Kind of like a scene in Braveheart.

In the tiny wee hours the morning all across America, garage doors open and bright reverse lights come down driveways much earlier than is customary. Brave women (and whipped men), bleary-eyed, left arms firmly on the steering wheel, right arms raised in solidarity, gloved fists tightly clenching their Black Friday ad slicks. Not unlike Santa, they’ve made their lists, but they’ve more than checked them twice. They’ve checked and cross-referenced and highlighted. They’ve developed their plan of attack; they’ve strategized with their girlfriends so all receive the doorbusters they so desire from each caution-taped storefront. They’ve hit the convenience stores in order to drink their body weight in cappuccino. (Which by the way, is such a rookie mistake. Drink only enough to keep you warm and make it through the first store opening. You could potentially lose the deal of a lifetime with an ill-planned trip to the bathroom.) They’ve secured their place in the long lines at temperatures below freezing. All of their careful planning and sleep deprivation, it has all been for this moment. It is the quiet before the storm. A rumble moves down the line like a sheep through an anaconda; word is passed from shopper to shopper that the employees are simultaneously unlocking, and doors are about to open. The adrenaline hits. It’s time.

Chaos ensues.

So. That picture is time-stamped 5:02am. We thought Target opened at 5am, but quickly realized it was actually 6am. We were brave little soldier-shoppers though. My toes quickly lost feeling in my impossibly adorable velvet striped candy cane hi-top Chuck Taylors. But it was worth it. I almost got trampled, but I got my 500gig Western Digital external hard drive for $87. I got my House Season 1 & 2 for $15 each. I got boys and nieces their toys and special Christmas Eve PJs. Kmart was out of one must-have for Dino, but like any red-blooded Black Friday shopper, I made a deal in the middle of the toy aisle with a remarkably wonderful lady who had gotten two of that particular toy. We exchanged info and the deal will be going down Monday. I got cute Christmas socks. I completed my Sex & the City set at 50% off. I even got Meet the Robinson’s and Ratatouille for $12 each. I got a microSD card so Hunky can have music on his ppc. By the way, he can cuss like a sailor when he’s mad at electrical gadgetry.

Oh, and my car also got backed into in the Kmart parking lot. The driver’s side door is caved in and the mirror flops back and forth. The guy said the sun was in his eyes, which, can I mention, is not the greatest time to be hitting the gas. I was boxed in by a big fat van that apparently required a three point turn to exit their parking spot, and there was nowhere to go. All I could do is sputter, “No no hey hey hey hey hey hey HEEEY!


In my shock, I forgot I do have a completely operational horn to do that kind of work for me.

He did apologize, and I’d also like to mention, there were good manners all over our fine cities of Marion and Cedar Rapids. There was much please and thank you and excuse me. Fiona even told us that in the utter chaos of the $3.98 movie bin at Target, she made an impromtu deal with a very nice gal to grab the movies each other wanted so they could exit the throng and exchange appropriately. Well done, ladies; good on you!

But for the love, why are Black Friday shoppers bringing the children. Don’t bring the children. Oy vey; the carnage. You could potentially scar a child for life.

So then, five stores later, I came home and flopped on the couch and went over purchases with the Hunkster. The Elli dog was wracked with separation anxiety. She stuck to me like glue after I got home. Then we took a well-deserved nap. And at 8am tomorrow morning, I’ll be driving a friend to Chicago to see her sister. Also, she’s taking me for my first time to Ikea. We’re both very excited about that.

Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude. I’m going to bed.

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