say “Plunger. My bathroom.” I might have motioned towards the bathroom door but I am not really sure. When she mentioned ManSon was in trouble I yelled back “MANSON IS FINE! HE IS FINE! SHUT UP! GO AWAY!” Makes you want to rush over and be a guest at my house doesn’t it?

If ManSon was really in trouble he would have called my cell phone, not the house phone. When I said I took my shoes off and fell asleep…I couldn’t stay awake long enough to get undressed and put on jammies. I even forgot to take off my blue tooth. he.he.he. Well, I was extremely tired and only had about 3 hours sleep in the last 48 hours. I played the message and it was some man wanting to sell me a car warranty which I already have, thank you very much. The bathroom was fine too.

After sleeping for four hours I did get up and we headed back out to the shops. First stop, Target. Auntie D was looking for a specific GPS system with all the bells and whistles. She wanted it to talk to her, sing to her and be her very best friend on all her long travels. Me? I just need map quest and one of my children to sing to me on road trips.

I could duct tape the old Game Boy on to my dash and pretend it is a GPS thing-a-ma-giggy. he.he.he. Oh hush. I thought it was funny at the time. I was giddy from shopping, lack of proper sleep, rushing and just well everything.

Oh look! Something Shinny! It was a Gold Nintendo DS in a box inside the square register area. “Why, yes miss. We do have the Gold Nintendo DS with the Zelda game right here. How much? $139.99 plus you will receive a free $10 gift card.” She opens the box and pulls out a few pink ones with the lame Nintendo Dogs game then hands me the coveted Gold one! Here it was, Friday evening and I had one of the coveted Black Friday super sales items in my very own hands! A lady standing next to me also asked to see the Gold Nintendo DS. I held mine tight to my chest but that was silly. The sales lady had a whole box of them right there. She said it was a gift for her daughter and had the same opinion of the dog game. Neither of us Moms were going to give into buying a DS for our daughters just because it was our daughter’s favorite color. We know our girls would appreciate the Zelda game more. Besides, you can buy pink covers called “skins” (creepy huh?).

It turned out buying the DS at Target was much better than standing in the cold waiting to get into Circuit City. The price was the same and I received a $10 gift certificate right there at the register. Some stores offered gift cards with Black Friday purchases but when I read the fine print … “to be used at a later date” or “will be mailed to you in 6-8 weeks.” I did look at the back of the card to see if there was a time limit to use it or anything saying it depreciated if not used. Nope. Not on the card at all so I was really happy. Hey, maybe add this to the Teacher’s gift?

Eventually we went to the mall closer to my house. We walked around a bit but the only store we actually purchased anything from was Bath and Body Works. Aunt C, our sister-in-law is not someone you want to get the wrong gift for. Well, let me put it another way. We really enjoy seeing someone’s face light up when they open a gift from us. If that doesn’t happen I feel like I just chucked money in a garbage can. I thought the Cherry Blossoms would be a nice fragrance for Oldest Daughter but WOW it really packed a punch. I finally found a sent I liked and Auntie D was still having trouble picking out the perfect gift for Aunt C. The staff was super nice, non-intrusive and ready to help. Finally we decided to buy the red alligator style gift bags. We saved a few bucks by going the gift bag rout than we would have had we just bought the bottles. I also saw a manicure set in a case that matched the gift bag…for $10! They looked so cute I wanted to buy one for everyone I knew. Ok it was almost 10 pm and we skipped dinner. I might have been a little light headed but still, they were cute!

The stores in the start to pull down their gates and close the doors. It was time to head home and have a little something to eat. But wait! It is late and nearly everything was closing up. There was no way I was going to turn on my oven in my tired condition. We decided Pizza Hut would be open and cheesy breadsticks sounded like it would really hit the spot. We tell the cashier we would like 4 orders of breadsticks. Auntie D adds “Family size please.” I haven’t been to a Pizza Hut in forever so I had no idea what that meant. The cashier looks at her and then at me “Are you sure you want 4 orders?” All I hear is 4 orders of breadsticks and I say “Yes. I have teenagers.”

We sit at a table and wait for our breadsticks to go. After a few laughs about things that happened through out the day the cashier comes over to our table. “I am so sorry. We seemed to have burned two of your orders. Can I offer you a free drink while you wait.” We laugh it off and agree to have a root beer. A few minutes later the cashier returns with 4 large pizza boxes! Um what? How many breadsticks did we order? Auntie D starts laughing and says “Family size…that means we actually ordered 40 breadsticks.” Oh well, I do have teenagers and they have friends.

At home we each ate maybe 3 breadsticks each and went to bed. Auntie D lives in another state so she wanted to get a jump on the holiday traffic. This meant I would get up at 3 am …again. I did wake up, say my goodbyes and even waved from the front porch as she drove off. Then…I slept until noon. Ahhh.


Pageant Mom said...

Now I know why I didn't go out:

1) no one (brave enough) to call me and wake me up
2) I do not want any more stuff, trying to purge
3) bad behavior in crowds at the holiday season

But you sure made it sound like fun (but I'm exhausted from just reading it!!)

I reckon I'm getting old and lazy LOL

Canadian flake said...

lol these are the stories that sorta scare me about your "black friday". I guess maybe it is all the years I worked in retail..I have been screamed at more than I care to remember..lmao.

Thanks for the giggles.