While in Granbury last Thursday for Thanksgiving, Kayci told us that she wanted to go Black Friday shopping. She didn't want anything in particular - she just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Kristi and I tried to explain about Black Friday to her and to explain that we had absolutely no desire to get out early and fight the crowds and all the madness that you see on TV. Be she was unconvinced. Sometimes you've just got to do something for yourself before you'll believe.
Well, there aren't exactly a lot of shopping opportunities in Granbury, Texas. Sure, there's Walmart, but there's absolutely no way that you're getting me to a Walmart on Black Friday. If there's going to be a fight or a trampling, it's going to be at a Walmart, and there's no way I'm taking my daughter to a public trampling. Not one this far from home, anyway.
So I decided we'd go for a much lower stress option - Michael's. I worked at Michael's back in high school and had to work a couple of Fridays after Thanksgiving (no one called it Black Friday back then - we just called it The Busiest Shopping Day of the Year because apparently we weren't the marketing geniuses that we are today). Anyway, I can well remember opening the doors on The Busiest Shopping Day as fifty frantic women and an occasional husband or lost hobo streamed inside to get all the great deals on dowel rods and eucalyptus. Plus, Michaels was advertising that the first 21 people in the door at every store would get a $5 gift card and that one super lucky person would get a $20 gift card. So those were the stakes, and we decided we could handle that action.
Oh- did I mention that the fact that the store didn't open until 7 played heavily into our decision? No? It did.
We got up at a respectable time and got out the door at 6:30-ish. It was 39 degrees outside, so standing in line for more than a little bit for Black Friday sale we didn't really want to go to to buy something that we.... well, let's face it. Nobody really buys anything at Micheal's if there's a Hobby Lobby anywhere in a 200 mile radius.
We pulled up to Michaels at 6:45 to find that the line outside consisted of zero people and wrapped zero times around the store. There was one other car in the parking lot, but it turned out to be an employee waiting for the manager to let her in.
Score one for the "I hate crowds" crowd. But it was disappointing to our girl, who really wanted to see a Black Friday honor killing in the parking lot.
But Kayci wasn't to be deterred. She hopped out of the car and stood by the door in a one person line. She even respectfully stood off to the side so as not to appear to be crowding the front door as a worker put out the Doorbuster bins. But she was clearly the only one there.
And then it happened.
About three and a half minutes until The Great Opening of the Doors, a lady pulled up, hopped out of her car and proceeded to walk around Kayci and stand directly between Kayci and the door. She had just cut the only person in line, and a 12-year-old at that.
Boom. Black Friday.
Kayci handled it with grace. She looked at us as if to say "what the hell just happened?" - even though she would never say such a thing. So we go out of the warm car and calmly went to the trunk of the car and got out my Black Beauty - the baseball bat I use only on Black Friday - and taught that lady a lesson... Walmart style!
Okay, so what we really did was get out of the warm car and just go and stand with Kayci for the next couple of minutes until the doors opened. I *may* have shot the cutter a couple of glares when Kristi wasn't looking. We got our gift cards as we walked in through the door, calmly. There was no pushing. There was no shoving. Everything remained polite. Three other people had shown up at the last minute and we all got gift cards. Everyone except for Kayci, that is. 18 and older only, dontyaknow - regardless of where you were in line.
And the cards we got were the $5 variety. I bet that line cutter lady got the $20 card. I hope she got a splinter from her balsa wood right in her her line cutting fingers.
Twenty minutes later when we left the manager was still standing at the door with a box of gift cards to hand out waiting for the first 21 people to enter the store.
But the important thing was that Kayci got to experience a little bit of Black Friday on a small scale. Luckily, that little taste of the devolution of humanity was enough for her.