I really wish I'd been thinking enough to take my iPhone for pictures. It was truly epic.
When I was a teenager, my best friend, Tress, and I used to hit the mall for Black Friday, but it was mainly to get away from our families during a long weekend and spend the $40 we had stashed in our acid-washed jeans on presents for each other. I'm not even sure that stores had begun the sales-boosting habit of roiling up the easily roiled shopping public by opening at ungodly hours, nor do I know if the term "doorbuster" had even been coined in the '80's. I do not recall hearing about fist-fights between demure little moms at toy stores or the mayhem of tramplings outside Radio Shacks (there were no Best Buys then--I'm old). Either way, it's not something either of us had EVER remotely considered, even after we'd gotten our licenses. We just liked being a part of the vast hordes of shoppers later that day, when you could stand in line for 45 minutes to buy a $5 pair of earrings and have enough patience left in you at minute 43 to not want to throttle anyone in arms' reach.
Now let me assure you, I went to bed on Thanksgiving night with no intention of joining the madness of Black Friday's wee hours. I had joked about it for days, horrifying Husband and parents alike. We live two blocks from a ToysRUs and well, you know about the Target. But while I'd joked about it and had considered it in a half-assed kind of way, I really had no intention of setting an alarm clock or leaving my cozy house to deal with lunatics, erm, I mean shoppers at midnight.
I fell asleep at 8pm while putting Ethan to bed. Ever the awesome hostess, two of our friends were still in the livingroom with Husband watching a football game and I, after saying, "I'll be back once he's asleep," never reemerged from the bedroom. I have no idea when they left. Way to go, Martha.
Given the fact that I fell asleep at 8pm, I was wide awake at 1am. Sitting on the couch, watching infomercials. Thinking about the toy store two blocks away that had opened it's doors an hour ago. Full of toys. On sale. Doorbusters were calling my name, and I don't even know what a "doorbuster" is.
Soooooo, I snuck back into my bedroom, threw on a bra and Husband's sweatshirt, tiptoed to the door, slipped on my flip-flops and headed out into the wee hours. I felt like a freaking bandit. I get that Black Friday shopping when it's still dark out is nothing new and that people dine and dash from the Thanksgiving tables to go sit outside in front of stores like Best Buy for hours in the hopes of scoring a 46 inch plasma TV for a buck fifty. And it's not like I was pushing and shoving my way into the store at the moment the doors opened hoping to avoid a good trampling. I was just toodling into ToysRUs with about 200 hundred of my closest friends at 2:30am. But still, this is as rebellious as I get these days--shopping at 2:30am. Sad.
When I got to the store, the lights were utterly blinding and they were out of shopping carts. No big deal, I thought as I squinted my way into the store, I don't need a cart; I'm just looking around, observing these crazy people who get up at this insan----what is that?!!!! MegaBlocks Cars sets for 50% off?!!! LeapFrog math phone for 50% off?!!! Where the hell are the freaking carts????!!!!! GIMME A CARRRRRRRRRRRTT!!!!!
I walked around for several minutes with a couple of items in my hands, still smugly chuckling at the people lumbering through the main aisles with carts that were piled 1/2 way to the ceiling and packed precariously with huge boxes as they tried to maneuver corners down the smaller hallways without toppling their entire toy-comprised Jenga carts. I still didn't reallyreally need a cart. Sure, it would have made my life easier, but I still wasn't one of those peop----what is that???!!!! 1000 piece lego-esque fire station AND police station, compatible with Legos???!!! For $20.00?!
I caved. I walked up to a manager like I was a Dickens waif, gave him my most pathetically pleading look and said, "Please, sir, do you have any other carts?" I also was quick to throw in that I really wanted to keep shopping, but wouldn't be able to if I didn't have a cart, as my arms were currently at maximum capacity.
Fortunately for me and the economy, the manager did indeed find me a cart and I proceeded to find a few (billion) other things we neeeeeeeeeeded at much better prices than I'd have gotten if I'd waited until all the sane people were awake.
I left the store at 3:30am, feeling all-shopped-out, but so glad I'd partaken in such a holiday tradition. As I pulled out of the ToysRUs parking lot, I contemplated staying up for another hour and a half and basking in the glory that would surely be the 5am opening of our SuperFreaking Target. It's too shiny to look at on a regular day--can you even IMAGINE what it would be like opening at 5am????!!!! With all the sales???!! zOMG!!!
But my saner side prevailed (mostly because I drove a block without my lights on and realized I was ex.hau.sted), and I decided to head back to the house, saving Target for a more reasonable hours.
It was surreal to open the door of my house, sneak back in, slip off my shoes and slide back into bed with Ethan and Husband (family bed is the name of the game when out-of-towners come to stay). They'd kept the place cozy and warm for me while I'd been out and I fell back to sleep all warm and fuzzy, with all that visions of sugar plums stuff dancing through my head.