November 30, 2008
Happiest Season of All?
My eldest sister talked me into joining her in the infamous Black Friday shopping spree. Intent on finding the best sales at all times, I couldn't resist. We were up by 3 am and with a few sips a coffee and half a pop-tart, we were out the door into the Winter Wonderland by 330, in an attempt to be near the front of the pack lined up outside Kohls. Having some experience in this shopping phenomenon, Bethany knew to bring a stroller, as no carts would be left to use. When the doors opened, it was like mass chaos, a similar to scene of that when Sex and the City was released in theaters and a sea of stilettos raced for the best seats. Bethany and I had drawn up a plan of areas to hit: me, Men's Wear, Bethany would be at women's. The plan was null and void with the combination of racing women and amazing deals every which way the eye could see. With the checkout line wrapped around the store our new plan was to take turns standing in line while the other shopped. We were out of the store by 530 with more than $325 worth of items and a total of $260 spent. Our next stop was Target. That was an adventure! We waited in line while some believed that had beat the system and waited by their cars until the store opened, hoping to jump in front of the line. Security was prepared for this and stopped their efforts while those who had waited shivering in line pointed and laughed like elementary school children. We definitely had a plan for this store! I was to go to electronics while Bethany waded through the sea of carts towards the accessories. It was like the rapture. People were realizing there was no getting through the waves of carts and began to abandon their buggies in the middle of the store for the sake of reaching the good items. Others used their carts as obstacles with which to block others from the center of the aisle where the coveted items were held. I waited in line for an all important present in the electronics section, not knowing that the item needed to be paid for immediately. With sweat dripping I called Bethany and said, "Abort the stroller! I repeat, abort the stroller! I need the credit card asap!" She left the stroller in the middle of Target and came to my aid. Needless the say I was able to get one of the 50 items in stock of this product.
Its so surprising how while "Its the most wonderful time of the year..." blared over the store speakers, men, women and children alike were pushing families over with carts, knocking over displays and verbally attacking other shoppers for the items listed on their Christmas Wish-Lists. I was mistaken to think that this time of year always brings out the joyful best in people. Until this Black Friday experience, I had been naive.
Next year, Sharon, Bethany, and I have decided we will shop together on the Black Friday, wearing bright green shirts made to say something to the effect of "Black Friday Mamas" and will bring two things: shopping bags (to replace the bulky carts) and whistles (to keep track of one another's locations throughout the store).
Needless to say my jolly holiday shopping is officially finished! Thank the Lord!