Sunday, November 30, 2008

Real Black Friday Virgin

Okay, Maybe the title of this post is misleading, since I have gone shopping on Black Friday, but I was in the stores by 7am. That doesn't really count, does it? Not after reading this post, okay? I just wish I'd brought my camera.
While at my sister's house on Thanksgiving (for dessert), Black Friday happened to be a subject that came up in conversation. (I'd gone early, just once, with my daughter Leslie, but not REALLY early. After all, I'm up usually at 5:30-6:30am every day, sans alarm clock.) Not ever slept out/camped out at the stores. Not even stood on those lonnngggggg lines! Til this year. A friend asked my husband "What's the chance that Nancy will make it out of the house AND be at Kohl's at 4am when they opened their doors?" When my husband made a 'zero' with his fingers, that clinched it for me!
I set my alarm (haven't used the alarm in YEARS, and did it without my glasses) for 3:15am, since I didn't have to do anything but 'throw' my clothes on and head out the driveway, ... and Kohl's is only 6-7 minutes from the house. I was so nervous that I'd oversleep and my DH would hear the alarm first, that I woke up on my own at 2:45am. I think I shut the alarm off, to keep it from going off later (in the dark, still no glasses on), snuck downstairs (DH is such a light sleeper), had my clothes on (no bra and no deodorant--Hey, I had on a sweatshirt!- am I sharing too much?) and was in the car by 3:25am. THIS was GOOD! Driving on the highway (two exits away) was a breeze- not much traffic at all,... a few trucks, but really nothing.
Kohl's is about 1/8th of a mile off the exit ramp, just on the other side of the Toyota dealer (which you are next to as you get to the end of the ramp). Once I got in sight of Kohl's store (at 3:35am, I might add), I realized why no one was on the highway.... THEY WERE ALL AT KOHL'S!! The parking lot, in front, was completely full! Along the side, it wasn't any better, as maybe 1/2--2/3 was full, also. I found a spot quickly enough, but the line was already along the front and down the side almost to the middle of this HUGE store! I would have jumped in line immediately, but -- I spied a 'lunch truck' right in front of the store...BREAKFAST! I didn't have my tea (or even grab a coffee to go) before I left and having breakfast, even a bagel, would have slowed me down, because you see, I wanted to BE at Kohl's early. So, I got a coffee AND a bagel breakfast sandwich (that's a treat!), with egg cheese and bacon!! Whooo Hooo! (I even knew the lunch truck ladies, since they used to come to our workplace in the next town over). Well, now... this could be fun!
I ate breakfast in line and it was done by the time the line started moving into Kohl's, ... I headed into the store, grabbed the GPS unit I was contemplating ($76.00), got a few other items on their Early bird sales and saw a 'WonderPets FlyBoat" for a GS , snagged it, then got in line. The LONG line. The one that you have to wait in if you want to check out. THE ONE LONG LINE!! But, in comparison to where I went next, this line actively moved... slowly, but it moved. I chatted with the lady in front of me, off and on, and even though I was getting tired on carrying my selections in my arms all the time (forget getting a carriage when you get in the store, they never have enough on a normal day), I managed to ask her to pick something off a rack we just passed and add it to my pile (for my mom). I even asked one of the 'line managers' to put a few pairs of 'something' (can't say in case the kids read this blog) on my pile. Okay, NOW I can't see much over the pile! One item, I had clutched under my armpit (and it goes to the floor!). I'd been hiking this 'thing' (can't tell you what, again) up and down, clunking it under my armpit, moving along in the line and it's starting to irritate me, BUT it's a GREAT sale, so .... oh, well, I'm almost at the registers. The cashiers have 'pom-poms' to shake to alert the 'line manager' they are open, and we got 'herded to the next open one'..... It moved along rather well, I thought (and I complimented the management on the 'breakfast trunk AND their system of handling the line inside....VERY nice experience!)
Okay, off to the next store.... and it's only 4:51am! Not bad timing, eh? (So I thought)
Up the road and into the 'mall area' (that should have told me something), I headed to Walmart. I always hear the horror stories of the line at Walmart, but I forgot how early it was. They didn't open until 5am, so the lines were actively in place. I thought Kohl's was long.....HA! What was deceiving, was that the line LOOPED (ever been to Disney? or in a queue at the movies?) a few times on the 'blind' side of the store. And what you COULD see from the parking lit was already long enough! Okay, in I went (to the line).... and once the store opened, the line went VERY quickly!! I got a few items (one for DH, since he needed this item - as his present one, died the other day- still can't tell you all yet), another GPS unit (Garmin, $97.00 this time- I'll compare them and return one) and headed for the register at the back of the store( I was parked near this exit door-- at the farthest end, but near here). This experience was one that I will say, I won't ever do again, ... at least not HERE anyway!
At the back near the garden area, one of two registers died! The human lines converged, Oh, GOD!.... Then some of the people started heading back through our line (what now!) with their bagged stuff. I guess the store people weren't opening the outside doors beyond the registers, so you had to weave yourself, with bags, through the craziness of the store to the doors at the front!! Oh, Hell, if that's the case, I'm going in the front lines (BIG MISTAKE). I must have stood in a line (in the front,... yeah right) FOREVER!! We 'inched (and I mean inched!) our way along this ling line and once I was able to see the registers.....OMG... the 'sea of humanity'!! I wish I had an aerial view of the 25 lines of humans converging to the 18 registers!! Standing in line, at some point, I heard someone say the back doors were now opened but I wasn't moving!! Not Again!
I DID make it out alive, but I vowed to NEVER do that store again! No matter WHAT is on sale! I even warned a few people in the parking lot that were headed for the entrance, of the check-out lines! But the nice thing, ... I was home by 6:45am! And I got gifts for 7-8 on my list. And I was fed.
Long post, but hope you enjoyed my adventure... I can now say, I've done "Black Friday" the way you should!

1 comment:

GRACE said...

sounds like you had a real adventure, given that disaster struck at the Long Island Walmart; I went just once and it wasn't near as awful as that. and no bra? you lucky gal, you. I couldn't venture out anywhere except to a drive-thru without a bra...glad you made it home alive