Raining Petals

Monday, December 15, 2008

Black Friday of Death

I must post about Black Friday lest I forget how horrible it was!

I got really excited when looking through the ads on Thanksgiving about getting up before I even really fell asleep and getting out and getting me some bargains! Living in a small town on the outskirts of Memphis I thought surely everyone would head North to the big cities where all the stores are in close vicinity. You can imagine my dismay when I pull into an already full parking lot at Wal-Mart at 4:30 in the freaking A.M. I found a parking spot and as I was heading in I just had to laugh at myself for deciding to be part of this...especially as I saw cars racing into the parking lot and furiously searching for a spot and then running in an all out sprint to beat whoever else was in the parking lot to the doors. I totally just walked.

When I got in I almost immediately turned around. But I trudged on. The aisles were already packed with frantic moms, frenzied grandmas, and a few dads who kept a cool composure acting like this was no big deal...all clustered together...shoulder to shoulder...making a human barrier around the display that held their sought after bargains. Each person trying to shift their weight to their advantage...putting them a millimeter closer to the product while hopefully blocking out the person behind them. I stood for a few moments and just watched people. I witnessed an episode of a lady having a melt down and screaming "but my grand kids leave for Virginia today!!!" and then threatened to go to Target instead when a Wal-Mart employee told her she could not yet put an item in the cart because the clocks had not chimed 5:00. Um lady...do you think anyone would care you left and went to Target...in fact utter threats like that and people get all excited and push you out the door. Also...if your grand kids are leaving for Virginia today...then why the heck are you in Wal-Mart and not cherishing every breathing moment with them you drama queen.

I snaked my way around through all the people...trying to figure out where I most wanted to be when all hell broke loose. I gave up only after a few feet because people were starting to send daggers my way as I made them part the way for me. I ended up next to the V-Smile Pockets. Oh good...I wanted to get one of these anyways. For 25.00 I thought it was a good deal. I somehow shifted my weight just right and got withing arms reach of the coveted game system. Now I just had to hold my position. This wasn't easy. I don't like being so close to people and I don't like to feel trapped...I start to freak out a little bit. My stomach started cramping, and my face got all flushed, and I almost lost it. I gave myself a mental slap in the face and pulled it together;) The employees in charge of our display started yelling out the rules...no hitting, no biting, no kicking, no jumping on top of people, etc. No one was listening. I was a little frightened because I am big girl...but the South breeds them bigger and the people surrounding me could have easily extinguished my life in just a matter of a few arms wailing recklessly.

I turned my head and surveyed the crowd that was continuously growing bigger behind me and my eyes met another set of eyes pleading with mine to look at them. I stopped and looked at this woman. "Will you please get me one?" She mouthed. "Sure!" I said...and then she lost it and went on a rambling rampage, "My daughter birthday is in 2 weeks and if I can't get this today then I will never be able to get it and her life will be ruined...blah blah blah"melting into the ground as she blubbered..Lady! Pull yourself together! I said I would get you one and was happy to do so...but you just couldn't keep yourself together and I would rather jab myself in the eye now then get you one of these things because of how you are behaving. Luckily I didn't have to...she did some kind of ninja jump over the crowd and was able to procure one for herself. When it was FINALLY 5:00 (I was in there for maybe 30 minutes which easily felt like 2 hours) we were allowed to battle it out and I grabbed 2 systems and stood there flustered looking for magic ninja mom. I shrugged and took my 2 systems (figuring maybe I could do some bartering with the extra one if needed) and threw myself into the rest of the war that was Black Friday at Wal-Mart.

I stopped by the 5.00 Hot Wheels, then a stop at the Cars Mack Truck, then went past a 9.00 vacuum that ended up in my cart and is now in the closet because we already have a vacuum...but surely for 9.00 I couldn't just leave it sitting there. I stopped by the HD Flat Screen TVs...almost loaded one up into my cart because for 400.00 surely I ...okay you get the picture. I decided it is more important to be able to feed my family and pay electricity than have the latest TV hanging on our wall..it would have been pretty though. I did, however, feel like I hit the jackpot when I ran into 4.00 pajamas (got 5 packs) and 8.00 jeans...got 2 pairs for me and one for Josh. After my cart was sufficiently full of items I didn't need, I made my way to check out. AHHH!! This was going to be a problem. Everyone else wanted to check out too. I could not tell where the lines began or ended...it was just one large conglomerate of people...non-moving...traffic jammed people. I instantly deflated from my bargain shopping high. I zig-zagged my way over to the garden/Christmas section where the lines looked to have a bit more order and I parked my cart behind the last person in line. 10 minutes passed and I hadn't moved an inch. 15 minutes...still in the same spot.

Uh oh...I need the bathroom and this line is not moving at all!! But people had lined up behind me and if I got out of line now I might as well throw in the white flag and leave the store without my items. So my face flushed again and I started to get nervous about whether I could really hold it in...but the more anxious I get...the more I have to go. So finally I realize the lady in front of me looks really nice and I ask her that if by any chance the line advances if she would mind pulling my cart behind her. She smiles and says it would be no problem! Phew...I run towards the bathroom only to be stopped in my tracks by paramedics and employees...I look and see a lady sprawled out on the floor with a neck brace on. Great! The people told me I would have to go around the other way to get to the bathroom. I look over at the mass of still non-moving people and laughed...are you kidding? "No mam, you can't come through here"..."but there is still so much available space...the lady is passed out clear over on one side of the entry way....I can just step around this way and no one will know the difference." "sorry mam"..."No...you will be sorry if I can't get through here"..."Do you really have to go that bad?!" In my head I am grabbing this man around the collar and shaking him like you see in movies, "no...I am just standing here and arguing with you because it is so much more fun then standing in line (which just might be true) YES!! " So he let me through.

I went to the bathroom and almost walked back out again. You have to be kidding me. This so isn't worth it. Wal-Mart bathrooms have to be one of the scariest places on Earth hands down! I shuddered and made my way to the stall where the toilet had actually been flushed and wasn't overflowing. I prepared the seat to be acceptable and well...you know what comes next. I made my way back to the line which had actually moved like a foot. The nice lady still had my cart in tow and I was grateful.

After about an hour in line (and many thoughts of just abandoning my cart and getting out of there) I checked out my purchases and vowed to never EVER go to Wal-Mart on Black Friday ever again.

And I lived happily ever after. The end.

13 comments:

Shawn and Megan Atwood said...

I too went to Walmart that morning, it was CRAZY!!!! To be honest, I kind of like the adrenaline rush! I got those $4 pajamas too:) Anyways, I love that you had a dream that we visited each other! I hope it comes true!

Jennifer Dunn said...

It sounds like a description of Hell to me! **shudder shudder**

Anonymous said...

Could I just say that you write like Erma Bombeck. If you don't know who she is look up her books at the library in comedy section. This was just hilarious. I am rolling on the ground. Great outlook on Black Friday. I never ever ever go.
Love, Grammy Kathy

munge said...

Laura, you make me laugh. Now you know why I avoid shopping at any cost. amazon.com is my best friend.

Yeah, the bathroom experience sounds just like my recurring nightmare about bathrooms.

Emily said...

Ugh! That sounds horrible. I've never been brave enough to join the early crowds. Joel's wife Lisa and I did go out on Black Friday, but after most of the craziness had subsided (and most of the deals were gone... I DID get my Crock Pot!).

But as horrible as it sounds, it was fun to read.

Emily said...

that is hilarious. i myself am not a fan of black friday. your experience confirms my desires to never go!

Casey Marie said...

oh man. Good stuff! You are the most hilarious being on this planet known as Earth.

I am always too tired (lazy) to get up that early. I am like mom and just go to amazon.com.

Did I mention you are hilarious?

Brandi said...

LOL. I am sticking with Matt's advice about going anywhere on Black friday. I won't leave without a shotgun!

Shane and Amy Jo said...

I'm so glad you shared your crazy day! You just confirmed why I never venture out on Black Friday. I think it's so funny how crazy people become just to get a good deal. It's beyond me. I'm glad that you are able to see the comical side to it all!

Kristin, Jeff, and Michael said...

You are so brave Laura! SO brave! And I hate bathrooms too! Who doesn't? I always squat and I dont touch anything with my hands...I use my feet to open the doors..etc. You get the point. But hey at least the stall you went in was flushed...that in itself is amazing!

Jenete said...

Wow, Laura you are super ninja mom for braving Walmart on a Black Friday. I don't usually want to brave Walmart on any day:) This year was the first year that Jeff didn't drag me out of bed for the 'great deals.' It worked out we still got a printer for 75% off which we needed since ours has been decommissioned for at least a year. We got to the sales around 10:00 and it looked like a hurricane had hit our local JcPenny! BTW I like your names for Baby Saint:)

Lisa said...

Oh dear. I felt lightheaded just reading about your experience! I am NOT a Black Friday shopper. My hat's off to you for your bravery!

I think that I found a way to automatically send you updates when I post on my blog. Let me know if it works. The private blog is proving to be a bit of a pain...

Leah said...

Ha Ha you crack me up! Hope that those great deals were worth it! I skiped black Friday this year and I actually missed it! Oh the joy! Hope that you have a great holiday! We miss you guys!