Friday, November 27, 2009

The price you have to pay to be "cheap"

A week ago I lost a close friend. My friend had let nasty visitors in to my home and the consquences for that action caused the demise of our relationship. All connections have been severed and I can't see any future with this friend. Like yesterday's garbage, this friend was once valued and now I am bothered by the amount of trust that I have lost by friend's actions. So, like many before me, I have decided to move on.

This brings me to my decision to research and reach out to find a most trustworthy friend. Checking online ads for a week, I found a new possibility for a worthy replacement. Convincing my husband to join me on my quest didn't take much energy, because he wanted to keep his own work friend to himself and not share with me. (Work friends are best kept to the actual employee, by the way.)

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, as were the afternoon naps. My alarm went off at eleven in the evening and after a quick shower, my husband and I armed ourselves for our quest. Bottled water, book, jackets and wheelchair were packed into our chilly car. Driving by the deserted establishments in town, through the blinking caution lights, and checking out the full parking lots at the bars, brought us to the conclusion that age had crept up on us. This side of Victoria was foreign to us. We were amazed that there were people lined up in the chilly air outside of Best Buy waiting to start their shopping experience. "What silly people," we both chuckled.

Pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot, the excitement started to build within both of us. We had scoped out the internet map and had heard all of the rumors of how the bargains were being handled. The doorgreeter didn't know where or how to get the "ticket" needed for the high priced bargains, although he asked and we received about three different answers. We didn't have anything to fear, as we were first in line and knew that we were in like flint. (You know that expression, "When you make plans, God laughs"? Well, there was a real chuckle-fest going on in Heaven this morning about us.) Waiting up front, from before midnight until three, got us chased from the front. We continued casually walking around the store until we spotted the Magic balloons.

What are Magic balloons, you might ask? Well, they are large balloons printed with the waiting line you need for your desired product. Finally the two men anchor them where the lines are to start. My husband pushed me around the store and we tracked the two men who seemed not to have a system where anything was going (actually they were following their map, which was different than the online version.) We were leading the parade around the store and people kept dropping out of line when the balloon had the letter they were waiting to see. Yellow ropes kept people in the line and in order.

Finally, our special friend's letter appeared and we found ourselves twentith in line, rather than first. So for the next endless waiting hours we stood (well, I sat) and listened to everyone around us talking to friends on the phone or in person. I understand having a friend with you during a quest, but who calls others after two in the morning? Those early morning calls mean that there are emergencies, to me. Around us though, we heard who was drunk, who wouldn't come to hold a spot in line, who shouldn't "mess" with someone again, and who didn't know how to communicate without peppering their converstaion with vulgar, nasy words. Throughout this whole ordeal, my husband remained very patient. He would take strolls around the store to keep his legs circulating and his mind away for the low-life humanity who was in line with us. It was hot, stuffy and tiring waiting for the machine of consumerism's wheels to turn.

At last, the tickets were passed out by an employee. I felt a little like Charlie at the Chocolate Factory and the ticket in my hand actually glowed like Charlie's glorious gold ticket. Then the Wal-Mart employee came through with the scan bars for the purchase. By the time that the line started to move, I didn't know how the scanner could read the sweat-soaked slips of paper, so I smoothed out the slips and waited.

Right before we reached the checkout, I witnessed the final proof of how low some people can go. The woman in front of us offered to sell her bar scan for forty dollars more than the scan bar was worth. Luckily, the young lady, who was interested in acquiring a lap-top, stiffened her backbone and told her, "No, thank you." The woman, with the prized ticket, got out of line. She probably found someone in the back of the line willing to give her forty dollars more than the bar scan.

Finally, it was our turn to pay and we were handed my new best friend. She is slim, black and very efficient. We have had stricter protection installed, so she can't invite any worms or Trojans to visit my home. Thanks to her, I can now leave my husband's work friends alone and I don't have to share my friend with other people at the library or coffee house. I love my friend and she makes my world so much more easier to access.

Would I go through another sleepless night and wait in line with obnoxious people again? Well, not to buy anything, but you know I still have sleepless nights and obnoxious people to endure. After all, what are the holidays with relatives without sleepless nights (sofa couches, lumpy guest beds,etc.) and obnoxious people? (I don't need to give you examples, we all can fill in this catergory.)


  1. Black Friday sigh...

    After stuffing myself with the thanksgiving meal and visiting with family, I slept good and had no thought of shopping.

    Today, I had to work just a little bit then it was college football time ( good effort Auburn, you almost beat Alabama.)

    Anyway, yes there where some great bargains to be found by shopping early.... but nah, I was not going to get up early to go spend money.

    Kudos to you, for braving the crowds though.

  2. I'm with legion. My brother left at 4:00 .M. to shop, my D-I-L went out at 3:00, and my kid in Austin went about 6:00. I sure hope they had a great time. As for me, I was snoozing away.

    Yeah, you're brave. But you also had a big ticket item. I might have considered it if I didn't have COSTCO. $180.00 Flip video camera, priced at $129.99 and I have a $30.00 coupon...good enough for me. I'll pick that up in the morning on my way out of town.

    If VEDC was worth anything--they'd get me a COSTCO in Victoria!

  3. My hubby was telling me of his co-workers wife who went to Wal-Mart this morning/last night. She was first in line for the DS games. When the hour struck 5 & they opened the cage, she got all she wanted & then people started ripping them from her hands. People suck, that's why I don't shop on this horrid day. I'd rather pay full price for what I want as bail ain't cheap!
    I was happy to go to work today! No traffic, office was quiet, I was at peace!

    Congrats to you for braving the crowds & getting out with what you went in for (and your life)!