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At 8:45 PM, I arrived at Toys R Us, which was scheduled to open at 10. I was number 354 or so in line. Some people had been there since 4, I heard. The store was planning on letting in 50 shoppers at a time, spaced a minute or so apart, to avoid mass stampedes and confusion. While waiting in line for the next hour or so, I befriended a mother-daughter duo named Barbara and Jessica. Jessica has a two year old son that she was shopping for and her mother, Barbara, was along for the ride. The laughter we shared and random chatter we enjoyed caused the time in the parking lot to pass so much more quickly.
I have to say, once I made it into the store, Toys R Us was not nearly as chaotic as I thought it would be. During my 10 years of Black Friday early bird shopping, I had never been to that store at opening. Most people were friendly and happy to be out and about. I saw a little bit of a skirmish over the direction of the check-out lines, but that was due to minor disorganization on the store's part and was worked out quickly enough. I grabbed the two things on my list and went on my way.
Next up, Wal-mart. The pit of hell in regards to Black Friday shopping. I arrived at 11:15, found the items I was there for, and staked out a spot near the small stack of Zhu Zhu pets. At $4, they were a great bargain and people were building up a frenzy over whether they would get the colors and numbers they wanted. I saw the best of the best in that store last night. Complete redneck men who got a power trip from being the closest person to the coveted items, their crazy-ass girlfriends and wives who warned fellow shoppers, "You'd better be stayin' outta my way," and a giant black man who proudly announce that he would elbow anyone and even knock them over to get his daughter's prized hot pink Zhu Zhu. Craziness, I tell ya. Send me back to the Mayberry store I normally shop at with little blue-haired ladies who get excited over a blanket. Please.
Was I dumb for performing a massive toy dive in the midst of Walmart Black Shopping chaos? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Absolutely not. I was sore for an hour after that stunt. I could have been the woman in the headlines who died for the love of a hamster. What did I learn? Stay out of trashy Wal-mart stores in which the shoppers have no class (for the most part, I did see some very lovely people there, too.) The funny thing is, I made a stop at the Wal-mart closest to my house about an hour after the store had opened, and almost all the doorbusters were still available. Hmmm... I'm sensing a bit of flock mentality here.
Throughout the course of the early morning, I also had the opportunity to witness a mother calling a bunch of college girls "high-falutin' hos," which sealed the deal in regards to my thoughts about the town in which I live. Lord, help us. The people who grew up here all think that they are better than one another, when we're all just a bunch of dumb-fucks some days. And, you can definitely tell the natives from the transplants. One group has class, while the other... just doesn't. Why bother to act like such a bee-atch? We're all in it for the same reason, so just act peacefully and nobody will get hurt.
Black Friday wasn't all bad, and I did actually have a great time. I ran into a couple of friends in Wal-mart, caught glimpses of others, recognized some people from high school (to which time has not been kind), and had a lovely conversation with an old co-worker. I met new people, shared interesting stories, and laughed in the early morning hours of the day. The good outweighs the bad, but I still don't understand how we can get so caught up in the search for a few good deals, all in the name of Christmas, and after a day of gratefulness. Come on, people, where are your heads?