Sunday, 28 November 2010

Black Friday - because I am always on top of current issues

For those of you that do NOT live in America and have no clue what Black Friday is, here is an explanation. It is the day after Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November) when stores go crazy and give you silly prices for sometimes amazing products. Take for example Office Max. Office Max had a printer that I desperately wanted. They were selling it on Friday for $130 LESS than what they normally sell it for. Craziness. But guess who didn't end up with one. Me.

Rewind to Midnight Thursday. When some stores started their Black Friday craziness. Generally the craziness will start at ungodly hours of the morning, like 3am and 4am. People will line up for a few hours before then just to get the stuff that they want. This has never appealed to me because I am far from being a morning person. I still get cranky with Isabel when she wakes me up before 8am. It happens every morning and yet I still get surprised when she doesn't just leave me alone.

Back to the Black Friday story. So I find out some stores are opening at midnight. And I think "I can do this". I may not be a morning person, but I can definitely stay up until midnight. So I pore through all the brochures eventually cutting my store destinations to two. Wal-mart (I know.... I'm cheap) and Old Navy. They both open at midnight, have some rockin' deals on some stuff that I need and I figure I'll be totally fine with staying awake for possibly only an hour.

At 11.50pm I drive through the parking lot of Old Navy. There's a line. And it is cold. I decide to leave Old Navy. I drive just around the block to Wal-mart. At least there's no line outside, so I put on my brave face and walk the half mile from the nearest available parking spot (that will fit my beast of a truck). I arrive in the store just as the Wal-mart workers have taken the black plastic off the product that is being sold for a song. I also arrive in the store just in time to see the mass hordes screeching and pulling and grabbing and throwing. Never before in my life have I seen such rudeness and chaos. There were no shopping carts left so I was left to push my way in to the crowd to grab what I could hold. The people I was contending with had obviously done this for years. I grabbed a few towels for a dollar a piece and my Rubbermaid container set, walked around in a daze for a while just witnessing the utter chaos and then marched my way over to the cash registers. I didn't have to wait long until I was walking out only half noticing that the line for the registers had increased one hundred fold.

I figured if I had survived Wal-mart then maybe Old Navy wouldn't be so bad. I went back. There was no line this time and it seemed like people were being civil to each other inside.

I waltzed in. Grabbed what I knew I had come for and searched for the end of the line. Turns out the end of the line was now snaking its way from the front all the way to the back and then back to the front again. I met a lady in line who was quite fun to talk to. We were given the nice opportunity to chat for two long hours as we shuffled our way forward in the line. Along the way I managed to pick up another $40 worth of clothing. CURSE YOU LONG LINE!!!

I vowed NEVER to do Black Friday again. My printer sat in Office Max waiting all day Friday for me to come and buy it. Unfortunately I spent the whole day trying to recover from my "easy" midnight shopping. Ugh.

6 comments:

DeNae said...

Every few years, my sisters and I will brave Black Friday, but I was home in Vegas with just my kids this time, and there was no way I was doing it. I think it's crass, it takes advantage of the fact that times are tough, and it brings out the ugly in nearly everyone involved, particularly the stores themselves. I spend Thanksgiving weekend watching Christmas videos, playing games with my kids, decorating for Christmas, and eating leftovers. If I miss a sale or two, oh well. At least I still have all ten of my fingers.

That Girl said...

I never. Ever. Do Black Friday.

I hate crowds so much that I get almost all my Christmas shopping done in October. Otherwise, it's online.

I'm weird.

KMitchell said...

I've never done Black Friday myself but last year went for the Aussie version and braved the mid-year Big W midnight toy sale. I found a non-bogan to chat to (a Canadian actually) and went in armed with my trolley and list. A bit of a mad dash at first but if you've previously identified where your items are in the store it's no sweat. My favourite part was having the tills all to mysrlf while the 99% of shoppers queued for hours for layby. And the fact that Christmas for the kids is mostly sorted in July! You are a brave woman though. Maybe you can show me how it's done if we make it over there.

Melanie said...

The only year I tried it, with my crazy aunts who do it every year, I saw two women in their 60s punch each other over tube socks.

I've never been back.

We are a stupid stupid culture...

Melanie Jacobson said...

I've never done it and can't imagine a circumstance where I ever will, mainly because I'd pay a lot of money for extra sleep, so why would I get up early to save it?

Tina said...

Helen,

It's me, Tina. I feel bad I haven't written to you in awhile. You are in America. I feel very stupid. Where are you living? Please send your address so I can send you a holiday card, littletotsbigideas@hotmail.com.

Love ya,

Your Utah Friend,

Tina