Only once before had I dared to get up early and go out shopping on Black Friday. . . and I swore I would never do that again. I remember going into Toys R Us, the lines winding through the whole store so that you couldn't even walk down the aisles to find the empty space where the item you wanted desperately should have been. I remember the grumpy faces, the me, myself, and I attitude. Over the past few years, I have happily stayed in bed, enjoying the fact that I wasn't among the masses fighting over the last item in the store with the unbelievable price.
Unfortunately, with time memories fade and I forgot just how bad it really was. A friend and I were looking over the ads, thinking how we could get most of our shopping done in just a couple of hours before our children woke on the day after Thanksgiving. So I pulled up at her house at 4:45 this moring (already concerned that I had heard a neighbor's car leave an hour earlier) and we drove our minivans to the local Wal-Mart -- after all, we might need separate vehicles to carry all of those wonderful purchases.
Oh, how naive we were. We got separated on the way over there, but I wasn't worried. After all, how many cars would be at Wal-Mart at 5AM? Well, I honestly wasn't willing to count that high. The lot was nearly full. Two sets of deputies were on the scene in addition to the Wal-Mart security personnel to make sure that people didn't cut in line as the store opened. The line stretched down the full length of the store and around the corner. Ten minutes after the store opened, the end of the line finally came into sight.
By this time, my girlfriend and I had found one another and decided that early though it might be, we weren't completely insane. So we went to our respective cars and went home. Though the temptation to go back to bed was huge, I got online and did the next best thing. I managed to buy over half of the items I wanted at Walmart, several of which will be shipped for free to my local store where I can pick them up when there isn't a line that stretches out of sight.
So once again, I am vowing to avoid the stores on Black Friday. I may however consider the 5AM on-line shopping spree for next year. Best of luck holiday shoppers! And don't forget the holiday cheer!