Black Friday is quickly becoming a holiday on its own. I look forward to it every year. This year was like the Superbowl of shopping days. It started with Midnight Madness at the Leesburg Outlets with 10,000 people going for the big deals at Pottery Barn, Coach, Williams Sonoma, and dozens of other outlet stores. We got some great stuff and left around 2am. This was only the first leg of our marathon shopping trip. We got to Kohl's at 2:30am to wait until their 4am opening. Robyn and I coached our mom on the rules of combat shopping. We all had our assignments and when the doors opened up, we went running. I sprinted to electronic gadgets and found my assignment, the ONLY one they had on display! I swiped and ran to help with my shopping buddies. We were out in 15 minutes. Great timing, on to Toys R Us and their 5am opening. We were not first in line, but not too far from the front. But as the doors opened and we were about to go in, some riff raff started to cut in front of us. Robyn yelled out, "The guy in the white jacket is cutting in front of everyone!!" This caused a riot. Everyone started chanting and yelling at this guy, calling him a jackass among other names. But he got his as he was blocked in a cart traffic jam and we raced ahead. We got our toys in record time and raced off to Wal Mart. They were already open so we didn't have to wait in line. Unfortunately by the time we got there, the lines were backing up at the cashiers. Robyn's expertise saved the day and we were in and out because we checked out at the Sporting Goods counter. No one was in line there. We were then off to Target and we made it before their opening so more lines to wait in. I couldn't believe it, we got everything on our lists and then some. After a few more stores in the mall, I was beat! I could barely keep my eyes open and my legs moving to get to the car. When we got home at 8:30am, I went up to bed and I remember as I sank into the soft pillow, right before I fell asleep, "Nothing has ever felt as good as this moment, right here, right now."
I never thought I'd be one of those people who would wait outside of a store in the wee hours and shove my way through just to save some money. But let me tell you. Once you experience the rush of running through a store like you're on "Supermarket Sweep" and the victory of finding the only item stocked in the store that you were there to get. All I learned about combat shopping I learned from my sister. Here are some basic rules that I've picked up along the way.
- Go in a group. Divide and conquer! You have better luck if you split up and tackle different departments at once.
- Be the first! Check your ads and if you find a deal you just have to have, you must be one of the first in line. When the ad says, "limited supplies," they could very well mean, "only one in the store!"
- Leave all sense of propriety at the door. Do not be afraid to run at top speed to get your items. If you bump something to the floor (clothing, display box, old ladies, etc.), just don't look back. Keep your eye on the goal.
- If you see there is trouble ahead (cart jam, rude people standing in the way, electronics department) go through the clothing. Avoid the crowded paths.
- Have fun! Tell your victory stories and have a good laugh over the faux pas. Celebrate by going out to breakfast, if you are up to it. If you don't have fun, then you might as well stay in bed and sleep. Black Friday is not for wimps or grumps!