I hate shopping, but I love Black Friday. I don't care about the deals. I don't care about Doorbusters and BIG 5 Hour Sales!! and Unbeatable Prices! I love watching and listening to the people. I love spying on other peoples' carts and watching people grab stuff off of shelves for no other reason than it's a "good deal." I love heaping carts with hundreds of dollars of useless junk that no one will like or appreciate. I love strolling through the stores and looking at the huge lines and then leaving without buying anything. I love the groups of women in pajamas with perfect hair and makeup and the women in sweats who look like they actually did just roll out of bed. Today's winner was a woman who appeared to be in her late 50s. She had on Green Bay Packers lounge pants, those fuzzy slipper boots that went halfway up to her knees, a puffy pink coat with a rainbow fuzzy scarf and a black and white Cruella DeVille hair-do that must have taken an hour to accomplish. I was too gutless to ask if I could take her picture with my phone and I couldn't really have snuck it. Maybe next year I'll make a certificate and hand it to the winner :)
After hearing my aunt's amazing story of Wal-Mart and covered pallets and store maps and crazed shoppers grabbing at items, I decided to hit Wal-Mart first. The sale started at 5am. I left home ~4:40. I figured I could watch the fun and then maybe grab some of the $3 pajamas for the kids and beat the crowds to the registers. Ha ha on me. By the time I got to Wal-Mart the parking lot was completely full, as were the lots at Bob Evans, KFC and the little strip mall next door. I could have walked from Arby's, but I could see crowds and crowds of people lined up inside and just couldn't handle walking in the cold just to view the nutters.
Instead, I headed out to Gordman's which was the place I really wanted to go. They were giving out shopping bags with a 25% discount on everything that fit inside to the first 300 customers. They also had marshmallow shooters for $8.99 and cheap Webkinz. I arrived right at 5am and the line wrapped around the store. I got in the slow moving line and was inside in about 5 minutes. Yeee! I got my bag! Boo! I missed the marshmallow guns. Oh well, I got some really cheap sleep pants and slippers, a cute zebra shirt for Kaylin and a reindeer Webkinz that came with a KinzClip (to unlock a new game) for Logan. They often have a nice selection of White Sox stuff, but I found absolutely nothing for Gene. The lines were long, but not horrible. I probably waited 20 minutes at most.
On to Michaels. It was a couple minutes after their 6am opening and I walked right in and could have gotten a cart if I wanted one. I found some craft items for Kaylin and a few stocking stuffers. There was one person ahead of me in line. Michaels had the same sales and deals last night, so that majorly cut back on their shoppers at opening today. A couple years ago I waited in line almost an hour at Michaels. Hurray for making their employees work on Thanksgiving!
So far, the people hadn't been that interesting (though The Winner was at Michaels.) I needed to go somewhere for some good people watching. Kmart had buy 2 get 1 free Legos. Eh, worth a look... I parked at the garden center at the back of the store and walked in to find lines from the two garden center registers waaaayyyyyy into the store. I strolled along, looking at the people and their pending purchases. There was a Snuggie in every cart! There were also tons of those cheap small appliances, gobs of doorbuster toys and clothes. Just what everyone wants for Chrismas, a lovely $7 blouse from Kmart! The lines in the main part of the store were outrageous, stretching more than halfway back through the store. Fortunately, the Legos were picked over and nothing tempted me to wait in a two hour line to save $10! I have to admit that my time is far more valuable than $10.
I was very satisfied with my Black Friday experience. I got home before 7:30. I spent maybe $60 and got a bunch of fun stuff I wanted to buy anyway for 25% off. The kids will be thrilled that I bought a gingerbread house kit. I will enjoy my new pajamas and slippers. Now the kids are hounding me to get off the computer and help them make Shrinky Dinks. Now!