I must have had too much wine with my Thanksgiving meal because for some reason my mother-in-law and I decided that we were going to Wal-Mart at 10 p.m. to start our Black Friday shopping, on Thursday. That should have given it away right there, we have all gone crazy, we can’t even wait until Friday to start Black Friday shopping. I almost didn’t go, I was dead dog tired after having Thanksgiving at our house, a lovely one I might add, and as stated above after more than one glass of wine combined with playing outside with the children and eating all of that yummy Thanksgiving food, I was down for the count. That is until my wonderful mother-in-law started shoving sales papers at me and I got a glimpse of the one thing we HAD to have that was going on sale at 12 a.m. at our very own Wal-Mart.
The children were sleepily tucked in their beds, the husband dozing happily on the couch watching football with a nice fire in the fireplace and there we were like giggling schoolgirls gearing up with our winter coats, purses and sales papers ready to fight the crowds. “Surely there will not be that many people there this time of night,” I stated, naively I might add for when we pulled up to the Wal-Mart at Chalkley and Rt.10 I was shocked. There was not a parking space to be had and we had to park at the American Family Fitness across the street. As we made our way over to the Super Center I was amazed. You see, I have only been Black Friday shopping once before and that was during daylight hours; this was an entirely different ballgame, folks. There was security everywhere (for which I am thankful), gates set up for people to move through to get into the store (you could not just walk in) and the lawn and garden section where all of the large toys (riding toys and such) was a zoo (and not a nice zoo either). I stood there mouth agape until of course I was rudely shoved from behind. Let’s just say people check their manners at the door on Black Friday (or Thursday).
As we finally made our way into the store, the fluorescent lights blinding me and highlighting the harsh realities of mass consumerism which are being served up on a cheaply made plastic platter with faux painted symbols of Christmas splashed all over it, I felt a sense of dread drift softly down like aerosol snowflakes gently come to rest on top of my head. But, the minute I heard that wonderful Christmas music being piped through the store spreading cheer and felt the energy in the air all those feelings were pushed aside and the inner competitor came out. I was there to get my door buster deal and I was NOT leaving without it.
I really do despise myself sometimes. But what would the holidays be without a little self-loathing? We forged ahead to find those $4.47 pajamas for the children and the $6.88 board games. As I scooped those up and headed to the $1.96 DVD section (woohoo) and maneuvered myself around massive amounts of people loading up their carts, I become rather curious. Everywhere I turned people were lining up and down the grocery aisles in rapid fashion. Of course I’m nosy and had ask what they were lining up for. Televisions, they were lining up and getting numbers for the televisions, it was amazing how many people were there for them. And as I made my way through the store I saw more lines for cameras, cell phones, printers, video games and digital picture frames. All of the electronics were not being brought out until closer to midnight.
I suddenly realized that we needed to find out where our item was going to be and get into a line quickly. I had no desire to wait in a line for 45 min. but I was going to get the dual monitor DVD player for the car for the low price of $59 if it was the last thing I did. As my mother-in-law did great detective work and found the exact “drop” location of our item I went to stakeout our spot. It was extremely boring until they started to bring out the electronics; then it was like watching a train wreck: you don’t want to look but you can’t help yourself. People went nuts, really crazy and acted like lunatics. It was embarrassing really, all of the shoving and hollering and grabbing that went on. It was obscene yet highly entertaining at the same time even though I’m a little embarrassed to say it.
When the time came for our “hot” item to come out my mother-in-law was the first to go in and, like a lady should, waited until the manager actually handed her the DVD player. Even though she did get ticked off when 3 people tried to grab it out of her hand the minute she turned to come back to the cart with it, see manners checked at the door. Needless to say she made it to the cart with our coveted item and we waited until the stroke of midnight to check out so we could save, save, save.
Did we save a ton of money? Probably not, I think you probably end up buying stuff you normally wouldn’t just because you think it’s a good deal. I know the one thing I took home that I didn’t plan on getting was a healthy dose of never again.