I have only done Black Friday once. I was in my 20’s and I went out to visit my family in California for the holidays. We decided to do Walmart since we had a lot of kids in the family. It was the perfect time to buy a bunch of presents for Christmas, for cheap. This was also back before Walmart was a 24 hour store. So on Thanksgiving night we would go through all the ads and circle the things we wanted. Then we would assign a person to each department. That person would be responsible for all items in that section. Each person would have a cart of their own to fill. And when we all got together at the end we would combine everything.
We arrived at Walmart around 5am. We all had mugs of coffee or hot cocoa (depending on the person) and we all had folding chairs to sit in. We camped out. The whole family. We would sit around playing cards, telling jokes and attempting to do anything to stay warm. Finally the doors would open and we would all hustle in…each person going to their designated areas. It was like a mad house! Everyone was running through aisles and grabbing handfuls of everything. People were fighting over things. There was pushing and shoving. People would even steal your stuff out of your cart if you weren’t looking. It was ridiculous. Then the lines to get out of the store were hours long. We spent most of our time in lines. After it was over we all went home and took naps. It was so draining. It was a fun family experience….but its also something that I said I would never do again. There wasn’t that much of a savings to make yourself crazy like that.
Well I apparently changed my mind and thought I would give it another try this year. I thought to myself… “It wont be as bad as last time. The stores are 24 hours. The ads and articles I read said they will have wristbands so there wont be lines…so why not.” I saw a bunch of stuff that I wanted to get. There was a cheap tv for our bedroom. There was a beach cruiser bike for me. There was a cheap laptop computer (so I don’t have to borrow my hubby’s). All things I want but didn’t “need”. Well at least according to my hubby they are all things I don’t need. But in my eyes these are all things that I want…therefore I need them.
Well I didn’t prepare accordingly. The TV was on special from 6-7pm. It was a 1 hour guarantee…which meant that I had to be in the line for the product by 7pm and I get it (no matter what). Well….my late butt left the house at 630. In my head it was all timed out correctly. (Of course I didn’t account for lines)…so this gave me 15 minutes to get there. 5 minutes to park. And 10 walk to the line I needed to be in….getting me there 5 minutes before 7pm. Well I was wrong about just being able to walk into the store to get in the line I needed. I arrived to Walmart at 645…we parked….and we get to the front doors and they tell us that there is a 20 minute wait just to get in the store. They are at capacity. Well CRAP! That will get me in the store late. I get in the store and arrive to the line at 705pm. 5 minutes too late. So no tv for me. (sad face) Then I go to look for the bike…and all gone. Then I go to look at the 8pm lines and they are weaving between aisles. And then I look at the pallet and they only have so many laptops…which tells me that I will be waiting in line for an hour and they will be sold out by the time I get to the front of the line. So I get there….and no tv, no bike, no laptop…and a crowd of people. Great! What a waste of time.
And since I wasted my time going to the store in the first place….I figured that I might as well look for little toys and electronics that were going on sale at 8pm and see what I want to grab. I walk around looking for stuff and all of the bundles have a small sign on them that says “Please don’t touch until 8pm.” Then you look at the bundle and ½ of the items are missing. Great! People are taking stuff before they are even on sale.
And to top that off…I am walking through the store with my 4 week old baby. She is completely unhappy. She is screaming at the top of her lungs. Totally overwhelmed. I take her into the bathroom and feed her. She is eating but I can tell that she is refusing to go to sleep. Too much action and too many bright lights. And to top it off….I come out of the bathroom and my mom took the cart with the carseat and blanket. I take out my phone to call her to see where she is and a guy puts a tv down right in front of me. The size I need and the sale that I need. It wasn’t the cheapest tv on sale but the 2nd cheapest tv on sale….it must be fate. It just fell in my lap. So I finally call her and ask her where she is and she says:
Me: Where are you?
Mom: Im over by tires.
Me: I need you over here by grocery.
Mom: where is that?
Me: the opposite of where you are?
Mom: I cant go to you. I am standing in line to get a tablet. OH….hahahahaha……wow look at that…..
Me: What are you talking about????????? Im not by you so I cant see anything! Uhhhhhhh!!!!!!
And there I am in the middle of the store with a screaming 4 week old baby and a big 32” TV. What am I going to do now??
So I drag the tv over to the clothes section where no one is…and I sit on the floor. I try to console my baby but its not working. I finally decide to drag the big ass tv over to tires. I get about ½ way there and I pass by a couple of cops and employees. They look at me and say….
Cop # 1: oh can I help you carry the baby?
All of them: haha heehee…she is so cute…how old….
Cop # 2: hey you….help this poor girl by carrying the tv to wherever she is going!
So finally we get over to where my mom is and she still has another 30-40 minutes of waiting in line. Mind you…I still have a crying baby. So I stand there apologizing to the people around me. 30 minutes go by and she finally stops crying and we get our tablets and we get to go home. Yay!!!! Home!!!!
Then the next day I start looking online and everything that I bought at the store was online AND CHEAPER than what I paid at the store. So I pack up the car with all the crap that I just bought and I returned it all and I bought everything online. Now I know next time. I am not going to the stores to do Black Thursday or Black Friday or Black Weekend…..I will just shop online.