Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

They're Not Out Yet

Black Friday Ads, I mean.  I know because I've already checked.  Monday was October first after all.

I'm not completely crazy.  I don't camp out or anything yet.  I'm not sure if this has to do with my last desperate grips onto the thin line that separates the normal shoppers from the crazies, or if it's because I just hate camping. Or maybe it's because I live in Michigan, and the past two years have yielded an average temperature of 37 degrees at 3 a.m., which is hella cold when you are standing around waiting to bum rush a store opening.

For me, Black Friday starts now.  With daydreams and huge expectations.

This is the time to prepare.  I go through my house and see if we have any big ticket needs.  So far I have a vacuum cleaner on the list.  (Enter "because ours sucks" joke here.)  I would also like some new bedding.  Also, a Kanye West tweet cross-stitch, but honestly, if Target offers them in a $5 bin on Black Friday, it will probably lose it's appeal.

Once I have my needs/wants list (although the reality of Black Friday means it's more of a WANTS/needs list) I scour the internets for all the leaked sales ads.  I make a spreadsheet that reveals my hidden CEO, categorizing items, prices, store hours and locations.  Once all my information is confirmed (Wednesday evening) I make a detailed schedule for the next night's shopping extravaganza.

I have a process for Black Friday.  I get in line about an hour and a half before opening at whatever store has my most-needed items.  If I'm really lucky I stand near a talker; that makes the hour fly by.  If I don't stand near a talker I simply drop one-liners as frequently as possible until I seduce a talker from the people that are in close proximity to politely banter with me out of pity.

When the stores open I work my plan.  Meaning probably Ludacris sings "Get Out the Way" when I'm darting through the store.

There are some practical helps that are tradition for me.  The first is bringing my own GIANT bag for shopping.  I get a lot of  compliments on my clear plastic zippered bag.  It's about 3ft x 2ft x 18in and holds a ton of stuff.  This is handy when there are no carts to be found or when you are at Kohls and you need whatever help with agility you can get because:

1. There is so much merchandise it creates a rat maze in the store.  With a giant shopping bag (and enough training) you can leap over displays.
2. People, people everywhere.  And they don't enjoy being hit with your cart.  Twice.  In 30 seconds. (I did apologize profusely.  And compliment her pajamas. And offer to buy her coffee.  So don't worry, we're good.)

Also, the giant clear bag holds way more merchandise than a cart, anyway.  And nobody confuses it with their own.  You can slide it across the floor when you are waiting for an hour to pay.  And when you leave, everybody entering the store can exclaim over your hot buys and mega bargains in jealousy.  No, you're right, the bag is brilliant.  This ain't my first rodeo, girlfriend.  I came prepared. Take notes, sister.  Also, while you chose to sleep in that extra hour - I bought all the $5 scarves.  I hope you're still okay with that decision.

No mercy.  I'm ruthless on Black Friday.

My second practical help is scheduled breaks.  I get a fancy coffee around 4:30 a.m.  Then, around 6:30 a.m. I always buy a gossip magazine and go to a tiny diner near my home where the waitresses call me "Hon" and it's not patronizing at all. It makes me feel mothered and cared for and it's wonderful.  I order a deliciously diner-like omelette with hash browns and a large diet coke because I'm an American, and we have the freedom to drink pop* for breakfast.  This is where I literally put my feet up (on the seat across the booth) and chill out for a few minutes.

(And maybe last year I took an extra break when I went to see Breaking Dawn Part One at 9:00 a.m., just so I could get a second wind.  It totally worked.)

My second wind is much less frenzied than the first wind, primarily because all of the other crazy people have gone home to sleep and the stores are less crowded I have purchased what was on my list and now I can enjoy some window shopping for fun.

The step after the GIANT clear plastic bag.
In conclusion, Black Friday is rad and you are welcome that the presidential debates were last night and I'm not posting one. darn. thing. about them.  (Instead, like a true media mogul I am using my powers to divert your attention from the importance of an upcoming election to choose a leader for our country to remind you of shopping.)

*soda for all you weirdos


  1. OMG, Kelly, I LOVE YOU!!! You are my Black Friday soulmate--I do so many of the same things you do!! I love standing in line at o'dark hundred and make it a game to see how many people I can get to talk to me. ;) We should go Black Friday shopping together. We would CONQUER THE WORLD!!!

    1. I really don't think the world is ready for a Kelly and Stephanie tag-team Black Friday event ;-) Although, it might be a good first step towards complete World DOMINATION!!! lol


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