Friday, November 25, 2011

My Black Friday Madness

I have gone shopping consistently on Black Friday for the last 5 years.  Before that it was hit or miss, maybe in the afternoon.  I couldn't be bothered to wake up that early! 

Kids or domestication definitely took hold and soon I was up at 2 to get to Kohl's by 3.  There would be a line of about 50 people tops at quarter of and the doors would open, no one would run or elbow you or sneak in line in front of you.  There were plenty of items for everyone.  Yes the line did wrap around the store if you didn't grab your items and go.  But I would have a plan, grab those items, and be at the checkout to get to JCPenny's by 4, or Macy's or Filenes when they were around or what have you...

The craziness seemed to happen overnight.  The "deals" got better, people have always camped out, but more so out of fun than a real "need."  Maybe they felt compelled, slightly OCD, but we've never camped out and still were able to get the deal on that season's "IT" items.

I've lived in a small town in Massachusetts, in the much larger DC Metro area and a mid-size once booming city in Upstate, NY and now in North Carolina.   I've had experiences with crazy rough crowds and quite the opposite, shoppers helping out fellow shoppers with coupons and extra ads and pointing out sales.  Whatever the experience, it is a thrill to be out there with your coffee, standing in the cold, waiting for the pearly gates of the retail establishment to open.

After last year, I thought it was time to step away from the madness.  There was a little bit of shoving and some angry exchanges...  As more and more people go out to shop, there are less and less product to go around.  And I will never camp out.  But as a whole, we just all seem just a little more stressed out than a few years ago... 

My husband caught the Black Friday bug just a couple of years ago and I went along for the ride.  You know, to keep him focused on the "list."  lol  Our night started out at Walmart.  We arrived about 20 of 11, armed with our list of goods picked out by other family members who came for a visit for the holiday as well as our own.  Walmart is one store that I avoid like the plague.  But surprisingly it wasn't too crazy.  They staggered the deals at 10pm and midnight.  We did miss a few items, well a lot, but I can't remember what they were so no big deal right?  But we were right there when the crates were cut of their plastic.  No pushing, elbowing or shoving.  Walmart Associates swiftly handed to us the items we wanted.  40 minutes later, we were off to our next destination.

Target.  This will be, I repeat, the will be the last year I go to Target.  I did get 2 items that I went there for, well 3, one wasn't a Black Friday sale item.  But all the others.  GONE!  And that happened last year before and the year before that, etc...  So after you realize everything you came in there for is gone, you then find yourself picking up other items, that you didnt come in there for or that you don't necessarily need but you are putting them in your cart because you feel so compelled.  We did wait 20 minutes in line, they moved the line in shifts, staggering the shoppers.  Worked out very nicely as it was quite chilly.  But since we waited in line to get in line for 20 minutes outside the red doors and the line for the check out is snaked around the store, there is no way you are leaving with 2 items.  Not me, not anyone...  That is by design...

But I am happy to report that I had a $5 off $50 purchase coupon, we found a Play Station 3 remote, last one in pink, and a Cars 2 DVD for the kids, and one other gift.  45 minutes in the checkout line only to find out our bank was overwhelmed with all the transactions that were being processed, and luckily we had anough cash to cover everything.

Which brings me to my next though.  BRING CASH.  Yes, you heard me right.  If you are charging something because you can't afford to buy it out right, do not do it.  It's a slippery slope and I am not one to preach but it is a good policy ot adopt.  Starting tomorrow, save your pennies for an entire year and you can spend your heart's desire.  Unless you are buying thousands of dollars worth of electronics, because it is not safe to carry that kind of cash of course...

Next stop Walgreens!  Well it was going to be Rite Aid but our Rite Aid decided not to open at midnight.  At Walgreens I found almost everything, Culturelle, $9.50 with $9.50 back in RR, Scrunchi's 2/$3 with $3 back in RR, WnW Ice Baby Collection.  Only 3 colors were left, 2 of which I wanted, along with the baked eyeshadows and matte eyeshadows.  I skipped the baked eyeshadows.  Oh and Seche Vite on clearance!  Yay!

Next on to the Exchange!  We live on a military installation.  That line was the craziest!  We stayed in the car for a good hour before they opened the doors at 4 and then we walked to meet up with the end of the line.  The difference between Target and the Exchange?  Tons of product to go around.  We were out of there 5 minutes before 5am.  Mission Accomplished.  Went home for a 2 hour nap and back out did I go!

I had made a hair appointment at Fantastic Sams for their Black Friday deal.  Highlights, haircut and style, a bottle of shampoo and conditioner for $75.  The stylist who is also the manager actually gave me more than 7 foils as specified on the flier and did a color block!  Fantastic.  Oh and a deep conditioning treatment.  I'm very happy with the results.  My John Frieda blonde looked okay, a bit brassy, I hadn't had anything done to my hair since April! 

So the question is...  Will I go out next year?  I didn't think I would go this year, but I know it is time to drop Target from my list of store to visit.  They have plenty of other shoppers that they certainly won't notice!  lol  Too soon to tell for sure.

Do you have a crazy Black Friday story?  Did you get everything on your list?