No Harm Done

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cross It Off the "Bucket List"

Well, at least now I can say I've done it.

I never thought I would.

I always thought people who spent the Thanksgiving holiday in such a manner were, well, lame.

But this year M.'s mother and I decided to do it.

And now, on the other side of the (relatively minor) adventure we can sink into our chairs, take a deep breath, and exhale "Well.....we did it."

We braved the crowds, the serious uber-shoppers, and the freezing weather to shop on Black Friday.

Neither of us had ever gotten up early to shop on Black Friday, but this year Grandma S. had a specific purchase to make: Uncle D. wanted one of the 31.5" flat screen tvs that Target had on sale, but he had to work. So Grandma S. and I poured over the ads on Thursday night mapping out a plan and writing lists.

We set our alarms for 4:00 am and were out the door by 4:15. Target opened at 5:00 am, and we wanted a good spot in line. This is what greeted us when we pulled in to the parking lot.

The line stretched around to the back of the building, and we were along the side and while not near the front of the line, we were definitely not near the back. It was quite cold, and all of us sort of danced around in line trying to stay warm. (I felt badly for the high school exchange student from Spain who showed up in jeans and a hoodie.)

Here's Grandma S. and an unsuspecting bystander (in the orange hat).

The bystander told us that many stores were offering their Black Friday items online and with free shipping. "I feel sorry for everyone lined up over at Best Buy, " she said. "Their online Black Friday sales started at 3:00 am. I sat at my computer and made my purchase without having to deal with lines and the cold."

We made a mental note to read up about the online sales next year.

Once the line started moving, we got in the store very quickly. There were police at the door, hust in case. But the pretty much just ensured that the people who waited in their warm cars instead of the line of shivering shoppers couldn't cut into the line.

Once inside, we were in a hurry! Uncle D.'s TV was a priority. We hustled to the electronic section, where Grandma S. went in search of the TV, and I hit the counter for a Tom Tom for Grandpa.

Hint: If you are in a crowd of people, all trying to get the clerk's attention so he can hand you a product that's behind the counter, call his name. You can be among a group of shoppers all calling, "Sir? Sir? Excuse me? Could you?" and you will never be heard. But all it took for me was to say, "Chad? Can you hand me a Tom Tom, please?" and he looked right at me and handed me the item.


After procuring the Tom Tom I quickly located Grandma S., who still had not found the TV. I asked a man who had a TV in his cart where they were.

His answer: "In the women's department, near the dressing rooms."

Really, Target?


We raced over there, but were too late. All the TV's were gone. We we very disappointed, because we could have gotten one had we gone to the WOMEN'S DEPARTMENT first.

Maybe it's just us, but it never occurred to us to check women's wear for a television.

Next year we're calling ahead.

Disappointed, but having not lost heart, Gradma S. and I continued working through our list. S he waited in line, and I raced around the store getting the other items we'd decided upon the night before. Our strategy was a sound one, and we were rewarded with only a 40 minute wait in line. By the time we were near the front, the line snaked Disneyland-style around the entire store!

Our line:

This was what checkout looked like:

Target's doors opened at 5:00am, and we were out of the store by 6:00 am.

By the time we arrived home at 2:30 pm, we had been to 5 individuals stores and spent 2-3 hours at the mall.

We arrived home exhausted, but it was a fun day! I think that if we do this again another year we'll do better on the planning end.

And we'll know to check the women's department for the electronic items we want!


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