Hitting my shin on the bedpost at15 AM, while trying to quietly get ready, should have been a warning.
Approaching the exit where I expected to find the Walmart and seeing traffic backed up onto the freeway for about a mile should have been a warning.
Seeing the Walmart parking lot actually FULL, and not with RVs should have been a warning.
Parking across a 4 lane thoroughfare and walking a long way in pouring rain should have been a warning.
Yet somehow as I walked through the automatic doors at Walmart at 05 it was still like a slap. Angry people going nowhere in a traffic jam of carts as far as the eye could see. Having my toes run over a couple of times even before I passed the cashiers where already throngs of people lined-up, I should have cut my losses and been on to my next well-planned stop. But no, I had to see if they had "the" item, a Leapster for $30 - don't tell my kids. I briefly tangoed with a rack of bras to avoid splatting under foot of crazy mobs.
My eyes were glazed over with sleep deprivation and I spied a welcoming Leap Frog sign hovering mid-aisle in the far corner. I had never been happier to see a frog. I should've known that there are frogs of false hope. I arrived underneath to see a heaping pile of cardboard trims and traps, without a box in site. Believe me, I looked/dug.
I felt like poor Peter Rabbit who couldn't find his way out of the garden. Luckily no one was chasing me with a sieve, although I wouldn't put it past those shoppers - with carts full of everything but holiday cheer. Finally, I spied the exit across the store, some how made it there and squeezed out, but without a radish or lovely carrot to show for my visit. I can say I would strongly recommend AGAINST Walmart on black Friday, well any day really, picture an average trip there and magnify X 1,000,000 - the ick factor, the smell of cheap plastic, ornery customers, mullets, shopping carts, noise, blasting corny music and a mocking, creepy rollback happy face laughing at it all.
By the time I walked back to my car in the still pouring rain I was re-focused on my next destination, Fred Meyer $35 leapster... I arrived at 35 - that's right, 1.5 hours wasted, of precious beauty sleep I might add. Unfortunately, the failed shopping attempts didn't end with THE MART. Fred Meyer was already out of stock too. I did score some 1/2 price socks though and who doesn't need those? Finally later at Kohl's I did get one - I still need one, for $40, I think it was pure luck and it had just been re-shelved. Then I waited in a line that wrapped around the store for 2 hrs.
I was home by 10am.
Was it worth it? Ask me when I catch-up on my sleep.