Monday, November 26, 2012

Part of a long-winded story about stuff.

We have never, in our marriage, purchased a new computer or television, or furniture, or large appliance.  We're a frugal sort.  And we're not exactly rolling in dough, as it were, so we don't really have a lot of opportunity to purchase big ticket items, brand new, off the proverbial or literal show room floor.  But even if we could, there is, i find, an awful lot of personal satisfaction in the practice of furnishing a home and a life, with items that you don't go into debt for, or drop  massive clams for.

I like spending my funds on things that are not materialistic.  I like the lessons i've learned about where true riches lie.  And thus i'm a little embarrassed to tell you the story i have here.  But it's just so much fun, that i want to share.  And also, as we will likely never do this again, i would like to write it down for posterity.

Background aside, this year, we made the hyper-planned decision to take advantage of black friday sales in order to make some first time ever, purchases of new electronics, with large price tags - hopefully smaller, large price tags, by means of standing in lines in the middle of the night, with lots of other bargain hunters.

It's Thursday, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.  We've enjoyed a lovely day with family, watched the Texans beat out the Lyons, fair and square, no matter how questionable my northern relatives think that one ref call was, and we've taken our leave of the festivities.  We take a very short breather, change our clothes, and make our way to the "big city," in search of deals, big deals, on big items.

The target:  electronics - laptops and TVs to be exact.  We have our funds scattered about our persons and hidden under our clothes, so as not to be robbed by other crazed bargain hunters, and we can't we're hoping not to be stopped.

We have familiarized our minds with the deals in question at a couple of different stores, and we do a drive-by, scoping out the competition.  Best Buy's line, at about 7pm has crossed in front of the Pier One next door, and has reached the corner of the building, but not yet turned the corner.  So we tread on to the dreaded Wal-mart.

It quickly becomes more than clear that any deals to be had at Wal-mart had been claimed for hours.  Also, the dirty looks were somewhat unpleasant.

A couple more drive by's and we're back to Best Buy, to join the throng of line waiters.  By this time the line has reached the back of the same building, and turns the corner where we joint it, sitting on the curb with our cell phones plugged into our portable car charger, 'cause we're cool like that.

The time is roughly 8:00 p.m.  The store opens at midnight.

In about the next 15 minutes, we estimate the line doubles in length, and we are grateful for our spot.

Time passes.  We make small talk with our interline neighbors.  We post pictures on facebook.  We surf the web.  We start getting hungry.  My super duper husband kind, decides to go for burgers, and asks me for the keys.

And you know what?

No keys.

Panic ensues.

Flashbacks to November 1, 1999, and the day i flushed our keys down the toilet, come streaming back.  My husband suggests we buy nothing.  Opening the car will cost too much.

With a slightly clearer mind, i suggest taking advantage of the generosity of friendship and finding a way home to get our spare key.  I imagine i can do this before midnight.

My generous friend appears and brings wisdom.  She brings the message of her equally wise husband:  "why don't you call roadside assistance?"  And we are thankful.  Those silly cell phones...they come with roadside assistance.  Roadside assistance will show up for all kinds of things, including bean heads who leave their keys in the front seat of the car.

Roadside assistance is contacted.  Panic subsides.

Bad hot dogs are purchased from Target.  Hunger also subsides.

The lock smith is to arrive by 10:07 p.m., approximately.  I wait by the car.  No lock smith.

About 10:20-ish, i notice the line is changing shape and return to the line with my wonderful charger carrying husband.

There is some noise in the line about tickets being handed out.  We're not sure what this means, but we hope we get some.  Serious looking people dressed in best-buy-blue walk down the line, carrying big manilla envelopes and calling out specific items, like old time newspaper salesman, calling out the headlines in the town square.


Nobody is standing in line for that one.

The caller looks a little rejected.

Eventually, folks get restless.  They're not hearing their products yelled out.  Where are OUR tickets?  WE want tickets!  Our little bargain-hunting hearts are a flutter.  What's going on?????

This is very exciting!  I'm kind of nervous.  What's going to happen??

Eventually, a slower-moving, friendlier-looking, lady i blue makes her way down the line hocking her blue ray player (which no one was standing in line for), and she is available for questioning.  At this point i'm finally getting a clue.  I'm sort of figuring out what's going on here.

As it turns out, the t.v. my husband is in line for is very popular.  And the supply super duper scarce.  No more tickets are available.

My laptop computer, however, isn't even on the list.  Turns out that's a good sign.  It means there is enough supply that tickets are not needed to prevent customer-to-customer trampling.  This is good news for me.  I picked out my computer a month ago.  And even if they run out, i can buy mine online.  But i really want it in my hand today, so i stand in line.  My hubby's heart begins to flutter again, however.  But he'll stay in line and see what happens.

I contact roadside assistance again.  They've never heard of me.  We start over.

The time is 11:00 p.m.

 Those who were in line for one thing and are discouraged by the lack of tickets begin to give up. The line continues to shrink. O.k. with us.

That charger is getting heavy.  The girl in line behind us needs a charge.  We let her carry it.

The line keeps shrinking.

Lock smith arrives.  Better communications this time.  I watch him demonstrate how to break into a car without damaging it.  He tells me about the black friday brawl that broke out on 249.  Makes me glad i don't live in Houston and that i'm not at Walmart.  Lock smith lets me in my car.  I put away the heavy charger.  I sign my life away and assume AT&T will pay for it.  Thanks lock smith!  Thanks roadside assistance!

The time is 11:45 p.m.  The line continues to shrink.  Or just compact, maybe.  And maybe it seems to shrink because the tent people decided to pack up.  At any rate, we've turned the corner at the front of the store block....and then realized/remembered that the store we're so close to is Pier One.  There are a LOT of people still between us and Best Buy.

This is exciting.  Everyone is a buzz.

And someone behind us is a Detroit fan and upset about the game today.  We're still happy we won.

The line begins to move.

The time is 11:55 p.m.

Quickly, we form a plan.  I am to go get my lap top.  Hubby is to pick out a t.v.

O.k., it's a simple plan.  But a plan.

This is very exciting.

Our portion of the line makes it in the store.

The time is like 12:02 or something.

Game on.

This is very exciting.

I bee line to the laptops (and i mean that literally, have you ever seen a bee fly toward a flower?)

My husband gets aggressive with t.v.'s.

I have spent weeks or days (can't remember) memorizing the identifying details of my specific chosen computer.  I find the display, identify said details, shove the representative out of the way who is blocking my   access to "my" computer, and get him to give me one.

I go find hubby.

He has a t.v.

I tell him, "hey, look at these over here."  He says, "hey, what's this?"

Hubby puts down t.v. and picks up better deal on bigger t.v.

The guy next to him picks up the last one.

I dare anyone to try to take this t.v.

Just sayin'.

As it turns out, that t.v. is heavy.

We forget all about our relative giftage and go to check out.

We're very fast.

That t.v. is heavy.  I find an abandoned buggy, call out a warning to any nearby claimant of said buggy, dump the contents, and abscond.

This is very exciting!

After check out and loading, we remember relative giftage.

New plan.  I'll load the car.  He'll look for gift.

This is very exciting.

Suddenly the lines are very long.  We'll get giftage later.

We're headed home.

The time is 12:40 a.m.

This is so not the end of the adventure.


  1. I love it! I have only done the Black Friday thing one time, last year, and that was to simply check on my boys that my dad had sent out to do his dirty work (shopping). I got out of there as fast as I could. Ha!

    Glad you all got your goodies, Beth. I'm looking forward to reading what happened next. =)



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