I would like to preface this by saying that this is not the norm for me. Yes, I am a super-frugal bargain shopper, and I love searching through the Black Friday ads, but it is rare that I go to a store on that day, and certainly not before 11 and certainly not when the doorbuster craziness is happening, as I prefer not getting elbowed in the spleen. Ahem.
So after the turkey was left with nothing but a carcass, the talk around the living room fell to 2 subjects typically: football and shopping. I do not talk about football. We all took turns looking through the ads, which, of course, I’ve already researched online, just to make sure there’s nothing I absolutely have to have, and if there is, to figure out if there’s any possible way to get it while sitting in front of the computer instead of waiting in line. Unfortunately for me, there was this thing that we wanted to get for Sammy (details after Christmas) that Walmart had on significant sale at 8 PM Thanksgiving night. I considered. I stewed. I shopped for alternatives. But when it came down to it, this was the best option. Also, my dad talked me into going because he is a shopping enabler (love you, Dad, but you know it). Therefore, at 7:45 PM, he and I set off for Crazytown, with the very important asterisk that if it was too nuts, we’d happily turn around and forget about it.
We turned in the lot and it seemed everybody and their brother was there. We twisted through a couple of rows, and were just about to call it a night when we saw break lights. 2 cars in front of us gave up when the car didn’t move from the space, but by the time we were 1st up in the queue, the people shut their doors and the blessed beacons of reverse lights lit up. We got a primo spot, so, of course, we had to go in.
There were no carts to be found, so we wandered in among the chaos (said cart would have been a hindrance anyway). We saw the people lined up for computer and TVs and such, asked a few directional questions, and found the area where our item was supposed to be. A customer was walking out with said item, and he told us the last one was just around the corner. As we walked up to it, a lady set a box on top of it, and we thought we were done, but she was just resting, and we snagged it. Huzzah! But now, we needed a cart.
Dad stood guard while I shopped for another sale item or 2 and looked for a cart. Still none. I brought him back the rest of my booty and went out on Recon 2: the Cartening. I was headed to the parking lot when a shopper rolled one back into the staging area. I must have involuntarily shouted “Mine!” because a lady started giggling at me. Well, what can you do?
We loaded up and headed to the check stands. We were about 3 carts back when the customer checking out decided she wasn’t exactly through shopping and wandered back into the store, leaving her purchases half rung up. As we stared in confusion, one of the myriad of surprisingly cheerful employees told us that the lanes farther down were empty, and indeed they were. We sidled up to the checker and I whipped out my credit card. But right before I swiped it, I looked at her and my dad and said, “Wait! I need some milk.” You should have seen the horror on their faces. Gotcha!
All said, we got back to the car, drove home, and pulled into the driveway at 8:31 PM. Pure concentrated chaos, but it worked out splendidly. That was just about as much Walmart insanity as I ever needed to take. And I only got elbowed once. I call that a win.
(I won’t bore you with the story of how we pressed our luck and went to Target as well, with no real purpose in mind, but still managed to find something we wanted and ended up in a snaking checkout line for half an hour. But we got a primo parking space there, too, and I just wanted to dance in the space as cars circled by.)