|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!
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.