This year I did not want to go Black Friday shopping. I wanted to sleep off the tryptophan, pumpkin pie and half bottle of red wine. Then I wanted to leisurely slink around my sister’s house and clean up dirty dishes, tracked in dirt, and other remnants of our festivities. My husband had other plans.
“Bass Pro Shops is having a huge sale on .22 ammo, but we have to be there by 0500 so that means we really have to get up at 0400.” Van informed me as we put away leftovers.
“What is this ‘we’ business? I don’t want to go shopping! I hate crowds as much as you.” I was genuinely shocked that he even wanted to go out on Black Friday.
“The ammo prices are incredible! But we are limited to one box each. So I have a plan. I am going to hide boxes around the store, then we’ll go back later to buy more.”
“Ooh, clever! Do you have different disguises for this mission, 007?”
“Shut up. Remember, 0400 tomorrow.”
I begrudgingly woke up at 0400 on Black Friday and shimmied into semi-presentable clothing. My brother-in-law, a giant grizzly bear of a man known as Bubby, had coffee ready for us, and the three of us loaded into my cold, dark car. When we arrived at Bass Pro, the parking lot was already packed and people had begun to park in makeshift spots with the assistance of the Independence Police Department. A very long line had formed across the storefront. We drove by, gaping at all the camo clad consumers who had been standing in the freezing cold for hours.
After making a half ass attempt at finding a parking space (because we knew it was a lost cause) we all agreed to go to Best Buy, and Van pulled out of the parking lot. That is when we saw the rest of the line. It went on for the entire length of the store and then some, possibly a quarter mile of people! There must have been close to 2,000 people at that single store, just standing in line waiting to get in and shop for .22 ammo and assorted Doorbusters.
“Oh, screw that!” Van sped up as Bubby and I stared in amazement.
On to Best Buy, where I received an early Christmas present: new Acer laptop to replace my “ancient” HP that keeps trying to die, and a smartphone to replace my non-smartphone, a 5 year old Samsung that I have balked at replacing. Picking out the laptop wasn’t terribly difficult, just a matter of finding the right fit for my life. The phone selection was a little tougher but there is one surefire way to point me to the right product: mention that it is FREE. I ended up with an awesome Android (one that Van had researched) and we only paid for the Otter Box . I let the poor sleep deprived Best Buy sales associates drop my phone to demonstrate the Otter Box’s magnificence. It wasn’t as dramatic as we all had hoped, but they’d been up all night and really seemed to need a win to make up for working on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
The only challenge we encountered was getting through some minor upgrade red tape for AT&T. In an earlier post I mentioned plans to boycott AT&T (this was ten years ago while I was deployed and really pissed off at AT&T). Well life works out pretty funny, doesn’t it? AT&T bought the little ALLTEL Wireless holdout in the Black Hills just before we moved. What do you do…Anyway, my husband had to provide an ID for verification because he is the primary account holder, and after he walked away to look at enormous televisions with Bubby, the sales associates leaned over and conspiratorially mentioned to me that Van looks just like Tom Cruise on his ID, “only less crazy”. Bonus! Any day that a Tom Cruise reference is thrown at my husband is a good day!
So I ended up with a nice new laptop — which I have yet to take out of the box. I have played with my new phone for a week and I love it. I feel kind of guilty though; I don’t miss my old phone at all. It was a good phone, and it served me well. It almost never did anything wrong, and it lasted years without so much as a hiccup or dent — only a few small scratches. I balked at getting a smartphone because I couldn’t justify paying so much when my old phone was getting the job done. But now it is pretty great to be able to have a built in GPS, access to online weather stations, Facebook, and so much more…! Well, that is the story of progress. I got my Christmas presents early, and now you can view my very first video, via my smartphone!
Normally I am not so bitchy sounding and shaky, but after half a bottle of wine, half a night’s sleep, and half a pot of coffee, I felt like I had a hangover. I was also really excited about my new phone so it got silly!