Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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Black Friday

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on December 1, 2008

This year, the day after Thanksgiving, I decided I wanted to join my sister-in-law for an early morning visit to the stores for “Black Friday” shopping. Our families had spent a small quiet Thanksgiving dinner together, 4 adults and 3 children, and the two of us girls had actually made it to bed before midnite. Since we were in their town on the edge of Dallas/Ft. Worth, she was to be the driver and store selector as I had no clue where to go. I am happy to say our experience was a lot less tragic than the stories we later heard on the news about injuries and deaths in other locations.

Our first stop was a Wal-Mart store. We didn’t go at 5AM as the store advertised since we didn’t really have any ‘special deals’ that we just had to rush in to get. We did go at 6:30AM though. When we first pulled in to the parking lot – the lot looked completely full. We drove down the first clear aisle we saw – and got a parking space right up front! My SIL was thrilled of course. When we got in the store, the first thing we saw were the lines at the cash registers. OMG – people had one or two baskets piled to overflowing and every register had lines that started at the front of the store and went all the way to the back. We weren’t even sure we could squeaze through the lines to look at merchandise! Our luck held as we went straight back to the rear of the store to electronics. After less than 5 minutes looking in the cases, my SIL had found the game she wanted for her son’s birthday, had gotten an employee, who was standing by with keys, to unlock the cabinet, acquired her game and we made our way into the rest of the store where I wanted to look at some clothes and shoes that were on sale. After pawing through piles of sale items in the clothing areas, we chose – nothing, except to leave the store. This chaos, while not wild, was not fun either and we figured we could live without the experience any longer. Luck still holding, we got to the front of the store and found an express line with only a few people in it; paid for the game and made our way past the security guard checking receipts and out to the car. We were in the store no more than 30 minutes. It wasn’t bad, but definitely not an experience I want to repeat. I do have to say also, I went to my own Wal-Mart store on Sat evening and found the hoodie and shoes [advertised: on sale only Fri 5AM-11AM] I had wanted – in the correct colors, sizes AND with the same sale price! No crowds, just the standard two or three persons in line as always.

To continue our ‘Black Friday’ shopping experience, we went to a large indoor mall off of I-20, I think it was in Arlington, TX. We drove into the underground parking structure [did I mention it was raining a little?] and drove right up to a spot about 3-4 car spaces away from the walkway over to the entrance. My SIL has great luck with parking, and the traffic wasn’t bad. I haven’t been inside one of these giant multi-story indoor malls in years, so didn’t really know what to expect. It was clean, it wasn’t crowded and the people weren’t frantically grabbing at sale items. My SIL commented that it wasn’t crowded as usual. Maybe it was the early hour [8AMish] or maybe the early crush had already come and gone. The stores were busy, but not packed. We found some good sales and didn’t have any problem with long lines at check outs or clerks to help us. The sales clerks [Macy’s, Dillards, S&B’s, Perfumania, etc] were helpful and courteous. This was NOT the Black Friday I had expected. I did buy one frivolous item from a gal in one of those outdoor kiosks [buy one today AND I’ll give you a second one free PLUS you get this free gift item], but the rest of my purchases were clothing for my husband and son and really deep discount prices. I found – in THREE stores – the perfume I had been searching out for weeks with no prior luck, but I’ll leave that for my husband to buy now that I know where to tell him to go. (Yea, I’d like to tell him where to go, but I am cutting him some slack because he lost his job a couple weeks ago).

All in all, Black Friday is NOT something I want to make a special effort to attend, although I will always in the future take advantage of that weekend’s sales – just on a more reasonable day and time. And maybe I’ll get my sister-in-law to drive!

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