Monday, November 29, 2010

I think craziness is contagious

It has been several years since I was last home for Thanksgiving. I was excited to be around this year to participate in the Black Friday shopping extravaganza, or so I thought. You see, back when Mara and I were still living at home and participating in this tradition it began around 4 or 5 am. Nothing too extreme. But every year it seems the stores begin to open earlier. Even knowing that the stores would be open much earlier this year, I had complete faith that mom and Crystal still had some sanity left in their bones. I guess I was wrong. They are completely INSANE and guess what? I think it's rubbing off!! :) On Thanksgiving, midnight began to be thrown around as a potential departure time. To be completely honest, I was sure they were joking. I was seriously just laughing that suggestion off. I thought, if nothing else, having Kelbie with us for the first time (she has reached the ripe old age of 12 and now is allowed to join in the craziness) would prevent such a thing from happening. But nope, their insanity knows no bounds. :)

So I laid on my parents couch, didn't even change into pajamas, with my head in Brennan's lap and we slept for 45 minutes. (Brennan was going out at the same time we were to try to get himself a new TV. He had it even worse than me, he had to sleep sitting up!) After a very restful and energizing (haha) 45 minutes it was time to get up and get our game faces on. What a day we had ahead of us.

Our first stop was the beloved WalMart. Apparently the poor WalMart employees had a hard time keeping the crazy women back, so sales that were supposed to start at midnight were actually wiped out long before then. We missed out on a few things we were hoping for, but still managed to find more than enough. The best thing about WalMart was definitely the "friends" that we made in line. One woman just perched herself on Crystal's shoulder while we waited, talking incessantly. Mom made us change lanes (She really thinks she is good and being able to tell which line with be faster.) and this woman even followed us to the new line!!! We just couldn't shake her. We also watched some man with a really impressively nasty mullet get out his pocket knife and cute open the box holding his new coffee maker. That's all he did. He didn't pull it out or anything. Just cut it open and put it back in his cart. Not sure what that was all about.

The next stop of note was Target. This is where Brennan waited in line for 2 and a half hours in the freezing cold. We got in line about 25 minutes before the store open and it was brutal. I don't know how he survived!! Our biggest challenge in Target was trying to get a hold of each other. This particular Target is like a black hole and there is no cell phone reception. That sort of frustration can be difficult to deal with at 4 in the morning. :) We also got some hot chocolate there only to find out (after we were long gone of course) that three of the four cups just tasted like hot water. Yummy.

Then there was Menards. Oh Menards, I am not your biggest fan. Any other day of the year, you would hardly find a lick of estrogen in that store. But on Black Friday? Good grief. First there is the line outside. We got in line about 10 minutes before the store opened so we weren't anywhere near the front. But about 5 minutes later swarms of people come from waiting in their cars and try to get in at the front of the line. This causes quite a collapse when the doors open. Everyone who has waited in line panics that these people are going to get in before them, and the entire line collapses and it's just a mob of people trying to get through the door. People are yelling at each other and pushing. It is really quite a scene. I have never witnessed anything like it. That's just outside. Then you get in and it's an absolute zoo. On Black Friday Menards sells things it never does any other day. So there is zero logic in where anything can be found. So really you just wander around and hope you get lucky. But if you see something a second too late, you are out of luck my friend, there is no swimming upstream. It is simply too congested.

As we waited in line at Menards, Crystal gets a call from Kelbie, who was sleeping in the car, saying she needed to use the bathroom. Eventually it was decided that she would meet me by the doors and I would bring her in and show her where the bathrooms were. One problem. As she got out of the car the alarm went off. Too bad mom can't stand in a line to save her life so we didn't have the keys. So I went out to get Kelbie to find that the car had given up on beeping and was just flashing its lights. I made the mistake, however, of opening the door a second time to lock it, making the beeping begin again right as Kelbie and I make a run for the store. I'm sure that didn't look suspicious at all...

It was really just one adventure after another. By the time we stopped for breakfast Kelbie was a zombie, basically unable to communicate. My brain was evidently not functioning enough to order a decent breakfast. It was super nasty. Of course, mom and Kelbie wait until after I order to tell me they thought it looked disgusting from the start. Thanks guys!
So I realize this post was probably a little negative sounding. You are probably wondering, why don't you just stay home if you think it is all so ridiculous? Well, because there is a very sick part of me that finds it all very fun. I hate shopping. Brennan will attest to that. But somehow I have fun on a 12 hour shopping trip on the busiest day of the year. I would say it probably has something to do with the company. We don't take it too seriously so we end up being able to enjoy a lot of laughs together. So even with the sleep deprivation, the gross hot chocolate, the disappointing breakfast, the crazy people, and mom's severe line ADD (so severe that she will leave her cart with a complete stranger in order to do some browsing), I would still do it again next year.


  1. Amazingly enough, I am very sad that I missed this. The first year I was sucked into going with you guys, I think I really didn't appreciate it because I thought I would freeze to death... oh yeah, and no one really bought anything. :-) But this year I had hoped to come with you, so that was sad. I love hearing the story though. Sounds about like expected, and so fun that Kelbie was there too. Miss you guys.

  2. We missed having you there! The more the merrier, that's for sure. I do remember many years where no one bought anything haha. But this year they certainly did! I couldn't believe it!

  3. I never said that I thought your breakfast looked gross. It was one of the ones I considered ordering, although I'm certainly glad that I didn't after your experience.
    You make mom and I sound INSANE :) I guess we sort of are. I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the hot water and crappy breakfast.

  4. I am so sad I missed out! I have many fond memories of day after thanksgiving shopping! So many people to laugh at!

  5. I'm glad that someone is actually reading my blog! :) But... I've noticed you haven't updated in ages... How are you guys? Hope you're still loving your job!
    p.s. this post made me sad we didn't go out and do our black friday shopping this year! :)