Sunday, November 29, 2009

Shopped Out!

You know...5 years ago I swore I would NEVER EVER be one of those people who got up at 4 in the morning to go shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving. I remember telling my Aunt Sherry "Nothing is worth that!" when she asked if I wanted to go with her. Three years ago I lost my mom to Black Friday madness--she went with Aunt Sherry. Then two years ago there was something (don't even remember what) at Kohl's that was too good a deal to pass up. And so it goes that I joined the ranks of those "crazy people" who got up at 4 in the morning to go shopping the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Until last year. We hit a new level of craziness. We stayed up too late talking--to the point that it seemed silly to go to sleep. So at 1:30am we headed to Wal-Mart just to scope out where our deals were. We ended up getting in line for our items and waited until 5am to buy them. Then we shopped until the early afternoon. But it was really fun--time spent with my mom and my Aunt--war stories about the crowds--all that jazz.

This year I'm stuck in Tulsa because we don't want to leave in case Eric gets the call for his kidney. [Never thought we'd be at the top of the list for 4 months without a match, but that's another post!] Not wanting to let our new tradition die, my mom (and stepdad) and aunt came down for the weekend. THEY would go shopping here with ME instead of our usual thing (shopping in Wichita).

We looked through all of the ads. Unlike years past, there was really nothing we just couldn't live without. Our crock pot died and I hoped to get a new one at deep discount. We also really needed (okay, wanted) a new blanket (etc.) for our bed. Ours was just so stained up. Then there were a few toys and such. But no big electronic "something" that we needed to stand in line for.

Toys R Us opened at midnight this year. MIDNIGHT! Since we stayed up all night last year, we figured we could do it again this year. We had a few things that would be "nice deals" at Toys R Us, but mostly I just think we wanted to go for fun. We showed up at 10 minutes until midnight and I'm telling you, there were THOUSANDS of people! We (evidently) were in the "short" line, but the other line started lining up at around 6pm! THAT line curved around an entire movie theater and strip mall. Seriously, thousands of people. There was no way that many people could fit into the store. They were counting as they went in and then stopped the line. When someone came out, someone else could go in. They were at capacity--literally!

After about 20 minutes of the line moving we got in. But getting in wasn't really that much of a "win" because it was a huge mass of people. You couldn't move forward or backward. It was so claustrophobic (and I'm not typically claustrophobic). If there would have been a fire...oh I don't even want to think about it. We eventually got a few items and got in the "line." But really the "line" was just a mass of humanity wrapping around the store in no real order....randomly redirected at various times by the staff. We stood in line for a long time, and it never even moved.

This Friday I learned that I am just not that hard core! LOL! I just felt so silly standing there with all of these thousands of people, with my few items I didn't really care that much about. Thankfully my mom and aunt agreed, so we walked out! When we left the building there were still hundreds and hundreds of people waiting in line to get IN the store (boy would they be disappointed).

At that point it wasn't even 1:30am and I was discouraged enough to go home. But my family came all the way from KS to shop with ME. We scouted out the lines at Kohl's and Target (tiny at that time). Then we headed back towards the Walmart by my house. We had time to kill so we decided to just go in and buy things on our lists that weren't "doorbusters"--just other items we wanted. THAT was nice. It was relaxed. It wasn't crowded. We could take our time. And honestly, I'd much rather spend a few bucks more and leave the chaos behind.

I told my mom in Walmart that I thought we were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Our shopping mojo just wasn't there this year. I was TIRED (and in a lot of pain because of Fibromyalgia stuff). Mom felt the same way (thank goodness). We leisurely did the rest of our shopping at Walmart, felt good about our purchases, then headed to IHOP for a (very) early breakfast. It was so funny because various staff kept commenting "Oh! On your way to shop, eh?" When we told them we were finishing up our shopping--heading home after breakfast--we got some weird looks! The IHOP breakfast was definitely the best part of my Black Friday. =-)

We were home and in bed by about 4:30am. I slept until about 10:30 am. With a clearer brain I remembered something at Michael's (crafts) that I really did need to get at 1/2 off. Had to be there by 11:30. Mom said she would watch the kids, so Eric and I headed that direction. We got the item we needed to get for Taevy, then headed to Radio Shack for another item we wanted (but wasn't a big deal). Then we headed to Target just to see if they had any of the items I had planned on getting earlier in the day. They actually did have a few things ($5 pjs, $13.88 sheets, $15 blanket for our bed) so that was sort of nice. So much nicer to go shopping in the daylight when you aren't going to get trampled!

A few hours after Eric and I got home from our outing, the girls were ready to head to Gordman's. Taevy got to go on this trip and was BEYOND excited! Goodness I love that child. No, not just that. I really like her. She's fun to go shopping with! Taevy did a very good job shopping for her siblings and daddy. [We give the kids $5 for each person.] After Gordman's it was a very quick trip to Sear's, and then we went home.

Our shopping ended today with a quick trip to Garden Ridge (are these national?). The blanket and sheets we bought at Target look and feel great, but the blanket was too lightweight. So we went to Garden Ridge to get an additional blanket. Samren also shopped for his siblings and dad. Poor Sammy. He worked SO HARD to earn $15 over the last several weeks. He put his $5 and $10 bills in his pocket before we left to shop. And his $10 fell out of his pocket somewhere in the store. We searched for it but didn't find it. Because I love him I wanted to just scoop him up, kiss his forhead, and give him a new $10. But because I love him, I know he has to learn lessons from suffering natural consequences--so I didn't get him $10 more. I'm betting Samren takes better care of his money next time. Poor guy.

Tonight, with shopping behind us, we all sat and watched "The Princess Bride" (that movie is funny ya'll!) and then the big kids and parents played "The Game of Life." I've always liked that game.

So even with a bad start on Black Friday, the weekend was good. I learned that I am NOT that hard core about the Black Friday thing. I told my mom and aunt that unless there was a VERY compelling reason, I will stick with the 4am crazy people instead of going to a whole new level of madness with the midnight crazy people!

P.S. Yes, I got my crockpot. =-) The pic at the top is our new sheets and blanket. Aren't those snowflake sheets the cutest?!


Josh 3:09 PM  

Sounds like a fun time! Hey, next time you go out for an early breakfast you may want to keep in mind that IHOP only uses eggs from hens crammed into cages so small the birds can't even spread their wings. Each hen is provided less space than a single sheet of paper to live. For more info, visit

Laurel 3:08 PM  

Sounds insane! I've never shopped the day after Thanksgiving. For the past 20 years, we have spent Thanksgiving weekend at a Christian Family Camp in Oregon. No shopping. No cell phones. No internet.

I'll pull all-nighters. I'll shop in the middle of the night. But ... I won't stand in line for hours, and I can't imagine shopping in a store that is filled to capacity. That's why I like shopping at midnight at Wal-Mart ... because it's NOT usually packed.

Sounds like you had fun with your mom and aunt. You are blessed by those relationships!