Well, I knew it was coming, but how does one prepare for a pre-dawn shopping excursion? Michelle had made up her mind that she loves doing the-day-after-Thanksgiving-thing and there was no stopping this determined young woman!
I was awakened shortly after 2:30 am to the smell of Cotton Candy Cologne tickling my nose and the buzz of the hair dryer running. I opened my eyes and told myself there was no way I was getting up *quite* yet! Mark and Michelle had agreed that 4 am was the magical time that we would slip out into total darkness and face the crazed world of glossy-eyed , cart-pushing bargain shoppers.
To her credit, the dear young woman had made up a shopping list as she slowly worked her way through the nearly endless pile of ads in yesterday’s newspaper. She carefully worked, writing down the “giftee”, the item she wanted to purchase for them, the name of the store, and how high of a priority it was. I have never seen such organization and was shocked as she methodically worked her way along. Unfortunately, when I am faced with a stack of “possibilities”, (or, fill-in-the-blanks) I nearly seize with fear….it seems too overwhelming a task to properly answer all of the questions. Perhaps this is a throwback to my school days, when I would spend far too long on multiple choice questions, reasoning that every answer given “could” work, given the right circumstances!
I finally crawled out of my warm bed at 3 am, wondering about our collective sanity. Michelle worked on getting her dad up and ready, then went into Ben’s room. She plugged in his guitar amplifier, then strummed a few chords that shook the house and would have caused the dead to arise! Ben grumbled and complained, then arose and got himself ready for our trip to the mall.
We finally left at about 4:30…only half an hour late…not bad for our family! We arrived at the mall shortly after 5, and it was amazing to see many other folks who need to have their heads examined! The steady stream of headlights was a telling sign of things to come.
This was Michelle’s trip and Ben was her companion on the mission. We dropped them off at Sears. Michelle assured us she would be back out by 6, and she was true to her word. She did divulge one little secret…she toldBen to stand in the checkout line as she scrambled about seeking and grabbing up the treasures she had so carefully listed.
The next stop was Target. We arrived there at 5:56. As we drove up to the store, we gasped simultaneously! The line awaiting the 6 o’clock opening was so long, it snaked around the plaza. Michelle, being a wise and smart shopper, changed her course of action, requesting Mark drop her and Ben off at JC Penney’s instead. As soon as they were inside the store, we relaxed with the Scottie boys. After a short time, the kids returned to the truck, shopping bags in hand.
We went back to Target, and Michelle and Ben rushed in to do some more shopping. Michelle requested that I accompany her on this adventure, so I did. I never knew Target held so many people at one time. My best guess was that over half of the shoppers were now standing in line, waiting to be checked out! Michelle commanded me to get into line right away, but I must admit that I lollygagged, spending maybe five minutes looking at dog coats. By the time I went to stand in the line, it snaked to the back of the store, across half of the back of the store, and up to nearly the front of the store. I felt a feeling of hopelessness overcome me as I reluctantly took my place.
I was in that line for 45 minutes. Yes, I am loyal and faithful. To a fault! After reaching the cashiering area, I decided Michelle was not coming, so I returned to the truck. Michelle was not there. I sat for a few minutes, then Ben came out. He said he wasn’t sure where Michelle was, so I went back inside the store. Michelle spotted us as she was heading to the exit doors!
We had one more stop on Michelle’s list so we dropped the kids off and made our way out of the mall area to a plaza across the road. Mark had some items that needed to be returned at Circuit City, so we went in for a bit. While we were there, I wanted to see if they had a Nikon D-300. As I picked it up in my hands, I was overwhelmed with awe! What a beauty of a camera! Mark looked at it and said it was ridiculously big for me. He went on to “complain” that I rarely use my D-80. EGADS! Where has this man been sleeping? I ALWAYS use my Nikon AND I have not complained about its bulk, although Mark has, numerous times! Argh!
We went back to the mall and sat waiting for the kids until about 9:30. When Mark asked Michelle where the next stop was, she said “Home”! We actually went to Canandaigua, instead. We stopped by Wegman’s to pick up a few groceries, mailed some letters at the post office, then went to Lowe’s to get some rock salt for the driveway. Ben and I went into WalMart quickly, as Ben wanted to look for something.
Finally, we were on our way home, and it felt good to arrive safely back at our somewhat chilly house. I promptly made a fire in the stove and settled in for some relaxation!
We asked Michelle about her shopping and she told us she had gotten all of the items on her list! Mark and I smiled at one another, knowing that this little “sacrifice” was one of the highlights of Michelle’s year, and one of the memories that will stay with her! I’m not sure I could have withstood the irritable shoppers and long lines, but the kids weathered the whole Black Friday “thing” quite well!