Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday, OR Something I Won't Be Doing Next Year

I want to tell y'all about my Black Friday shopping experience.  My mother and I, despite our better judgment, decided to go to Walmart for the Midnight Madness experience.   Hah.  My mom wanted to get one of those Barbie Jeep things for my girls, and it was going to be on sale for $88.00.  You can't beat that, so of course we had to try to get one. 

We arrived at the store at 10:35, and when we walked in the door I knew it had been a bad idea:  there were a gazillion people in there.  No, really, I counted.  It was a gazillion. 

We made our way back to the bike section where the little kid vehicles are usually stocked, only to meet a half dozen other people looking for the same Jeep.  It was nowhere to be found.  My mom and another lady became fast friends, and decided to go look through the store to see if the jeeps were somewhere else.  I waited patiently next to a tattoo-covered couple, a really redneck family (seriously, they had maybe six teeth between the four of them) and one normal-looking couple that made me feel a little bit better. 

Ten minutes later my mom and her new friend returned, and mom had that bull-in-a-china-shop look on her face.  Not good.  They had discovered that there were only THREE of said Jeep at the store, and all three had been "reserved" earlier in the day.  WHAT. THE.  FRICK.  Three?!  THREE?!  I swear, if I knew where old man Sam lived, I would have driven to his house last night, knocked on his front door and punched him in the face. 

So, resigned to the fact that we wouldn't be getting the Jeep, we decided to look for other possible deals we were interested in.  Mom found a few things to get for some people, and I found a few Disney Princess things to get for the girls.  We set up shop and waited for midnight.

Apparently the Walmart employees were told that if they didn't act like shopping Nazis they'd all be fired, and they took it seriously.  If you looked too long at an item, they'd be on you like white on rice and a glass of milk with a paper plate in a snowstorm.  (Man, I love that phrase.)  Twice I saw people get scolded for picking up items to look at them.  At the same time, though, every once in a while we'd see someone walk by with a buggy full of crap, and not a single worker said anything to them.  This ticked off the other shoppers (ie:  me and mom), and a revolt of sorts began rising among us.  Who took the lead?  My mother, of course.

She began encouraging people to just grab what they wanted and put it in their buggies.  What could the workers do?  Nothing!  "What's good for the goose is good for the gander,"  she'd say.  Frankly, the situation was altogether hilarious to me.  My mother - sweet, kind, church choir leader, Nana to my kids - was promoting misbehavior.  Well, I thought it was a great idea, as did many of the people around us, who began sticking items into their buggies.  We were a band of rebels.  The Midnight Madness Rebels, if you will. 

I started daydreaming about how we'd all end up on the news.  They'd sell t-shirts that read "Midnight Madness Rebels Unite" and "Screw You Sam."  I'd be on the Today Show, talking about how our revolt led to reform for Black Friday shopping internationally.  Mom would have to hire security to fight off the angry former Walmart employees who were all fired for failing to keep us crazy shoppers from putting items into our buggies for one measly hour.  We'd end up in history books. 

My little reverie was interrupted by, of course, a Walmart employee repeating for what must have been the hundredth time, "The items are not on sale until midnight.  Please do not put them into buggies."   

Then some invisible signal must have been made, because suddenly - at 11:46 - plastic began flying away from stacks, boxes were being pulled from them and it was utter chaos. 


People were shoving each other, pushing through the crowds, trying to get this item or that.  I was impaled (nearly) by the corner of a rather heavy box when the man behind me, who couldn't see over said box, almost trampled me in his attempt to get a deal. Mom and I, having grabbed the two items we wanted, decided to roam through the store and see what else we could get. 

We made our way over to the clothing section, which happened to be next to the movies that were on sale.  There were more people here than over by the toys, which surprised me.  I remember thinking for a moment how obviously against fire codes this ridiculousness must be, and someone should probably call the fire marshall.  Then I found PJs for the girls for $3.50 and forgot about it.

Twice we saw police rushing through the crowds, I assumed to break up fights since they all had their hands on their holsters.  At one point I was waiting with the buggy in a "safe" area while mom had decided to brave the DVD area, and a lady walked by and attempted to steal something out of our buggy.  I politely said, "Um, excuse me?"

"I need this,"  she replied.

"Well, they're over there," I said, pointing in the general direction.  She gave me a sarcastic look for a second, then changed it to look pitiful.

"But I need it!  I have a special needs child." 

Oh no, you didn't.

"Well, ma'am, I'm sorry you have a special needs child, but they're still over there.  This is mine."

Again, I pointed.

She stared at me for a moment, then huffed and walked off.  I breathed a sigh of relief, becuase I really wasn't in the mood to fist fight a 40-something year-old woman and possibly end up in jail.  No, thank you. 

Finally mom returned with five movies and we were ready to go.  Luckily most of the mele was still going on throughout the rest of the store, so the checkout lines weren't too terribly long.  We checked out and were out of there by 12:45. 

Next year, I'll just shop online.   


  1. Oh my goodness. We don't have Black Friday here...and part of me is glad.That's just chaos.

  2. YAY, you survived! I worked Black Friday 2006 at the Target that ranked third in gross sales that day... I will never participate in Black Friday again, shopper or otherwise. Eeks. Glad you have some prizes to show for your effort =)

  3. You didn't see the two 14 year olds get arrested for shoplifting? It happened right before the madness started when everyone started getting their crap early. They were behind my mom and I around the toothpaste aisle shoving all kinds of stuff into their hoodies. They ran to tale off and one of them fell real hard on the floor and all the crap came out of her jacket! BUSTED!! It was crazy .. We were outta there by 12:10!

  4. oh wow. I've never been at a store on black friday, no thank
    You and your mom are brave!
    Last year someone died at a Walmart on Black Friday. I think he was an employee and was trampled to death when the doors opened.

  5. Woah sounds a bit too scary me, women stealing stuff from your shopping, that's insane!
    it's chaos here in the UK too! I blame America for inventing black friday, it's spreading world wide.

  6. Yikes. I think you described beautifully why i have never gone black friday shopping! They need to come up with black friday online shopping. If they haven't already.... :D


  8. HAHAHA. I have been Black Friday shopping once and it wasn't nearly as bad as yours but I did see two women get into a fight over an Easy Bake oven. But there weren't nearly as many people as you had to encounter!

    P.S. I'm pretty sure old man Sam is dead, so don't waste your time looking for him to punch him in the face. Find his next of kin and go for them.

  9. OMG. Seriously never want to go to Black Friday (never been) just after reading this story. Maybe it's because you went to walmart. I HATE Walmart with a fiery burning passion on any given day, and I can only imagine how terrible it was yesterday! I can't believe that lady trying to steal stuff out of your cart! What a bitch!!

  10. LoL I went to Walmart too, but not until about 1030 am. I refuse to go to that store or Toys R Us on Black Friday. People are way too crazy at those stores. I think I did hit up every other store this year though. Oh yea, I refuse to go to Best Buy too!!

  11. And fistfights when you're over 7 just aren't cute...and will leave you with pains in body parts you didn't even think you had! Glad you made it out in one piece!

  12. I rolled into the local Wally World at around 7 am on Black Friday just to get a look at the after effects...didn't see any bodies or chalk outlines on the floor but place was a wreck and the employees looked as if they had been through a war!!!

  13. I went shopping around 9AM and most of the crazies were already gone. LOL.

  14. ugh walmart was the worst!
    it opened up at 4 in MA, but the larger items (all the tv sales, and Im sure the jeeps) weren't on sale till 5.. as well as checkout did not open till five.
    We had a decent system.. my mom and my sister each had a carriage, and me being the smallest and most nimble would hunt down things that they told me to in crowded spaces and I retrieved them.
    but honestly, people are crazy at walmart... I much rather go to target or kholes that early in the morning

  15. I can't believe this actually happens, we don't have this in the UK! I've seen videos of people going mad over stuff on Black Friday, so bizarre.

  16. I can't BELIEVE the woman who tried to steal something out of your cart! I give you tons of credit, because I could not deal with crazy people in large quantities like that... hence, no Black Friday shopping for me. Looks like you got some amazinggg deals though, hooray!