Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's three-fifteen in the morning

And I'm wide awake.

I'm dressed. My shoes are on. I have a backpack slung across my shoulders and a blanket draped over my arm.

I'm waiting to see headlights.

Sure enough, Laura's Montero pulls to the curb in front of my house five minutes later. I ease the front door open, slip out of the house, and skip down to hop into her toasty warm vehicle.

It's the day after Thanksgiving. And we're going shopping.

Laura is virtually bouncing in her seat behind the wheel as we make our way across town to pick up a fellow crazy Mommy, our girlfriend Nicole. It's three forty a.m. when we merge onto the freeway and head towards Portland.

Contrary to popular belief, we're not crazy. At least, not in the normal sense. We're just three moms with nine children between us who need to make sure that this coming Christmas is on par with every other Christmas in the past. And with the economy slowly but surely sliding further downhill, finding the deals seemed even more important this year.

As usual, I appoint myself to deer watch duty as Laura navigates the dark highway through the Gorge. It's Nicole's first time shopping on Black Friday, but Laura and I have braved the crowds before. We go over our strategy on the 80 mile trip into the city.

At 4:45 we pull into the Walmart parking lot outside of Wood Village, Oregon. Or rather, we pull into line to pull into the parking lot. The crowd is unreal - bigger than any Black Friday I've ever seen. The adrenaline starts pumping as the three of us join the masses.

We start creeping steadily towards the entrance at 5:03. Before we make it to the door, the first lucky shoppers are already coming out with carts laden with everything from four dollar pajamas to big screen TVs. After what feels like forever the harsh fluorescent lights wash over us and we confront the churning sea of wall-to-wall bodies head on. Clinging to our cart for dear life, we begin to canvass the store, trying not to roll over any one's toes and occasionally getting bumped in the rear by someone who isn't so considerate.

After almost an hour, we throw in the towel. The crowd is just too damn big, and it's starting to get cranky. Even though none of us manage to get everything we were hoping for, we all manage to score some great deals.

And so we check out.

And then we load up.

And ten minutes later, we're in line at Target in time for their six o'clock opening. Further shopping madness ensues before we decide that it's finally time for breakfast. The day feels like it's already been going on forever and it's only eight a.m!

We sit, we eat, and then we head out to do it some more. Fifteen hours from the time Laura picked me up, she drops me off at home just in time to take my kids to the Starlight Parade.

What.A.Day. Just call me Santa.

1 comment:

Scrappinmommyof3boys said...

your friend Laura seems great!! You should buy her lots of coffee!!