Saturday, November 29, 2008


I survived Black Friday.

I dunno why they call it Black Friday cuz I was the ONLY black person out there at least in the line I was in. This year was the first time I participated in the tradition called Black Friday. I've heard horror stories about the madness to being out in the freezing cold in a line that goes down to the corner around the block and into the next county all in hopes of getting that $9,000. electronic-gadget-whachama-whozit-thingy on sale for $9.95!you're the 175th person in line and the store only has 8 of them but you are hopeful, it's Christmas time!

My brother survived Black Friday 2007 and coached me on all the ropes as to what I should and should not do and how to prepare. He gave me 1 bit of troubling information: "You should probably camp out in line the night before starting at about 6pm Thanksgiving Day." What the...?

Now that I think about it, it wasn't that troubling, I'm always up for an adventure. I do so LOVE camping and hadn't had the chance to go all summer. My only concern was the cold. I have a low cold tolerance and it was supposed to be 29 degrees with a 10% chance of rain

Out of the mouth of my best friend "WJ".... "I can be wet or I can be cold, but I CANNOT be wet AND cold." I love winter but my body doesn't. I break out in hives if I get too cold even if it's summer and the lake water is nice and cold. Well I decided I was going to do this, so I needed to be prepared. My biggest challege would be lack of sleep. I only slept about 3 hours the night before Thanksgiving and I started the week with a head cold and sinusitis. AUGH!

My day went very quickly on Thanksgiving, next thing I knew it was 3:00 and we were eating. Well they were eating, I sampled so much while I was cooking I wasn't hungry so I cleaned up the kitchen a bit. Next thing I knew it was 5:00 and I wanted to be in line by 6pm, 7 at the latest. I had arranged to go down in line with a friend, she and I wanted the same items. I also had a 2nd friend who was interested in the item. But his history is one of being flakey so we didn't really plan on him. about 5:30 I layed down to take a power nap and slept for about 30 min. 6:00 came I put on a layer of long underwear, sock, a thermal undershirt, a sweat hoodie, a fleece hoodie my Michigan beanie and a pair of fabulous boots I'd purchased a couple weeks before. I grabbed one of the 4 tents I own, a lawn chair, sleeping bag, personal dvd player, cold meds, herbal remedies, packed them in a cooler with water and some food to munch on and headed off to get in line

My store of choice:

BEST BUY. My gadget of choice an HP laptop! Normally $616 on sale for $349. But wait, there's more! There's always more! They've added a Canon 3 in 1 Printer/Scanner/Copier for free! Nope, no joking. I'm starting a small business and need a lap top as part of the business will require me to do presentations from a laptop. This lap top was plan "A." There were too other lap tops that would serve as plan B and C however they were a couple hundred more than I wanted to spend even at their great prices.

I got there a little later than expected, just around 6:30. I pull into the parking lot and there was a camper and a few cars, not too many. There were 3 tents set up already with people I learned later who had been camping out since Wednesday. There were a group of teenagers playing basket ball. Someone brought a hoop and set it up in the parking lot. And there was a card table with a group around it playing poker.

The line wasn't too bad there were about 40 people ahead of me, counting all their children. There was a nip in the air already. I parked my car grabbed my gear and headed toward the back of line and got there just ahead of a couple of guys who also had a tent and some other gear. I started putting up the tent when Erin arrived with her gear as well. I got a little frustrated because my phone began to ring for what felt like non-stop for about 45 minutes. Suddenly friends and family were calling and wanting to know if I could get them this or that so they wouldnt have to be in line all night. I got hightly irritated:I was gonna be out in the cold all night with no sleep, being sick, had sprained my MCL early August and still use a knee brace for it, AND at midnight it would be my birthday. None of those who wanted anything offered to come and hang out, keep us company, bring a hot drink, extra blanket or quick snack. I probably wouldn't have minded so much if they weren't so expectant to reap the rewards of our effort and not even give regnition to the effort.

I think I was mostly irritated because I chose to keep answering my phone in the midst of putting up a tent and the wind was biting. I told the 2 guys in front of me I was going to have them answer my phone for me while I tried to put up the tent.

Although my house was just under 5 miles away. My Sister and our friend Travis offered to keep us company and be on call to bring provisions. They bought us a pitcher of hot water for our thermoses of hot chocolate. They also brought extra sleeping bags. My daughter who also volunteered to be on call came and brought some things as well.

Lyn & Erin

She came a few minutes after I did with a 2nd camping chair and 2 thermoses for hot liquids. She left rather quickly as she would be the one mainly on call throughout the night so she was going to catch some winks.

Well the night actually went by Very quickly, at least for me. After Erin arrived and we get the tent set up we were ready for the long haul! Erin broughtknitting, a book to read, Peach pie and her army cot. I had crocheting, and grabbed the couple of things to put in my cooler for dinner.

About 9 or so I had my sister Lyn and our friend Travis bring my personal DVD Player and the 2 latest Harry Potter episodes. They also brought some boiling water so we could delve into the can of hot chocolate Erin had. When it got too cold we lined the tent with our blankets and sleeping bags, crawled inside and is was so comfy and warm! Danielle stopped by and hung out for a few. We were laughing and talking I don't think I would have been too much more comfortable at home!

Dannielle & Travis

They guys in the tent behind us had a heater and we could hear them watching episodes of home improvement and I think they had some Grease or some Grease parody going on. Since our tents were pretty much sharing the same area we could hear them quite well. We decided they were pretty cool and even funny as we overheard some of their conversations (sorry guys!)
The Y'z Guyz

We labled them the Y'z Guy'z cuz they had on beanies from BYU. I made sure my Michigan beanie and blanket were in full display. They Y'z guyz started out with just 2 of them .I think they were brothers. Their group would later turn into 4 and I think "Dad" was one of the 4. I took a picture of them because Erin was trying to get a pic of them with their camera but it didnt work so I offered to take it and email it to them.

My Heroes

Our friends Jason was supposed to be camping out with his wife and kids at a Sears the next county south of ours so we were communicating back and forth via text/cellphones. They wanted a frontload washer dryer combination on bargain for 599$. About 11 or so, He called me and asked my whereabouts.out side the tents. So he came on is a well. With the hot chocolate and the conversation we were all quite warm. For me it hadn't felt like we had already been out there 6 hours. I figured he was just curious to see if I had given up. Suddenly I'm hearing him in Stereo. Jason

and he's outside my tent. He came up just to hang out for the night and possibly see what deal he could find on this end of the vally. With the hot chocolate and the conversation we were all quite warm. For me it hadn't felt like we had already been out there 6 hours. Danielle left early because she had work at the bank Friday Morning. She left Erin and I with "Toastie Tootsies." They're air activated foot warmers you stick in your shoes. Lyn left with the hot water and a thermos that broke, luckily travis had a spare thermos we could use. Jason had his wife and kids tucked in the car out of the elements. He decided to hang out 3 stores down and Jump in the Target line while there were only 7 people in it. Erin and I settled in and started watching Harry Potter 4.

I had dozed off and Erin was waking me because the there was a shift in the line so we needed to move our gear forward to keep our place.

In front of us were a couple of cute high school boys. They only had camping chairs and a few blankets. I liked them, the were well behaved and were asking us most of the night if we needed help with anything . We watched their stuff while they took their breaks or left the line.

I gave one of my toastie tootsies to one of them. He had on a sweatshirt and a couple of blankets and he mostly jammed to his music on his mp3 all night long.


The other was more social. He made pals with some of the kids at the front of the line playing basket ball and poker. He even helped calm down a situation with another wasted kid that could have gotten pretty ugly. He took him for a walk in the parking lot to cool him down. I was impressed with both of these young men. In my mind I refer to them as dimples and the peace maker!

Peace Maker

Just before handing the tickets out The manager came out and explained how things work. We were intructed to put all of our tents and cots and other big items away so things would flow easier.

About 3 or so the line started getting restlest. What happens is the managers and staff come out with tickets for the doorbuster items. They start at the beginning of the line and ask who wants a ticket for "such and such " item. And they continue down the line until all the tickets are gone. So the folks at the end of the line have like ZIPPO chance of getting a ticket for the item they want. Sad thing is you can't purchase "such and such" item at the bargain cost without a ticket.

The jackasses at the front of the line get tickets for everything and then try to sell the tickets to the folks at the front of the line. I call it greedy and selfish. Im sure they call it the American way. Some guy started his ticket selling at $40 bucks. The ameture teenies were selling theres for $5 and $10. I had plan A-C. If what I really wanted ran out of tickets before it got to myself and Eric, then we would upgrade to the next lap top or the next one. Then we decided if nothing else we could purchase items at the gargain cost and cell them on Ebay so the night wouldn't be a total loss. For me it was a great experience anyway so no total lost. There were tickets for Xboxes, Wii's, Desk tops for $500, Laptops for 300, Digital camera's for $60... you get the picture. And these are GOOD items, not no name items.

TheYz Guyz helped us move our tent earlier and also helped us break it down and kept our place in line as we packed our gear and took it back to our car.

It began to rain and get windy after the tents were all put away. OF COURSE! I was still pretty warm. I actually didn't get chilly til about 30 min before the door was opened and at that point I still wasn't uncomfortable.

Erin and I had tickets for our option B and C. About 20 min before the doors were to open up some guy sold his stack of tickets for $8. I guess people got start and quit buying them so the people at the end of the line were stuck with a bunch of tickets no one was really buying after a while and when it got wet and windy they just wanted to go home or get comfortable instead of trying to pan handle money in the cold and rain. One of the Y'z Guyz bought the stack. There was probably 25 tickets. They were able to get the tickets they needed for what they wanted. Then they had Erin and I go through and there were 2 ticket for our Plan A item! Can I just tell you I LOVE THE Y'Z GUYZ? And when they got what they needed they didn't sell the rest of the tickets they gave them away. I also gave away my Plan B and C tickets to the folks at the back of the line.

Now it was just a matter of going in, getting the gear and getting home. Sounds easy enough right?

WRONG! When you walk in, there are colored arrows on the floor. If your ticket is blue, you follow the blue arrows, if it's green you follow the green arrows. I asked for the yellow brick road and ended up in the purple line. Sadly enough there was no cheese at the end of the maze either

The purple line was the line for all Computers. Erin was toward the front of the line but came back to stand with me. We were STILL relatively at the front of the line which masqueraded like a carnival ride at Six Flags, Lagoon, Cedar Point or some other amusement park. This is how the line was looking behind me. You can't see much of it because it bends, twists and turns like the snake river.

This was the purple line for the computers. They had some sort of S.L.O.W system going on. I got home about 6:45-ish. The doors opened at 5 so that was being in line almost 2 hours after camping out 11 hours. I didn't really get tired until I got home and fixed a plate of Thanksgiving dinner from the night before. Then I crashed until just before Noon.

My "sista" was calling to tell me her daughter was in labor and they hadn't figured the baby to be born on MY Birthday. In my slumbering I had forgotten it was my birthday! I was born on my cousin Paul Warfield's birthday. (yeah, the one who played in the 1972 Miami Dolphins championship). My Nephew Devan was born on my birthday 15 years ago :)

And yesterday Amari was born on Devan's birthday. I know, my family is calling me greedy and selfish claming all the kids on my day.

For the most part I thoroughly enjoyed myself out there in the Parking Lot of Best Buy. It was a fun experience. Today I'm mostly in bed resting hoping I can run this cold outta me by the end of the weekend and catching up on sleep. But if ever I feel the need to venture into the World of Black Friday door busters, although the best things can't be bought, I'd do it again.



Lynne said...

You are a badmamajama! You waited out there all night long? The last time I waited in line all night was over 20 years ago when I camped out for tickets to see Prince! I also did Black Friday this year (for the first time), and I thought I was something for getting in line at 3:45! It was an experience, and sort of fun with my daughters in tow, but I don't plan to do it again!
Congratulations on the great deals that you scored! Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Jason Randall said...

WOOOO!Exhilaration, thy name is Black Friday!

Anonymous said...

They call it black friday because it is the day of the year responsible for retailers operating in the black (profit). If they're still in the red after black friday... well, they're in trouble.

DeweyOlsen said...

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Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
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I earned some temporary wings!