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

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mission: Accomplished - Part One

Here are some excerpts from the top secret mission documentation for my covert Black Friday shopping extravaganza.

Operation:  Black Friday.

Mission:  Obtain as many Christmas gifts and/or household goods at the lowest cost in under 17 hours (because that's the length of an Ironman Triathlon).

        Terrain: suburban jungle with some WT ghetto strip malls thrown in for fun.

            1. Many individual soldiers, but several small squads as well. Most squads appear to be females in a shared family unit.  All are armed with cell phones and seem capable of calling for backup if needed.
            2. Retail store fronts offering merchandise at a bargain.  Some bargains are imagined.

        Weapons:  Mastercard, Debit, Cash, and The Clipboard.

Execution: This is where I will give you an informal report of the mission because since you are reading my blog that brings you into the inner circle of trust.  Don't let it go to your head.  (Also, several *boss* items will be omitted on the basis that the future recipients of said items read this blog.)

If you haven't read my other post on Black Friday you can check it out here.  The planning for Operation: Black Friday took about three weeks.  When I left the house on Thanksgiving evening around 2200 hours (10:00 - ish), I was all ready.

This is my reenactment of Black Friday.  Essentials include:  easy on/easy off clothing, shoes that are both supportive and slip on, layers because outside is cold and inside is hot, my big clear bag, and The Clipboard.*

 *The Clipboard is the most important part of Black Friday planning and execution.  The Clipboard is Command Central.  Within The Clipboard lists everyone's sizes,  my itinerary, and the Master List by store in order of visitation (based upon the itinerary).  Within the store list there is a shopping list for each store.  Mind blown yet?  This is just like Inception but with lists.  Just in case you thought The Clipboard couldn't be more vital, The Clipboard also holds coupons.

FYI - I got it for much cheaper.  Cha-ching.
Also, you owe it to yourself to click on that link.
For real.

I went to Meijer first, because they had a vacuum with on-board tools.  And?  It is yellow.  They were also offering buy one, get one for $1 winter boots, mittens, and shoes for the kiddos, so I took full advantage of that offer.  (I even finagled a way to get every second most expensive pair for $1 instead of the three cheapest for $1, so yeah, I'm a rockstar.)  Champion running gear was 50% off, so I picked up a cheap coat for winter running. I also bought lame things like $.99 Post cereal, $.99 fruit snacks, and buy one/get one free Ibuprofen.

Next I braved Target.  I missed most of the doorbusters because $4 pj's clear out fast, and I was there about an hour and a half after the opening.  I missed out on the one doorbuster toy I wanted (a slight setback but I went with a snap decision Plan B and it worked out okay), but did manage to score 600 thread count sheets, a folding chair for Hosanna's desk, $5 sleep pants (also for Hosanna), and a few odds and ends.  I think the best thing that happened at Target was that I convinced a woman she wanted to be my friend.  It only took about 45 minutes of initiating and engaging her in conversation, but since she was held captive by the checkout line in front of us, I knew if I persevered I would be met with success.

I conveniently left Target at 11:56 p.m. (Conveniently?  Who am I kidding, I planned that mess.) Kohls opened at midnight and was just across the street.  I only had a five minute wait before the dam broke and the flood streamed in doors opened and they let a calm group of cheerful ladies to meander to their desired sales item.  (Ha-ha that is a joke because these woman can run and they will cut you for those boots.)
Shoes, not slippers.  $11.99

Kohls was just as busy as I predicted, but it wasn't really chaotic, unless you were shopping for boots.  The only thing I needed in the shoe department was an absolutely adorable pair of mocs for one of my kiddos.  (If you spill the beans I will mess you up Suburban Mom style.)(Meaning I will spit in your Starbucks and shun you at playgroup.)

The set we got is still in the trunk of
my minivan, so here is a picture of
what it almost looks like.  The colors
are the same, but the design is a bit
more contemporary.

Hosanna almost exclusively wears Kohls pants because they are cut a little fuller in the tush and hips - she's totally her mama's daughter that way - and I picked up a few pairs for $6 each.  I got pj's, a few cold weather running shirts for $6, and a lot of super secret gifts.  Awesome super secret gifts. (My biggest Kohl's score didn't occur until the week after Black Friday.  Brian and I needed new bedding.  We got a $200 bedding set: a comforter, two pillow shams, a bed skirt, and three decorative pillows, for a final price of $37.00.  It was 55% off, and then I used Kohls cash and a 25% off coupon.  D*mn, it feels good to be a gangsta.)

I stood in line at Kohl's for around an hour, but thankfully so did my new friend Erin and her mom, who became my Kohl's best friends.  We held each other's spots while we made impulse grabs, and Erin recommended I go to Justice for some of my girlies stocking wants.  Genius.  Justice wasn't on my master list, but since it was so close I thought I could squeeze it in.  I'm glad I did because Hosanna wanted a "fancy pen" and Eve wanted hipster "fake glasses", and I scored both of those at 40% off.

Around 2:15 a.m. I was on to Toys R Us.  This was strategic.  Toys R Us is almost as crazy as Walmart, so I only go way after the psycho doorbusters shoppers are done.  I knew I was taking a chance that everything would be gone, but I value my life more than a $15 Animal Planet Farm. Unfortunately, everything was totally gone.  The ah-may-zing store manager agreed to a doorbuster price on a Lego set that wasn't a doorbuster, so yeah, I was feeling pretty BA until I went to pay and my credit card got rejected.

WHAAA?  This was Black Friday.  This was the night I was to get all my shopping done.  And?  We never use our credit card.  Like, ever.  It was on the tip of my tongue to explain this to the cashier in a musical number to the tune of the hit Taylor Swift song where I sang, "We-ee never, ever, ever, ever use our credit card," just to drive the point home that there was no way possible we were over out limit, but I thought it might work more to my advantage if I left my (almost) purchases with the manager and figured out my card nonsense by myself*.

*I did what anyone with no sleep would do:  I called the hubs at home repeatedly until the phone woke him up.  (This part of the story is called: How Brian is a Magical Prince Who Saves Christmas for Everyone.)  Brian's first thought when I called was,"Please don't tell me she spent $12,000 by 3:00 a.m."  (Ahem - it's probably not that hard.)  In my defense, I totally didn't spend $12,000; not even a fraction of that. (Well, if we are being technical, I did spend a fraction of that.)(It was a tiny fraction and I was just using a figure of speech.)

Brian is a super hero who did not complain that I woke him up but calmly checked his email and found an alert from the credit card company.  They were a titsch concerned that someone stole our card and was making a few purchases because there was way more activity than normal.  We got it cleared and I went back inside Toys R Us feeling vindicated and a little sad that I didn't sing Taylor Swift when I had the chance.  But?  I did get this for Esther:  a Play-doh Spin and Style Cinderella.  You can design her dress out of Play-doh. Best. Mom. Ever.

At this point of Operation: Black Friday I took a breakfast break, and so here I will end part one.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's conclusion of the Black Friday recap.  I will leave you will the mental image of me blissfully snarfing french toast at an all-night diner while reading People magazine.  It's a mental image because I didn't take my camera shopping with me, and therefore can not present you with an actual image of me blissfully snarfing. But it probably looked something like this:

"Mmmmm, French Toast."


  1. My lanta, you're the master. I'm taking notes!

    1. Since someone else has said it, I'm claiming the title. "Master of Black Friday shopping." I think I'll get a badge for next year.


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