I hate shopping. Really, truly hate shopping. It ranks just below going to the dentist or the gynecologist. I just don’t find it to be enjoyable. Unless, of course, I have money to spend (which is rare) which makes it just slightly more fun.
I’m the kind of person who usually knows what she wants, runs in the store, picks it up and I’m out again. I am not good at finding deals because I don’t have the patience to sift through racks of clothes. I admire people who can do that.
So I never thought I would venture out on Black Friday. You know, because it involves shopping – and shopping in the dark, no less. Thursday afternoon I laughed at all the Facebook status updates as people exitedly proclaimed they were getting up at 2:30 am to go shopping. Ugh. Sounded miserable. I sat in my little comfy office chair and scoffed at their foolishness.
Then I talked to a friend who brainwashed convinced me that there were really good deals to be had and that it was fun to get up early and save money. And, against my better judgement, curiosity got the best of me and I began to wonder if maybe, just maybe, I should give it a try.
“You should make a list,” she suggested. “Write down the things you want so you’ll be organized and can really hit the best stores.”
That was a brilliant idea. Except that a list requires organization. And organized I am not. I tried to make a list – I really did. I got on the Black Friday deals website – but the sight of all those stores completely overwhelmed me and I began to panic and gave up on the list making. I was just going to wing it.
So I decided, despite my lack of a list, to go for it. But I was not going to get up in the middle of the night. No sir. Because I am smarter than that.
I set the alarm for 5:00 on Friday morning. As I did so, I once again questioned my sanity. Was I really going to get out of bed at the crack of dawn to shop?
But, having made up my mind to try it, I shut down the little Jiminey Cricket in my head and pushed set. And true to my word, the next morning I rolled out of bed around 5:15. Five minutes later, I turned my frigid car on and tried to warm up. Then I looked at the clock.
It said 4:22. It said 4:22 IN THE A.M. What?!
Then it hit me. The kids were messing around the day before with the alarm clock. They must have set the clock an hour ahead. So there I sat – one of those looney people who gets up in the middle of the night to go shopping. I briefly considered going back to bed, but decided since I was up I’d better make the most of it.
And you know what? I had a blast!
I did score major deals and got the kids some great gifts that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. And the other people that were shopping with me weren’t a bunch of crazy robots – they were just enjoying the experience. We laughed and talked as we waited in line. There was a fun energy in the air. We were all hopped up on adrenaline. We compared items, talked about our families, laughed at how crazy it was to be standing in line at 4:45 in the morning. It was fun!
At one point, as I stood in the longest shopping line I’ve ever stood in with my cart full of crazy cheap items, I got a little light headed. It was a combination of the money savings, the adrenaline rush and extreme fatigue. It was awesome. Better than any drug.
At 8:15, Lee called as I stood in my fifth line of the morning and told me he needed to leave for work in a half an hour. So I raced home, picked up the kids and headed back to the mall.
Because I wasn’t done. Me – the girl who hates shopping. I wanted more. And I got more!
But only a little more because I forgot a stroller and I can only wrangle three kids for so long before the experience becomes miserable for all involved.
And then we went to see Santa. Because, you see, I bought the presents the kids have been asking for and, knowing my kids, it would not be entirely unlikely for them to change their minds before Christmas and say they wanted something else.
So I made them give their wish lists to Santa so that when they change their minds later I can say, “Oooohhh…Sorry – you already told Santa what you want. Can’t change it now.”
So at 11:00, I came home for good. My shopping is all but completed and I saved close to 300 dollars in the process. Just typing that makes me get all giddy and shaky.
I, my friends, am an official Black Friday convert.