This year was the first time since Rhiannon and I have been married that we participated in a rather famous American custom. You might think I'm referring to making a turkey and stuffing and traditional Thanksgiving dinner in our house, and you'd kind of be right. We did have our first turkey day in our own house where we were responsible for the food preparation, but we've cooked turkeys before. No big deal. This year, Rhiannon and I participated in Black Friday. We set an alarm for 3:50 am on Friday morning. Stores opened at 4 am, and we had no intention of being in the first mass of people to stream in and run like mad for the electronics section. We were after a couple of hard drives on sale at Target, and I was willing to take my chances that there would still some be available.
There have been times over the past months when we have found ourselves out at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, doing our shopping for food and supplies to get through the upcoming week. I know that we are not alone in this sort of behavior since the parking lot is usually pretty full and the store seems crowded and busy. Those afternoons were nothing compared to Friday morning.
Big TVs, Blu-Ray DVD players, GPS units. Gone. In carts 10 minutes after the store opened. We found the hard drives I was looking for (still plenty left) and wandered the rest of the store, looking at kids toys, vacuums, a few clothes, and then made our way to the checkout. Unlike the weekend trips, the food side of the store was deserted. Apparently nobody was making a post-Thanksgiving food run at 4 in the morning. And, unlike the weekend trips, there were more than enough checkout lines open so we didn't have to wait very long at all.
I might consider doing Black Friday shopping like this in the future. Have one or two items at one or two stores, go there specifically for those things, and go home and back to bed. I saw the mall parking lot later that day and wanted nothing to do with anything involving that many cars and the people who came in them.
We were back in bed by 4:45am, less than an hour after the alarm went off. It could have all been a dream, except for the very real hard drives sitting on my desk and the photo evidence.