Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh No You Didn't! Oh Yes We Did.

Black Friday.

A tradition for fifteen years.  My bestie, Karen, and I have braved the crowds and the chaos for fifteen years, arising anywhere from 2:15 to 4 am to make sure we were at the front of lines with laden arms when store doors opened.

Who can forget the $20 Gameboys, acquired by a quick sprint up an escalator?  Or the year our mall offered 40% off any one item in a store, with a newspaper coupon (and then they handed out limitless coupons at the door)?  Pretty sure retailers took a big hit that year.

We have gotten to a place where we can almost read each others' minds while on this adventure.

This year, they changed the rules.

Instead of Friday opening at the traditional 3-4 am, many stores opted for opening sometime on Thanksgiving, anywhere from 4 pm (Michael's) to midnight (Target, Best Buy).  We didn't know what to do--arise at our regular time, or play the new game and leave on Thanksgiving night?  After a short discussion, we opted for an 11:30 pm departure time.

I have to tell you--I don't remember the last time I stayed up all night long.  And I'm getting old, don't forget that part of the equation.  As I left the house, Brad was brushing his teeth, getting into bed.

First we made a quick stop at Walmart--or so we thought.  Too few cashiers and a avalanche of humanity--and a demographic of people we had never seen before.  Young people, many little kids even, were lugging 55" TVs and $9 crock pots like a shattered window had suddenly allowed them access to the store.  This was not going to be our average Black Friday.  We knew that now.

A quick Pepsi stop, and then off to Target, where the lines were long but so efficiently run (picture Disneyland-like lines snaking back and forth through the grocery section) that no one was annoyed.

Now it was 2:30 am, and where to head next?  Best Buy.  Now that the rush for doorbusters was over, lines were non-existent and the employees were friendly. In and out in less than an hour.

Here is where we hit a potential problem--Sears, JCPenney and Kohl's didn't open until 4, so what were we to do?  We chose Sears and waiting in the Suburban (with our heated seats!) until they opened their doors.  A quick dash through the tool department (and an encounter with slow men cashiers) and we set our sights on JCPenney, Kohl's, Office Max and Deseret Book.

The sky stayed dark until we left Kohl's, and when we finished up our slightly annoying visit to Office Max (slightly unprepared staff for the busy morning--only about fifteen people, so it's a good thing there weren't more), we listened to our rumbly tumblies and stopped for a bite at McD's. One more stop and we'd be through.

Deseret Book is on the way home, so we had saved it for last.  "We will open at 9 am Friday morning."  It was 7:45.  NOOOOOO!  Our plans had been foiled.  There was no way we were waiting an hour.  Home we went.

When I walked through the door at 8:15 am, not a creature was stirring, but I did hear the toilet flush upstairs.  Brad had just gotten up--he slept through our entire adventure.

Evaluation of all-nighter Black Friday--nothing really exciting.  No grouchy people (except for one lady that we slowed down by our looking at sweatshirts--how dare we?).  No great bargains, no grand stories.  Except for the book store, all my shopping is done.  However, I don't know if it was worth losing an entire night's sleep.  I was a basket case for two days afterward, trying to reset my 42-year-old body clock.

Verdict:  Mission accomplished.  Not my favorite year, to be sure.  But after seeing the throngs of humanity, I'm sure retailers won't be altering their plans for next year.  I bet even more stores open earlier and earlier.  I don't like that they are invading the Thanksgiving holiday.  Times are changing.

Sigh.  I'm getting old.


  1. I thought about you and Karen when I woke up during that night and glanced at the clock. Then I turned over and blissfully went back to sleep.

  2. This is the post I've been waiting for as I recall your Black Friday shopping trip last year was so fun to read about! Glad you went out and came home in one piece. I didn't go out at all this year, but certainly felt like I was missing out!

  3. i just love my sleep too much. and at 29 (on friday, woot woot!) i already feel like my body is too old to conquere such a feat. if i stay up until 1am i am ruined for two days. i surely cannot do it until i am no longer pregnant or nursing, which may be awhile. i am jealous of the fun night with a girlfriend though. those are few and far between for me lately!

  4. I cannot remember the last time I stayed up all night either!!
    It was still fun,
    I am glad we didn't have to run,
    nothing better than heated buns!

    Love ya!

    ps - I'm a poet!!

  5. I had a friend who shopped all night too. Though I doubt I would've bought anything, I wish I would've gone with him -- I love staying up all night and I'm sure it would've made for some of the finest people watching.

  6. You are crazy. So glad this is not a Canadian tradition : )

  7. You have my complete admiration, both for staying up all night and for getting all your shopping done. I'm in awe.

  8. You are a better woman than I.

    A far better woman.


  9. I don't think my even slightly older body could have coped with no sleep but glad you managed to accomplish most of what you set out to do. I had been thinking of the two of you together! Catherine

  10. I am more impressed that you can finish your shopping in one trip than that you stayed up all night to do it! That is impressive & something I have never been able to do as much as I want to! Good job.

  11. Yeah...I think we will soon lose Thanksgiving Day as a holiday for everyone. That is sad. I did JoAnn's Fabric for the amazing deal on Flannel (To make Jammie Pants). Other than that...I don't have it in me for Black Friday...and I really don't like staying up all night ANYMORE.