I was cold.
The coldest that I had probably ever been. My fingers were going numb and I could barely feel my toes.
Oh my God. What if I got Frost Bite and lost my toes? Would Tom still love me without my big toe? Or would he gag and beg me to keep my socks on at all times?
Was this worth it? Was standing in a line outside of Kohls at 2:02 in the morning on Black Friday worth it? Did I really need to find deals? I peeked inside the window and saw the sale signs up and my heart raced with excitement. Yes. The deals were worth it. So what if I lost a big toe?
A gust of wind brushed against my face. It felt like a slap and I recoiled. Why didn’t I live in a warm state?
“The wind makes it worse,” I said to my friend Amanda as the people behind us bumped into our backs. Again. I think it was because one of them was all, “If we all stand together, we won’t be as cold.” I thought she just meant the family members she was with. But no, I think she intended us to join her circle and get friendly, real fast. It seemed like they kept inching closer and closer to us to the point where I wanted to turn around and snap, “Hey! Personal bubble, people. You’re in my personal bubble.”
I stomped my feet, one after the other. I probably looked like I had to pee, but I didn’t care. It kept them warm.
“It’s cold,” I whined, stating the obvious. This was my first time ever standing in line outside a store. Usually I go to Black Friday around 7, when the doors are already open. But this time I had the opportunity to go first thing. The kids were with Amanda’s husband (fast asleep) so I decided to see what it was like being out extremely early.
I was finding out that it was very, very cold.
And that perfect strangers were trying to bring me into their circle to keep warm.
And that parents sent their teenagers out to save a spot in line for them, which sort of irritated me. That’s called CUTTING, people. You can’t just slip in line even if someone is holding your spot. It’s rude. It was on the tip of my tongue to shout that. “It’s RUDE, ma’am, you get in the back of the line. I don’t care if you had your son save a spot for you. You haven’t been out here freezing your ass off and having a stranger grope at you for warmth.”
I didn’t though. Because I heard stories from when people snapped on Black Friday. Suppose I said something and was beat up? It was too early to fight; I’d probably just stand there stupidly and take it. And that’s even if I felt it. My entire body felt numb.
Time seemed to pass by slowly. I would think that ten minutes had passed and it would turn out that only two had.
Was this WORTH it?
I stomped my feet even harder and tried to shift away from the woman in back of me who attempted to rest against my arm.
“Now I know what the people on the Titanic felt like,” I said to Amanda. “When it sank, I mean. Freezing like this. And being tossed in the water, no less. If I had been Kate Winslet, I’d have gone, “Sorry Jack, I don’t care what I promised, I’m just going to die on this door. I’m too cold to care.”
I sipped some hot chocolate that we brought with us. It wasn’t really hot anymore though.
Finally, FINALLY, we had five minutes left. And that’s when I saw them. People, who had been sitting in their warm, toasty cars, standing at the end of the parking lot, waiting to rush inside as soon as the doors opened.
Some other people in line noticed this too. Evil looks were exchanged. I narrowed my eyes towards a woman who looked like she was going to race inside Kohls as soon as the doors were unlocked. I silently told her, “Don’t you dare. You haven’t been standing outside for an hour like I have, freezing.”
Seriously, what is WRONG with people? You can’t just CUT in line. And if you’re reading this, and have cut before, shame on you. There are no excuses.
A Kohls worker approached the door. Murmurings rumbled through the crowd. It’s opening, the doors are opening, we can finally get warm!
Once the doors were clicked open, those people waiting at the ends of the parking lot did try to get in front of us. But thankfully, a Kohls worker kept them back. And a couple people in line seemed like they’d fight the people who tried to cut. One guy shouted, “GET IN LINE LIKE THE REST OF US!” My hero.
I found a cart, which is a rarity for Kohls on Black Friday. And then I started shopping. I didn’t have a set plan, like some people. I noticed other people had a list written out. I did not. I’m not organized. I try to be, really, but it doesn’t work out. My mother, she’s the queen of lists.
“Let’s go to the toys first,” I said to Amanda. I figured that would be the best place to start.
By the time we were done shopping, the line was stretched all around the store. It took an hour to get through it.
Then we went to Target. It was busy, yes, but not as bad as Kohls. I managed to find this Princess set for Natalie:
And this Toy Story set for Tommy:
Both on sale.
I found a couple of other things too. The line was long, but it moved quicker than Kohls.
And then that was it. Black Friday. Was it worth it? I’d like to think so. I did find some good deals. Would I ever do it again? Probably not. I’d probably stick to going at 7 AM.
But was it exhilarating? Oh yeah.