Emilia plots out her Black Friday plan of attack.
Until this year, I've left the early-morning Black Friday madness to Ryan and his family. We've been in Satanta or Rolla for the past few Thanksgivings, which means to really get the Black Friday deals, you don't have to just get up early--you have to get up ungodly bat-poop crazy early. And since I hate crowds and I hate Wal-Mart, it seemed best just to send Ryan out while I stayed home with kiddos.
But this year we were in Hays, and there was a certain item (which shall remain nameless because Ella does occasionally read this blog) that was on sale at Wal-Mart. So I drug myself out of bed and arrived at Wally at 4:45. Driving out to Wal-Mart was a truly bazaar experience, like something out of a science fiction movie. Car after car after car, all headed to one location: the Wal-Mart parking lot. It was like a pilgrimage to Mecca. I was lucky enough to find a spot in the parking lot, but most people were parking on the gravel and grass beyond the actual lot.
I planned to get a cart, but all of the carts were gone by the time I made it in the door. This was, however, serendipitous, because it allowed me to move much more freely through the crowded aisles.
I made my way back to electronics and found an enormous swarm of people. "What's this crowd for?" I asked a girl in the crowd.
She told me, and by some chance, she also knew where the item I was looking for was located. So I made my way over to the paint counter to get in line. But there was no line. I finally found a Wal-Mart worker to ask.
"Oh, those? We sold out of them a long time ago."
Nice. I wondered why people were in line with cartloads of stuff waiting to check out when I walked in the store 15 minutes before the sale technically started. Maybe that helped avoid mob chaos and tramplings and whatnot, and I probably still wouldn't gave gotten what I wanted, but I was still seriously annoyed. So I turned and walked out of the store (okay, maneuvered my way through crowds of overflowing shopping carts and shoppers in pajamas). So I guess it didn't really matter whether or not I got a shopping cart since I didn't even buy anything. An article in the newspaper that evening quoted people who had gotten in line for laptops at midnight. Sorry. I'm not willing to do that to save $30. My sleep is worth more than that.
Luckily, The Mall was open. I shopped at JC Penney's, which had opened at 4, until the other stores opened at 6. I found some pretty good deals, and best of all, was able to shop without two munchkins harassing me. That was the best part of all. That and the fact that after I left The Mall, the Starbucks at Gutierrez's opened just as I pulled in the parking lot. I really needed that late.
My Black Friday shopping experience wasn't that bad. But I'm never stepping foot in Wal-Mart on Black Friday again.