Widgets Magazine

Nov 26, 2011

Guest Blogger: Black Friday by Sweetie

WalMart's Checkout line

I detest standing in lines…it drives me nuts… makes me kranky…etc…  My dear wife loves a bargain. In the past that has caused some conflict on Black Friday. Luckily, my wife hates early mornings about as much as I hate standing in line, and she doesn’t like confrontations, bad manners or ugly behavior. So after she witnessed one of those ugly incidents of people fighting over an item, she has decided it’s not worth getting up early to see people be rude. So I was a bit surprised on Wednesday when she casually mentioned that she might want to go to Kohl’s Black Friday sale. I just smiled and said, “Whatever you want, Beautiful.” She’s been staying up quite late, and she would never want to get up, so why not pretend to be supportive? That’s when she hit me with “it starts at midnight so we don’t have to get up at 5…” Oh crap, shopping at midnight…she would love that! I guess I was going Black Friday shopping.

As I was looking through the ads, I spied something. I can’t tell you what because, well because ‘tis the season for secrets. Anyway it looked like a screaming deal on something I had been wishing I could find for the past few years. It was on a two-day sale, not a six-hour sale, but it was at WalMart. Having been to WalMart once on Black Friday, I knew better.   Armed with a name and description I headed to the web to find the prize on line. A quick search revealed they weren’t easy to find. There were some on Ebay for roughly 4 times what they were at WalMart. Oh the shining glimmer of hope; they were listed on walmart.com… a quick stroke of the mouse (isn’t it funny how mice and Christmas associations have changed?) and most of my hope was gone. They were currently not available at walmart.com and according to the web they were not stocked in Utah Walmart stores .  WalMart was opening at 10 PM and Kohl’s at midnight. We could quickly run up to WalMart, see if they had the one item, then drive out to Kohl’s. Three hours and I could probably be in bed shortly after 1:00 AM. It was a good plan.

As I approached WalMart, I turned to my wife and said, “I didn’t know the Sam’s Club was open.” She smiled and said, “They’re not.” So the entire WalMart and Sam’s Club parking lots were full. Frustrated people were poring out of the parking lots after vainly searching for a spot.   I should have run…given up…gone home and crawled into bed where I belonged… but just then my wife noticed there were people leaving the store with purchased items. We could follow them for a parking space and a cart! I quickly followed a basket into the Sam’s Club portion of the parking lot, but three other cars were also converging with the same idea. Then I thought I saw a space…nope just the cart return. But maybe...we were driving a little Suzuki Grand Vitara.  It was small and Sam’s Club cart returns are huge…I think I could fit. Sure enough…I had a spot!

On the way in we found a cart.  It was all going to work out ok. Two strangers warned us to turn back, but we kept on walking. Finally we worked our way around and to toys, but no sign of the prize. Desperately, I swallowed my pride and prepared to lose a man card or two and ask for help, but what I wanted were all gone. We should have just walked away then. But wait, my wife had borrowed my daughter’s sewing machine and they were a really good price. We figured the Garden Center would be faster, so we headed for that line. The line took almost two hours. I would leave about every 15 minutes to scavenge for abandoned merchandise and we did end up with a few more items.

As we pulled out of the cart return, I was glad I let my wife drive. I was too tired to think. Then I realized she wasn’t gong  home but to Kohl’s! It’s hard to believe, but Kohl’s was worse than WalMart.  The lines literally covered every major walkway in the store. We decided to stash our finds behind clothes on the clearance racks and come back later…  I thought that meant about 9:00 AM… but evidently the plan was to go back about 2:30 AM.

As we re-arrived at Kohl’s, the lines were now only covering half of the walkways…we had been lucky enough to find a cart… we retrieved our hidden merchandise and picked up a few more. With the lines still halfway down the hall, I succumbed to blackmail. You could get in a shorter line at customer service if you applied for a Kohl’s card… I would do anything to get out of there ASAP.  We had a few issues and by the time we strolled out of the store, there was no line…and it was 4 AM… the regular line for early morning vs. late night Black Friday were forming…thankfully, we were headed to bed.

Oh, one other thing. When we were home waiting for Kohl’s to clear out, I checked walmart.com and was able to get my item at the sale price. I was only slightly annoyed with the hours we had wasted shopping, but then I remembered the thrill of the chase…Besides, I couldn’t park in a cart return on a normal day.


Amanda said...

You are more brave than I... but then again, we have 0 dollars to spend anyways, soooo.... it is the thrill of the chase! Glad you got your item!

Marci said...

That was the best parking job I have ever seen! I am super impressed! We did all of our Black Friday shopping online from Amazon, all week long since they had great deals all week. Then on Friday we headed to the Temple instead of the mall, it wasn't too crowded :) After the temple we headed to the mall (at about 5) and luckily the one store we wanted to go to wasn't too crazy anymore, but the clothes were EVERYWHERE and it was almost impossible to find the one style of jeans we were looking for. Sounds like you guys had success!

Emma Frances said...

Best. Story. Ever! Black Friday is crazy!! :) But the thrill of the chase is pretty exciting. Every once in a while!

Tracie said...

I never did Black Friday until I was married. My Hubby talked me into it. It is so much fun! Here is a hint to avoid the long lines make your way to the middle of the store and get in line (through the clothing dept) and they are much shorter. For example my SIL got in the outside line and was there for an hour and a half. We went through the lines in the middle and were done in 25 min.

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Much more brave than me. Black Friday is CRAZY!! I didn't do it this year but I missed it:(

GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

Too funny!!! We also went to Walmart for Black Friday... We got a ton of awesome deals.... We even got what we needed for birthdays for the kids whoo hoo.... I love a great deal.... We saved over 50% on all of our stuff :)

Arkansas Patti said...

You are not named Sweetie for nothing. What a fun yet harrowing account of the Black Friday madness.You are truly a brave man.
You really fit into the cart return? Nice piece of driving. I am waiting for Cyber Monday to avoid the pepper spray.Won't have nearly the great story but neither will I have bruises.
Really enjoyed this neat story from the comfort of my chair.
Well done.

Natalie Ockey said...

Nice job on the Black Friday Shopping and parking. I refuse to go, so I use my sisters (who love to shop) and they pick up all my deals for me! Lucky me!

Irritable Mother said...

Thanks for recording your adventure; so I could sleep, and still experience Black Friday vicarioulsly through your re-telling. *wink*


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