Shopping as a Competetive Sport

Thanksgiving weekend is remarkable for two reasons – Thanksgiving and then the day for intrepid shoppers, Black Friday.  Sis works in Health Care and often has holidays on duty.  Thursday was one and we ate lunch with her so we could be together.  They do have good cooks and eating the hospital food there is no hardship at all.

It was nice to get together for a meal and of course the talk included some discussion of strategy for shopping the next day.  Sis wanted a Walmart doorbuster item and volunteered me to sit in line at Office Depot for a netbook computer.   A friend needed the computer for her family and I was happy to help out.  Well, maybe not HAPPY but willing.  The weather is finally cooling off in Florida and Friday early morning was going to be cold.  Some of you may be laughing at me but hey, I was BORN in Fla and don’t know cold.  I even had to borrow a jacket, sweater, and quilt from sis.

This is going to be an adventure!

Up at 3 am.  There is a 3 am, and I Have Seen It.  It exists.  Checklist:  cold weather gear, folding chair, knitting, book, snacks.  Ready to go!  Drop sis off at the Walmart door and she joins the herd of people coming in from the rapidly filling parking lot.  I zip across to the Office Depot across the street  and park RIGHT in front of the store, in a parking place in front of my spot in line.  I can live with this.

About 10 people are ahead of me in line and most of them are there for the large notebook computer so I will probably get the netbook.  Good.  So I relax and chat with my new buds.

One is a soccer mom that home schools her kids.  So I ask how it is going for her kids and we chat about nearly everything under the sun interspersed with check-in calls from family members .  What did we ever do before cell phones?  While we were waiting her daughter called to give an update on her and grandma’s quest for the iPod Touch at Walmart.  They were able to find one but were not able to purchase it before the magic hour of 5 am.  The next call expressed a bit of excitement – two women had started arguing and were fighting.  A few minutes later an ambulance drives by and turns into Walmart parking lot.  Hmmm… correlation?

It is cold, but I am cozy under my layers of almost matching clothing and quilt.  I decide the parking lot lights are bright enough to knit, so pull out some Christmas knitting to see if I can get a few more rows completed.  The project is pretty simple, and no complex pattern to follow.  Knitting does make the time go more quickly and soon the daughter and grandma were there, having successfully completed their mission.

Some more details on the Walmart fight:  the argument exploded into a fistfight with actual BLOOD.   Daughter and Grandma didn’t stick around once blood started flowing and didn’t see the ambulance.  Sis called me and I asked her if she had seen the fight.  Nope, so no more info on that!

Office Depot has some good ideas for Black Friday stuff.  They have a “coupon” for each popular item and start at the front of the line to award the frozen customer with the proof that getting up at oh-my-thirty is really worth it.   A Netbook computer coupon was mine (the computer isn’t, but the coupon was).  I even got a doughnut as an additional reward.  It was cold.  But good!

Once the doors were opened and we were able to proceed into the store, a woman in back of me asked me if I was walking slowly just to hold HER up.  I quickly moved out of the lane of traffic and let her pass.  Then I just could not hold it in any longer and told her that yes, I got up at 3 am and sat in line in the cold for over 2 hours JUST TO MAKE HER MISERABLE.

That was evil of me, but good grief – I was looking for one of the under $10  items to purchase and there was a good chance they were located in the front of the store.

Success, and then traveled back to Walmart to wait or sis’s call to Pick her up at the front door.  Her cart is full and we load up, ready to move to the third store in the master plan, Target.  When I let her out I was headed to Chik-fil-a to get breakfast and totally missed when she tripped over the curb, fell into the trash can and amazed onlookers with my disregard for her plight.

Sigh.  I am a Bad Sister.

She was fine.  Although her mood was not improved because she left her cell phone behind and wasn’t able to call me to pick her up.  It was a long way to the back of the parking lot where I was sitting and blissfully knitting.  The remainder of the day was less eventful and Kohls, Bealls, and JoAnns Fabrics received visits from us.   Sis was dropped at each front door and I sat in the parking lot listening to Christmas Carols on the radio, knitting, and watching the parking lots fill up.  Ever aware of the call to start the engine and proceed to the next store.  I was beginning to wonder if we were going to run out of room in the trusty shopping mobile.

I did go into JoAnns as they had a few items I wanted to pick up and was able to get nearly all I wanted from that store.  It was hard to believe we had covered so much ground before noon.  Amazing what you can accomplish when you wake before the sun!

The expedition ended at a new Japanese Steakhouse, a fantastic reward for the exertions of the day.

At least I have some new stories to tell!

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One response to “Shopping as a Competetive Sport

  1. That was priceless! Thanks for sharing in such a delightfully amusing way.

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