I didn’t get up early to go shopping. I would say I’m too old for that junk but I’ve done the black Friday shopping in the past and seen many people much older than me joining the mobs. What a nightmare!
To any who braved the yearly hell trip I congratulate you on your bravery/craziness/great deal gettingness/etc. Pick any of those words that fits you.
The last time I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving was in the days before mp3’s were big. My (very young) kids wants portable CD players and the place with the best deal was Walmart. I don’t know what possessed me but I went. It was as horrible as you can imagine, or have possibly experienced.
I made some lady irate that day. I had a tough time finding the items so I asked a guy who was working in the electronics area. He said he knew where they were and asked how many I needed. I said four. His faced dropped a little, especially because he was trying his hardest to flirt with me and knew he was going to disappoint me. He said he would try and then waded into the surging mass or angry, smelly, desperate humanity.
He reached the display and grabbed the only CD players on it, luckily there were four. He grabbed them quickly and guilt was written all over his face so I looked past him and saw this old woman, who was fuming. Hell, I would have sworn I saw smoke coming out of her ears, but that could have been the overload of caffeine and adrenaline I had.
Her eyes stalked him back to me and she watched as he handed my stuff to me and as he beamed at his success. From the distance I heard: “Of course you’ll help the pretty redheaded bitch!” Since that was my cue to leave and the employee’s cue to vanish, which he did, I moved quickly to the checkout lines. I thought that was the end of the story but no. Angry lady followed me. She never spoke directly to me but everywhere I went, including cutting through some clothing racks to get to newly opened lines, there she was, dragging her cart behind her and mumbling and bitching about me. I almost felt like there was a rope attaching us.
I don’t know if this woman already had everything else she needed, her cart was pretty full or she just wanted to intimidate me by following me but I just couldn’t shake her. She made me nervous for a while but I eventually got over it and started seeing the humor in the situation. Here we both were, stuck in the unmoving checkout lines at Walmart and gaining more and more attention from her nasty expressions.
I couldn’t help myself, I had to peek every once in a while. Each time I did the faces got worse. I had never seen an enraged old woman before. I was horrified and fascinated and unwisely amused.
After a while she moved closer to me. I think it happened when someone with a cart needed past us and she stepped forward and didn’t stepped back. I didn’t know it but I still had twenty minutes to spend with her but I knew I was getting very uncomfortable. Hell, I’ve had TSA agents not get as close as she was.
The only thing that broke her of this new tactic was me turning around to face her. I’m pretty sure my breast brushed her shoulder (she was considerable shorter than me). She jerked back like I bit her, mumbling something that I translated to be: “F&%king redhead,” based on the syllables. I did a half turn away so my back wasn’t to her and sidestepped every time the line moved.
It is my sincerest hope that someone was sitting in the control room watching all this on the monitors and laughing their face off.
I finally got to check out and wouldn’t you know it, the cashier went on and on, loudly, about what a great deal I was getting and how lucky I was to find four of the players. I kept my face forward and just nodded. As I left I had a bitchy, petty moment and wanted to be sugary, sweetly nice my nemisis and tell her to have a nice day or something similar but I controlled myself.
I did glance back though, and saw the lady transform into the nicest sweetest person on the planet as she smiled at the cashier and pretended she hadn’t been a monster a few moments before! That moment swept all my guilt away. Well there was also the fact that pissed off lady had a cart full of various electronics.
So thus ended my desire to ever go shopping on black Friday every again. Honestly, with the stories in the news every year about people getting hurt or worse I think I was pretty lucky and I have a semi-funny story to tell forever.
Now, on to the writing update. In the middle of Nanowrimo I switched projects. I was stuck and a new idea seduced my muse and we went with it. It was a fairy tale, a new thing for me. I managed to write the complete first draft of the new story (a novella) – YAY! It was super exciting when I realized I was finished. In fact I had trouble writing the last few scenes because I was so excited they were the last ones.
The problem is now I still need 8,193 words to win Nanowrimo. I was going to go back to the original Nano story but I haven’t figured out what I need to fix or change and I don’t want to get into editing mode. In desperation I opened up my regular, non Nanowrimo, WIP. I actually was able to write a little bit in it. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep going with it. I’ve been having a few ideas pop up that would be great for a sequel to the fairy tale, so we’ll see.
No matter what I work on I’m going to win Nanowrimo. I’ve already decided it’s happening and now I have to make it a reality. I even pre-ordered a winner t-shirt. I would say wish me luck but I don’t need it, but feel free to wish me some motivation as that likes to randomly disappear, like the guy who helped me at Walmart that year, leaving me to the mercy of the raging elderly monster we created!