I was never a Black Friday shopper. Mostly because, when I was old enough to have money of my own, I was usually working. From the time I started working, the Friday after Thanksgiving was never one I was able to take off. Which meant I had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to commute into the city for work. I used to drive past all the stores with people lined up outside (back when stores opened at 6am on Black Friday) waiting to get in and a little part of me was jealous that they got to get all the great deals and I had to work.
Fast forward to last year. My mom and I decided to brave T0ys R Us for their midnight opening. She waited in the warm car while I froze my butt off in line. We got some great deals on things. But that was it. We were home by 1am.
This year we decided to try Wally Mart for the 10pm sale. We had two things on our list...the memory foam bath mats (don't laugh, they are awesome!) and a twin size bedding set for Lexi's big girl bed she's getting. Toy Story was requested by the princess herself.
OH. MY. GOD. NEVER. AGAIN. We should have known how crazy it was going to be based on the fact that the parking lot was completely full at 9:30 when we got there. We lucked out and found someone leaving and got their space, but people were parking in the nearby Bank parking lot. In the drive thru teller line. In the ATM line!
Anyway, we went in and quickly found the bath mats...but it wasn't 10pm yet so we had to stand in line...yes...there was a LINE for bath mats. While my mom stood in line, I sought out a manager (yes, there was a manager to be found) and asked where the kids bedding sets might be located...since everything was all over. (I kid you not, they had moved ALL the baby clothes into the grocery section and filled that area with pallets of DVDs). He told me that they hadn't been able to find the bedding and he didn't think it was out. So I went back in line with my mom...only to hear a HUGE commotion from where I came from. Some people had started ripping into the shrink wrap that held the 10pm sale merchandise. And this particular merchandise was SHEETS! SHEETS! Not TV's...NOT Laptops...SHEETS! The manager called security and fights broke out. It wasn't 10pm yet, but once people saw them ripping into the shrink wrap it was every man for himself. People just started ripping into things and grabbing whatever they could. I don't even think people were looking at what they were grabbing.
My mom and I did come away with 5 bathmats...3 for her and 2 for me...unscathed. BUT get this. I asked the manager, who was back picking up dropped/thrown/discarded merchandise from the floor, where, if they had the bedding sets, would they have put them. He directed me to the kids section. My mom and I decided we'd take a walk back there to see...after pushing our way through the electronics department (OMG really people...some of those movie titles are 20 years old. $5 isn't a sale...you can get those for $5 on a regular day) we came to a clearing in the store. And I found the pallet of bedding. No Toy Story, one princess and a few Mickey M0use were all that were left. But, what is that I see out of the corner of my eye? There...kicked under a display of socks 20 feet away. Is that Woody's face I see? Why it is!! I managed to come away with the LAST Toy Story bedding set.
Yes, I braved the Black Friday crowds for 2 bath mats and a Toy Story bedding set. But to see the sparkle in my girl's eyes when she sees it on her custom made Jessie bed (custom made by Daddy)...will make it all worth it. Will I brave Black Friday again? Maybe. I'll never be the "plan it all out hit a zillion stores, stay up all night" type of Black Friday shopper. But I can fight the crowd for the one item my girl really wants...and if I lose and don't get it, I can say I tried...but if I win...well, seeing her face light up will be gift enough for me.
Are you a Black Friday shopper? If so, how "all out" do you go?