Two years ago I went to Walmart on Black Friday. Everything I went to get was gone by the time I got there so I ended up standing in line for 45 minutes for a $5 blanket and deodorant (because my stick at home was nearing the bottom and I was there anyway, not because I was that sweaty at that moment).
This year, my best friend Kristen and I planned to go shopping together and
being the brainiac that I am I thought it would be super smart to go to Walmart. Mmm kay, so here’s where the problem started: when we walked into Walmart.
We have this thing about the cheap pajamas there. Every year we go looking for them, find they’re sold out and complain to each other. This year, we both got a pair for all of our kids…which we’re returning. Because they’re cheap. And the ones from Target are better.
Ta-da! We risked our lives for pajamas and Kristen’s face ended up in an employee’s crotch (as far as face-in-a-stranger’s-crotch stories go, it wasn’t that big of deal. He didn’t even notice). Also, a guy in a yellow shirt had to get by and it was really, really crowded. Close enough that when he scooted behind me I said (loudly), “Whoa! That was inappropriate.” Anyway I’m pretty sure, in some countries, yellow shirt guy and I are now married to each other.
Anyway the place was a zoo, but less organized. The uppity-ups at Walmart thought they were so smart this year because they staggered the deals by two hours. That’s ingenious, especially considering the fact people started lining up on Tuesday! Also, managers at our local Walmart didn’t get the memo about 1. avoiding a stampede, 2. organizing the lines, and 3. telling the checkers to turn on their lane number lights (this probably only irritated me).
We waited in line for about 90 minutes. Today I read a story in the paper that pretty much attributed every Black Friday assault, shooting, theft, fight, etc. to Walmart stores around the country. If the checkers had turned on their lane number lights, a lot of that could have been avoided.
I know this is shocking, but the only time either of us snapped at the other was when I yelled at Kristen in Target. I’m not sure why either because we were finding the stuff we needed and it wasn’t that late. I found a Rapunzel doll with a matching dress-up dress. It was the last one at that spot. I found Kristen an aisle over, she saw it, wanted one for her daughter and we went looking. I saw a stack on the floor of one Rapunzel and several other Disney princesses and I yelled down the aisle, “Kristen!! Tangled?” I noticed someone else looking at this one Rapunzel doll box and I yell, “KRISTEN! Focus! (right here is where I did the thing with my index and middle finger toward my eyes like, “look”) Do. You. Want. Tangled?!” She said yes like it was a question (“Yes?”). Also, she seemed a little frightened. I grabbed the box and five seconds later she was all, “You know what? Hope (her daughter) looks more like Belle.” Sigh.
We spent an hour in Macy’s only to find out at the register that we couldn’t use our coupons to purchase the sale items we’d picked up.
At 5:30 a.m. on Friday, after being out since 10 p.m. the night before, we almost slept in the parking lot at Ulta. The store opened at 6 and there was shampoo on sale. Needless to say, we decided to call it quits.
So here’s what I learned on our nearly eight-hour adventure.
1. Opening the stores on Thursday instead of Friday works for me because I’m a night owl, but there were a lot more people.
2. There is nothing priced well enough to justify going to Walmart on Gray Thursday or Black Friday. Nothing.
3. Tangled is a movie, Rapunzel is a character. Note the difference, it’s important.
4. Target pajamas are always better.
5. Your ovaries will stop hurting if you pee. (Okay, I probably should change “your” and “you” to “my” and “I” but that’s embarrassing)
6. While I’m not too old to stay up all night, I am too old to do it and be expected to fully function the following day. Alright, alright- it’s been two days and I’m still a little loopy.
7. I will not reduce myself to sleeping in a car for shampoo.
8. If someone had told me when I was 14 that once in my life I’d be at the mall with my best friend at 3:30 in the morning eating Cinnabon, I would have passed out right there. Dreams really do come true.