Sometime during the Thanksgiving Day festivities at our house the women got together and made their plans for big sales the next day.
Their strategy was to divide up their lists so each one would hit different departments in different stores to get the necessary family quantities of the day’s specials.
When I found out the stores opened at 5 o’clock in the morning I decided to stay home.
The early hour did not deter two of the female teenagers. They insisted on going along. This weekend I finally got to talk to them together. “How about giving me a blow-by-blow description of your after Thanksgiving shopping experience? I asked.
“Hmm, blow by blow is a pretty accurate name for it,” one replied. They had arrived at the store’s parking lot at 4:30 a.m. It was cold so they decided to wait in the van with the rest of their group until the store opened.
But then someone said it was about time, and the two teens jumped out of the van, locking the doors behind them. They quickly realized the store doors were not opening, but they were not about to admit their mistake, so they stayed outside and jumped up and down in the parking lot to stay warm.
The doors finally opened, and the teens were off with the moms not too far behind. But by the times the moms got inside the store, the teens were out of sight, heading to the sports department where their quarry was supposed to be.
They were among the first on the scene and credited their time spent at football games for their success. “After getting through the turnstile at the football stadium and watching the players running and dodging, getting past those shoppers was a piece of cake,” they reported. I could see where football games would be good practice for shopping at sales.
Their assignment was complete but one of them fell over a box, so she picked it up. “Some old lady tried to grab it out of my hands, so we had a tug-of-war. But the tug of war ended suddenly when the teen realized she didn’t even want the item and let go of it. I refrained from asking how old the old lady was, but did ask if the old lady sat down when the teen let go.
“Nope, she just ran off with the box.”
At another location they said, “There were tons of people, so we just held our noses and dived in.” More sports training paid off.
When they went to find batteries, they found another item which was a real sale prize.
“I picked it up and some lady asked me if I wanted it. I said yes, and she cussed at me. I told her she shouldn’t cuss in front of kids. She looked shocked and began apologizing. She was still apologizing when we walked away.”
Apparently the teens did better than their mothers. One of the mothers had a game in her hand when a woman behind her snatched it roughly out of her hand and raced away. She got another one though, but it was the wrong color. Another woman walked off with the right color complaining she wanted the purple one. The mother caught up with her, and they made an amicable trade.
Now the teens are contemplating a career as professional personal shoppers because they had a blast.
I would like to end this column by saying things were different in the “good old days,” but this would be a lie, and you’d agree if you remember Moonlight Madness at Farm Fleet and Jamesway, not to mention real blue light specials at the old Kmart.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate Dec. 6, 2001.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.