I am actually not being sarcastic this time. I really do love Black Friday! I have only participated for the last two years, and man, I was totally missing out. I don't know why I didn't do this before. I think in order to love Black Friday as much as I do, you have to have a few things:
1. People to share the fun with. Take friends or family members with you. This will come in handy for a few reasons.
a) Someone to hold your spot in line while you go shop and vice versa. Cuts your "standing in line time" in half.
b) Someone to laugh with. Really. There's some pretty funny things that happen, which I will discuss in detail later!
c) Second opinions. If you are as indecisive as I am, you will need help saying "NO!" Just because it's on sale, doesn't mean you need to buy it. EXCEPT the Handy Can Opener from Menards. I really have never been more excited to open a can in my life. And let me tell you, for under $4, it was everything I could have hoped for and MORE! I even talked my mother in law into buying one. I am sure she is just as happy with her purchase.
2. A good attitude. This is a MUST. No one likes a cranky shopper. You have to have a sense of humor, smile on your face, and lots and lots of patience. If you are in a hurry, don't bother shopping on Black Friday.
3. Most Black Friday shoppers would say that you have to have a "plan." I disagree. I think you should have some things in mind but if you go in there with an agenda, you will get let down. Sometimes stores don't have what you need. It's okay. Set your expectations low and you will not be disappointed.
4. Take your camera. And if you are kind of shy like me, take a photographer with you. Enter, my sister in law, Caity. I am not a person who likes to ruffle feathers, and as much as I say I don't, I DO care what people think about me. I don't have the guts to snap photos of the pure awesomeness Black Friday has to offer. Think peopleofwalmart.com, only it's right in front of you at EVERY store. Thanks, Caity, for not giving a crap what people think, therefore enhancing my blog!
We woke up at 3:30 am to go shopping. We got to the mall and let me tell you, I was impressed before we even parked. There was a guy sleeping outside of Staples. ONE guy. He had a camping chair and was completely covered by a blanket. Head and all. Wish I had a picture. Totally awesome. I bet he got what he wanted :)
We started at Old Navy. Nothing too crazy there. I got a few deals and was happy about that. The line wasn't terrible and the employee who helped me was friendly.
After we were done there, we stood in line at Gordman's. We wanted to be one of the first 300 people in, so we would get a bag. These bags guaranteed 25% off anything you could put in the bag, except doorbusters. So, we were standing in line at about 4:40 and they opened at 5:00. The line was not terrible, but it sure was cold outside. And then it happened.... I witnessed something else completely ridiculous. I saw a few moms with babies standing in line. Babies! It was so cold. SO COLD. I would never take my babies out in that weather and at that hour to stand in line. I felt bad for them. SO, we finally get in the store and we JUST made the 300 people cut off. I think there were about 7 bags left by the time we got inside. Whew! It was a close one. We head straight for a keyboard my daughter has wanted (and I am aware that I will most likely regret this purchase. If you want to get me something for Christmas, may I suggest earplugs?). So we shop for a bit then decide one of us should stand in line. We take turns shopping and standing in line. I was lucky b/c an employee was handing out chocolates when it was my turn to stand with the cart! It was great snack for 5:30 am. I was standing behind a couple of teenagers who probably could have made it on "16 and Pregnant" only the show would need to be named, "15 with Toddlers." The conversation literally went from a mean teacher at school, to lack of sleep due to the kids (they each had one with them!), to lack of sleep due to boyfriends coming over, to.... I can't even type it... s-e-x stuff. I really wasn't trying to eavesdrop. They were loudly going on about their boyfriends and other private matters. I couldn't help but notice their necks covered in hickeys. It was not a lovely mental picture. Oh, and the toddlers were wide awake. Hearing their mommies talking about this. Ugh. It was MY TURN TO SHOP! Yay. Couldn't wait to get away from those girls! So we finally make it up to check out. I have to say, Gordman's was very organized. My cashier was very friendly and it was a great experience, minus hearing the s-e-x talk.
After Gordman's we hit Gap Outlet. That was fun. I found a few great deals for ME. I wish I could say I crossed a bunch of people off of my list. I did buy my husband a "don't-be-mad-at-me-for-spending-so-much-money" gift. And it was on sale :) The line was not long and again, the employees were friendly.
Then it was time for some Starbuck's (you guessed it... hot chocolate!). Starbuck's is great, but it was very hard to drink. Not because it was too hot or not sweet enough, it was because my mother in law was driving a stick shift. Now, if you haven't been in the car with my mother in law driving a stick shift, let me give you some advice... DO NOT try to drink HOT CHOCOLATE. It will hurt.
After Starbuck's and some minor burns, we headed to Menards. Yes, Menards. My mother in law had some things she wanted to get there. I thought, how bad could it be? Who goes to Menards? Men don't shop on Black Friday?? OH... MY... GOSH. I was so wrong. It was the busiest store we'd been in all day. Literally. And that's when I decided it was time to whip out the camera. Pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words... but I am telling you, this was just something you had to see in person.
It was really busy in there. Absolutely no carts available. I saw people pushing around garbage cans, but this was my personal favorite. Really. This really happened.
|This is a sled if you can't tell. Nice.|
|It's a cage on wheels! Why not throw the kids on the cart? P.S. Caity this lady looks like she could kill you. Just sayin'|
|Black Friday is not just for us sinners! Maybe the Nuns wanted a Handy Can Opener?|
|"Who wants to cuddle?" were his exact words...|
After our eventful Menard's trip we went to our last stop.... Target. Keep in mind it's about 10:30 and I am getting a little sleepy! There wasn't anything too outrageous.... a comforter sitting outside the door that someone left from "camping out" the night before. It was still busy, but very easy to tell who had been shopping since midnight and who slept in! (We were probably in the tired looking group!) I was after a Taylor Swift doll for my daughter. She is a little more than obsessed. They were out. I wasn't too surprised. So I am still on the hunt.
|Maybe they bought a new comforter on sale?|
All in all I had a great time. If you haven't tried it, you should! But remember the 4 things I suggested. Thanks to Nate for taking care of my kiddos. Also, a special thanks to my photographer, Caity Todd, and to my mother in law for driving us around in her dangermobile. I was a little scared for my life a few times, have minor whiplash, and still can't feel my tongue, but man, was it fun!