It’s that time of year again. On Thanksiving millions of people gather around the table with those they love and give THANKS before feasting on a delicious meal that propels most of us right into “lose the 15 pounds I gained last Thursday”- mode. During the Holiday season it’s even more evident that I’m one lucky girl; lucky to be able to have so many things to be Thankful for. Such things as the roof over my head, family and friends to share the holidays with, the means to provide and indulge in the wonderful meals we so proudly serve and share with one another, health, happiness, sanity and the right to be an American (Oorah!) just to name a few. And after the great Turkey feast (or the Roast Beast if you ask the Grinch) millions of people across the country are blessed enough to venture out into the cold, braving the elements to snag the best deals!!
Well this year I was one of those millions of people whom I previously deemed “CRAZY.” I joined a friend and his Stepdad as they camped outside of Target for almost 6 hours approaching the store’s Black Friday opening at midnight! I have never, EVER been a Black Friday shopper. The day after Thanksgiving in my family is basically Round 2 of Turkey-eating. Rather than taking a plate of left-overs home on the night of Turkey Day, we simply return to my Aunt’s house the next day and eat everything all over. Only this time we aren’t as kind as to wait for everyone to get there and prepare their plates before we dig in. First come, first serve and if you snooze you lose. I also never snooze and lose when it comes to food. I wake up bright eyed and bushy-tailed…ready to eat then nap, eat then nap, in that order!
This year seemed like a good year to switch things up a bit. So off to Target I went. I didn’t really want to leave dinner early though so I wasn’t able to get to the store until AFTER my friend and his Stepdad were already there as the 2nd and 3rd people in line. The text messages kept coming through; from “the line is really short, you have time”…”Only 2 more people behind us”…to “3 cars just pulled up and about 10 people are in line now.” Grrrr. I almost didn’t go. I mean, whenever you see those deals advertised for a popular item, the Quantity is in short supply. I figured by the time I got there, I’d never have a chance of getting the item I wanted…..considering it was the 46” LCD TV for under $300…front page DOORBUSTER in the BLACK FRIDAY ADVERTISEMENT. But, I reminded myself that my Mom’s TV had 3 large black lines stretching from the top to the bottom of the right side of the screen, causing a major picture distortion (GASP!). I simply couldn’t resist a shot at that TV. If I turned around, I’d be guaranteed to NOT get it…but if I went, I’d have a small chance.
By the time I got there, about 15 people separated me from my friend and his Stepdad. I certainly was NOT going to jump the line. These people meant business! I was way too afraid to bypass them and plop myself next to the 2nd and 3rd person in line (NO WAY). The news is always full of stories of people getting trampled on and pepper sprayed….I was NOT going to volunteer myself for that. Thankfully my friend was prepared and set me up with a comfy chair, a blanket and hand warmers, and even drove me to Sunoco for hot coffee when I complained about not being able to feel my toes or tell if my nose was running since it was so frozen and therefore numb (FUN!). But for the majority of the wait time I found myself making friends with the people in front of me in line. Phil, Brian, and Josh kept me entertained to say the least. I was kind to them despite thinking that the minute those front doors opened I would run like crazy to get my TV because of course they were there for the TV too!! Just when I thought I couldn’t hear anymore about Phil’s hip and knee replacements , his stories of Woodstock “Summer of ‘69” and how when he was a Florida native he was hairstylist to the STARS, Security guards came out and gave the 411 of how this whole thing was about to go down (YAY!). I was elated to hear them say that they had 35 TV’s and the first 35 people would be given a ticket at 11:30 that entitled them to a TV as long as they claimed it within 2 hours of the doors opening. At that time, they also mentioned that there were 600 people in line….a line that wrapped itself the whole way around the building! Security guards passed out a map (Really?? a MAP?) and even a granola-protein bar type thingy and I thought that was just fantastic! The map had all sorts of SURPRISE doorbusters that were set up to trick you….to divert your attention from the TV you came for and send you running around the store to take a chance on a sweeter TV deal. I discussed this option with my newly made Black Friday-600 people-Target-line posse, Phil, Josh, and Brian and we decided we would NOT be fooled. I would stick with my original plan!
Then, at 11:30 I got a TV TICKET! I was #21 out of 35 people with Tickets. I felt like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he finds the Golden Ticket! I was getting a TV without having to run through the front doors like a madwoman and dodging swinging crowd go-ers because that was seriously the scenario I was expecting! The last 30 minutes was easy-peasy (Lemon-Squeezy) once I had my ticket. The doors opened at midnight and I took a leisurely stroll towards the back of the store and claimed my TV right away! Once inside I felt like I should really buy myself something but I couldn’t see spending money just because I was there…I came for the TV…I conquered the TV. But then I saw a neatly wrapped package of 12 washcloths tied together with a pretty red bow for $2. SOLD!
I came down with a cold that hung around for the next 4 days after my adventures but it was a SUCCESS and I’m so excited over this experience that I will now be a Black Friday shopper every year (Only I’ll dress more warmly and bring Bailey’s for my coffee).
Oh yes, and I must mention that the icing on the cake was that despite being out until almost 3am, I was still up early enough to make it to my Aunt’s for Thanksgiving Dinner Round 2! 🙂