Friday, November 4, 2011

Black Friday

Now that we're well on our way into November, Christmas shopping season is truly upon us. I'm contemplating whether or not I want to join the consumer chaos of Black Friday again this year. Bug and I went out last year for our very first Black Friday adventure and I was overwhelmed, to say the least, at what we encountered so early in the still dark day.

As much I love Walmart, I try to get in and out of there by ten-thirty in the morning. Any later than that and the store is ridiculously crowded, check out is super slow, and my patience peeters out the window trying to navigate through cart crammed aisles, senior social hour, and cranky cashier service. (I miss our Jason from TN, the super nicest Walmart cashier ever!! They should have him train every cashier employed in that company or somehow find a way to infuse his joy and kindness into the rest of the staff. The world would be a much better place with more of Jason to go around! Anybody from around Oak Ridge, TN reading this, I know you know who I'm talking about--holla!!)

So...take the normal post ten a.m. craziness of Walmart and multiply that by at least fifty and schedule it at three in the morning when no sane human being should be out and about, wallet in hand and ready for bargain battles, and this is pretty much what we found last year as we ventured into Black Friday mania. It's crazy! Every parking space in Butler Commons was full, AND it was raining, freezing cold and miserable. But we braved it all to get Bug his new Nintendo DS that he'd saved his birthday money and allowance for to replace his old one that he'd broken in a temper tantrum over losing at some game he'd been playing. I'd never seen so many people crammed into one place at the same time, especially so so so early in the day! I'm not a fan of crowds. I'm not a fan of anything at three in the morning. I wondered what possibly possessed my brain to think that this was a bright idea as we traipsed through puddles in the downpour, coats clutched at our throats against the cold, and crammed into the crowded huddle of the electronics line that wound its way in and out of the shoe department and waited our turn to grab the DS of Michael's choice. Then after waiting for what seemed like forever (little did we know...) we had to fight our way back up to the front of the store to wait for another eternity at the check out to pay for said DS. Most people were in good moods, laughing and giddy over the sweet deals they had found. Still, there were those few who wanted to try to cut in line, complain over misunderstood ads, grump and push and moan...ugh!

Finally purchase paid and back out into the cold dark night we went. Where to next? We were far too geared up to try to go back home and it was still a little early for some of the other stores to open for their Black Friday morning sales, so where else is there to head other than McDonalds for a quick plate of breakfast and a hot cup of coffee to warm chilled bones and brains? We hung out there for a while, sort of dazed at this new shopping experience. Michael's face was all aglaze over the thought of his brand new shiny DS he had waiting in the car. Other shoppers poured in, sat sipping coffee, eating hashbrowns and egg mcmuffins while waiting for the other stores to open. Little by little we each leaked back out into the night, ready to get in line at another set of doors, hoping to score more bargains while the getting was good.

Bug and I stopped at a few other stores. Honestly we didn't buy much at all compared to the rest of the crowds around us. Tired and sleepy eyed, we finally headed back home as the sun started brightening the early morning sky. The rain had at least stopped even if the temperature hadn't gone up much. Bug was happy with his big purchase and I was happy that he was happy. I was also happy to be getting away from the craziness and heading to my favorite place: home...and coffee and my pillow and blanket....

Do we really want to do that again this year? Bug says an enthusiastic "YES!" Eyes all alight with the thought of spending money, money, money! I have to admit, there is something contagious that caught hold of me last year and I find myself thinking...maybe...Another middle of the night excursion with my little guy with a still dark breakfast at McDonalds over coffee, hot cakes and buttery syrup could be fun. Maybe we'll head to the mall this year instead of Walmart, see what kind of crazy deals we can find just a little past midnight...why not?

Oh look, someone left me some chicken! How thoughtful!

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