So I thought I would chronicle the next few weeks until Christmas...what our family does to prepare for Christmas, how we celebrate, where we go to look at Christmas lights, how many times I'll hear the following..."who drank all the egg nog?" "he gave you that for Christmas?" "I can't believe they didn't send you a Christmas card!"
Precious, tender, heart-warming moments...
To kick things off...let's talk about Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving actually.
We usually host Thanksgiving at our place and we've been to know to have as few as two and as many twenty-two for dinner. But this year, my WONDERFUL sister-in-law volunteered to host the family.
I didn't have to clean the bathroom.
I didn't have to cook a 24 pounder.
I didn't have to find new places to hide our dirty clothes.
We traveled down to my WONDERFUL sister & brother-in-law's, enjoyed a fabulous meal, played with our great nieces & nephews, took some bad photos (I hate that camera), kissed my WONDERFUL sister-in-law goodbye and got home around 10 p.m.
And then this morning...Black Friday appeared on the horizon...dum dum dum (dramatic music)
I don't do Black Friday. I think standing outside in the cold for hours, getting pressed against the fingerprint-smudged glass doors of the local discount store, and being pushed down by the woman behind me in the lime green stretch pants, only to be the number 17 in the line for 16 Chatty Cathy dolls is depressing. I have that kind of luck.
So like I said, I don't do Black Friday.
I ask Mark to go.
Yes, I have somehow convinced my WONDERFUL husband in the past, to go out in the wee hours of the morning into the middle of all that craziness...on his day off. His mission? To try and wrestle away from the clutches of those lime green stretch pant wearing women the bike, computer, or doll "our baby just had to have!" And he has said yes when I've asked him to go...in the past. Didn't happen this year.
This morning I had to go myself. But I decided that if I was meant to have that laptop (that laptop advertised at a frenzy-inducing price, the kind of price that by just seeing it in the newspaper it makes you feel faint) it would be still be there on the shelf of the local discount store at 8 am this morning.
Apparently that's not how it works on Black Friday. When I pulled into the parking lot, it looked like a deserted street in a ghost town. Deadly quiet...empty plastic shopping bags rolling around like tumble weeds...a slight humming noise coming from the neon store sign...the only person in the parking lot, a slightly dazed shopping cart guy, listlessly pushing a mile long line of carts back towards the store.
"Did they close the store?" I thought to myself. "No, there's the gal ringing the bell at the red kettle. They have to be open."
I walked inside and grabbed a cart (I didn't want to disturb the shopping cart guy, he seemed to get a little agitated the closer he got to the front door of the store). I started toward the electronics department when I noticed some thing out of the corner of my eye. Something was swinging. It was a rack of plastic hangers. As I watched them swinging slowly, I ventured closer to see if any evidence of what once was there was left. Then I saw it. An extra small green and gold Christmas sweater for $14.99 dangling off the end of one of the hangers (I checked the tag...you never know...)
I made my way to the electronics department and to my utter shock, the laptop I wanted was sold out. As I stood, looking from shelf to shelf, mouth wide open, a sales clerk suddenly appeared out of nowhere, as if an angel. As she walked by me, she said, "Honey, those things were gone in the first 4 minutes." And then as quickly as she had appeared, she was gone. (I later saw her at the snack bar)
So I slowly turned my cart around and headed toward the exit. Defeated, I thought, "Well, I guess I wasn't meant to have that laptop." I made my way through the store, got sidetracked in the yarn department, bought an Icee and headed home.
And as I told my family the story of shopping among the ruins, the sad tale of shopping cart guy, the account of the angelic sales clerk, and the ultimate loss of the new laptop, Taryn said, "Why don't you just go online?"
The laptop will be here Thursday.