For lack of brain juices flowing this morning, I share a random word of thanks, which also doubles as a somewhat embarrassing confession.
I'm grateful I can check "Black Friday at Walmart" off my list of things I never wanted to do and never need to do again.
It's early, and I don't think it's necessary to go into the reasons why I don't respect Walmart as a corporation. Suffice it to say, I'm not a fan. But I love my sister and I respect her and she lives close to Walmart and finds really good deals for her and the family. She is not only a huntress of bargains, but she has the patience necessary to wait in line for them, two skills I admire and am lacking in.
So, out of solidarity on, technically Black Thursday, I ventured out at 10pm with Sis and Mom and Ricardo. After car-stalking pedestrians in the parking lot, Ricardo claimed a spot in the far reaches of the vicinity, and we followed the masses inside. I admit, I even felt a surge of energy. Maybe this won't be so bad, I thought.
Then we stepped through the wide mouth of the store, into the land of florescent lights and already Disneyland length lines, of sleepy-eyed children dragged along for the ride, of shopping carts that don't fit in the spaces between people, and employees directing traffic with impressive friendliness.
I tried to be brave, took a deep breath, gave myself a little pep talk: "It's just one night, you can do this, and even if you wanted to back out, you all came in one car. Suck it up, Amber."
Our mission: $1.96 movies.
We bumped along with the current of people flowing to the back of the store. In the sea of bodies, I heard a tall guy say as he passed by, "They're going to have to pump some oxygen in here." I snickered, then wrinkled my nose, because the air had indeed already been sucked clean of oxygen, and he at least was getting the best selection. We arrived at our destination in the back, where movies and electronics and music displayed. There the movies sat, stretched at least ten cardboard displays long down a wide aisle, surrounded by swarms of people four bodies deep. I just stood there, until it dawned on me, I'd have to reach inward and harness some aggression to actually scour the movies for desired titles.
We split up, perhaps unintentionally, Mom and Sis, Ricardo and me, hunting for movies in the mobs. At the end of maybe thirty minutes, I felt dizzy and light-headed, my initial energy zapped. Ricardo and I wandered the back aisles for awhile until we noticed the lines for electronics were much shorter than the snakelike lines at the front of the store. At least we could find the end of the line and see the cash register, maybe fifteen people ahead of us. Our optimism faded when we realized the line moved about an inch every five minutes. I glanced down at a box out of place on the shelf ledge I wanted to sit on. A 30-piece rubbermaid tupperware set for $6.88. We picked it up, looked it over, shrugged. "We're already here, might as well," I said. Turned out, everyone else wanted this tupperware because it was already out of stock throughout the store. Our big victory at Walmart.
The four of us escaped with glazed eyes and tired shuffles just before midnight, with a collection of movies and our tupperware.