Black Friday: 'Ladies and gentlemen,
start your shopping'
December 12, 2008 | The alarm clocked beeped at the
disturbing time of 4:15 a.m. I rolled over to my husband
with sleep filled taste buds and eyes and whispered,
"Are you ready?"
The room around us was still, as black as the middle
of the night. No footsteps were heard walking around
upstairs and our bed was warm and cozy. I pulled myself
out of bed and got dressed. I was told it can get pretty
brutal so gym shoes are necessary as well as a sweatshirt
to brave the bitter early morning cold of Idaho Falls.
With our teeth brushed, hair quickly combed, and make-up
still on from the day before, I, with my husband Matt
and my brother-in-law Dewey, headed out the door with
the clock landing on 4:23 a.m. We picked up our sister-in-law,
Melanie, a few miles away, separated into two cars,
then headed to Black Friday headquarters -- Wal-Mart.
We pulled into the parking lot at precisely 4:53 a.m.
Finding a parking spot was like looking for a needle
in a haystack. Cars were parked in every stall of every
parking lot anywhere close the superstore. People were
running past us hoping to get to the deals before the
other 10 people following closely behind them.
"Where is everyone?" I asked since this was my first
Black Friday experience. People weren't crowding the
doors like I had imaged they would. Instead, they were
lined up inside the store, waiting for the clock to
strike 5 a.m.
We entered the store and the sight I witnessed was
beyond anything my imagination could have ever cooked
up. Items such as Blue-ray DVD players, vacuum cleaners,
HP printers, small home appliances, Legos, Barbies and
motorized jeeps lined the main aisles of the store.
Crowded around each stack of items were masses of people
pushing to get as close to the stack as they could.
They weren't allowed to touch the items until exactly
five o'clock, but they were ready so one second after
they could throw the items into their carts.
'"Ladies and Gentlemen, we welcome you to Wal-Mart
this morning," the man on the intercom said. "We hope
you enjoy your day. Remember to be pleasant and kind.
Start your shopping."
With that said, the crowd went wild. Arms were shooting
up from all directions. Screams of, "I got it, I got
it!" echoed in the store. Carts were zooming from one
part of the store to the other, but quickly came to
a stop in what looked like a rush hour traffic jam of
Matt and Dewey ran to the back of the store to get
$4 movies, while Melanie and I rushed for other items
on our list. We had to stick close together; one step
in the wrong direction could get you yelled at from
a die-hard shopper, or hit by a shopping cart.
By 5:10 a.m. the 30 checkout lines were starting to
wrap around the store. Melanie and I jumped in line
to hold our spot and waited for the boys to join us.
While standing there we saw shoppers with two and three
carts piled high with all sorts of stuff. And some like
one older gentleman standing behind us that braved the
crowds for one item; a HP printer.
From Wal-Mart we advanced to Target. Immediately inside
the doors, I saw movies on sale for $3. I called Matt
to see if he wanted any. I was talking to him on my
cell phone, while bending over to grab "Batman Begins"
and "Transformers," when a white-trash lady took a step
closer to me. I looked up just in time to see her growling
like a dog directly at me. I was startled, but not going
to give in to her animal demands. I grabbed all the
movies I wanted then looked at her, smiled, and walked
Throughout the morning we spent approximately $225
and saved $450. Items purchased included black hooker
boots and a three-piece luggage set which were both
on sale for $20 from the original price of $80; a black
cashmere coat for $50, on sale from $200; Lucky jeans
for $30 on sale from $90-$110, and 35 movies on sale
for either $3, $6 or $11.
The crowds were wild and very entertaining. I used
to make fun of people who actually woke up at those
unheard of hours to spend time at Wal-Mart. But, I must
admit, I'm addicted - I am now one of them.