For those who know me, getting up at 0-dark-thirty on the busiest shopping day of the year is not something I would normally do. But this year I did it, and I'm kind of glad I did. It was an eye opener.
So why did I participate in Black Friday? Here is my story:
It all began on a cold day in February, 1975. Ok ok...I'll skip a little.
Really, it all began with an email from Heather about BF deals at different stores. Apparently, there are whole websites dedicated to nothing more than listing all of the BF deals at various stores so that a savvy BF participant can plan, implement, and execute the most efficient attack for the day.
I looked at the deals at Wal-Mizzle <---hahaha and noticed they had a decent deal on 1GB SD memory cards. So I planned to get up and get one. The night before was a late one for me. I stayed up until about 1:30 congregating with strangers across the planet battling the evil forces of the galactic empire. Yes, it is juvenile, but when you are juvenile, your parents don't let you stay up that late, hence the best time to execute juvenile behavior is actually when you're an adult....cause then you get to do what you want to do. But I digress.
I slipped* into bed and as I did so, I checked to make sure the alarm was set for 6:00 am. It was, but apparently that isn't good enough for BF. Heth, who was awoken by the .0001 micro decibel sound of air molecules being disrupted by the movement of cotton fibers on my pajamas as I walked into the bedroom (ie, light sleeper), indicated that I may actually want to get to the W-Mizzle at 5:00 am because that's when the sales start. 5:00? So I have to set the alarm for 4:30? Bleh. But hey, this was 1GB SD memory we're talking about. And it's not a Christmas gift...this was for the greater good of PDA toting, mp3 playing spouses world wide!
So I closed my eyes, and then opened them, and it was time to get up. Don't you hate nights like that....*blink* TIME TO GET UP! grrr.
So, I take a shower, get dressed, and I am ready to tackle my day. As I'm backing out of my driveway at 4:50 am the first warning sign appears. My neighbor, is backing out of her driveway in parallel to me. I think to myself, "Oh no you don't!" and then quickly realize that I'm not really on a mission to participate in BF...I'm only doing this for the cheap SD card. I yield to my neighbor and let her steam off ahead of me.
There shouldn't be traffic at 4:50 in the morning...but this was BF and there was traffic. Cars from all directions were converging on one spot. Wal-to-the-Mar-tizzle.
I pulled into the Wizzle Mizzle parking lot and my next warning sign smacks me in the face...I shouldn't have to park this far away at 5:00 am. But again, this is BF. I walked as calmly as I could into the store. You see, as I got closer and closer to the store, doubt started to creep in. "What if they are all gone?" "What if my neighbor takes the last one?" "What if I don't get what I want? NEED?" Get a grip on yourself, Nate, you're not here for the spectacle of the thing! You're not one of these people! You just want cheap memory!!!! AAAAAAAAAHHHHH
Swoosh....the automatic doors allow me entrance into a nightmare that I can scarcely describe. TVs Computers, DVD players, Barbies, Bratz, you name it, were piled high in every single cart I saw.
I made my way back to the electronics department where things were probably the most crowded. I felt like I almost needed to keep my arms at my side and just pivot on one foot and look around...moving in any one direction was not really an option. But then, I got into the flow of a mass of people who were making their way along the "Deal Islands" that were set out. My eyes scanned for the tiny little plastic SD cards.
And then I saw them. They were almost hidden on an end-cap to one of these "Deal Islands." When I saw them, I could almost hear the opening to the classic Star Wars soundtrack song "The Duel of the Fates." I grabbed one. And then I thought about the deal that I was getting and I grabbed another. That was a mistake. That sent forth a blend of chemicals into my brain that I can only equate to some sort of consumer adrenaline. My eyes glazed over. My brain started computing percentage of savings for portable DVD players, tvs, and I soon was becoming overwhelmed by the frenzy around me.
Luckily for me, I got out of there with only 3 extra items that I hadn't intended to buy, and I can honestly say that they were all returned later that morning. When the lady at the return counter asked me if there was anything wrong with the items I was returning, I replied, "Nope. They're just fine. I think someone must have just gotten a bit overzealous this morning at all the great deals." HAHAHA as if I was returning someone else's mistake or lack of discipline. Well, maybe that could be partly true, since I was really a different person when I snatched them up.
In the end, this was a great learning experience. I now know that if I'm ever going to try something like this again in the future, I will need to bring a buddy along to keep me focused and in check.