Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Tale of a post-Thanksgiving Shopping Fanatic

I'm sure you've heard this before, but I never thought I would do it myself....

I am slightly claustrophobic when it comes to crowds. I'm not certain of the actual technical word but I call it "crowd-a-phobia". When I am in a crowd, I become tense and frustrated quite easily. It is not a position I like for myself. So, I often avoid large gatherings of people. I have been trying to work through this issue. In a practical sense, I do go to amusement parks and other events like that, but I have to psych myself up to feel more comfortable. So, imagine the surprise of my family when last year, for the first time, I decided to participate in the shopping frenzy of the day following Thanksgiving. It was the savings that made me do it.
Our funds were low and the laptop advertised by Best Buy appealed to my cheapskate tendancies. The day following Thanksgiving, my husband, our then 3 year old daughter, and I (pregnant 8 months) showed up at our local store at approximately 5am. We thought we were so ahead of the game, after all the store opened at 6am.
When we arrived, already standing in line were approximately 150 people. Flyers had been handed out to those first in line for the most valuable sales, including my dream laptop. We didn't stand a chance. When all was said and done, we did purchase our first digital camera and a digital video camera. But, the illusive laptop was not attained.
I spent this next year pricing and investigating laptop computers. Which were good, better, and best. I dreamt of the day I too would enter the mobile computing world. But, nothing was possible. I kept thinking what if I had arrived earlier, what if....
This year, Thanksgiving Day, we parused the advertisements in our local paper and there it was. My husband and I both eyed the Toshiba laptop on sale for $499.99. The dream was ignited. I had to try! We decided to drive by our local Best Buy following the Thanksgiving festivities at a friend's house. The line had already begun. The eighteen people already present at 9:30pm had settled in for the night. I MUST DO IT!
At home, we put the children to bed and my husband and I agreed I would try to get that laptop. It was a cold night and while he offered to do it for me, I knew it was my task. Dressed in a beenie, snow coat, gloves, ski mask, sleeping bag, and sweatsuit, I brought my folding chair, coffee and headset to sit for the next 8 hours in line.
I thought it would be horrible,but it was actually fun. People were quite nice. We watched each other's spots and chatted through the night. Some hid out and played gameboys, some sociallized with a fire to keep themselves and those nearby warm. Some brought portable DVD players and some had only thin blankets. But all shared in the brave spirit necessary to attempt our plan. Including myself, everyone in line up to where I was (number 38) was hunting for the illusive, inexpensive quality laptop.
We received our flyers ensuring the purchase, we raced inside to grab other less valuable deals and we waited in lines which extended throughout the entire store. But we succeeded. And now as I write this blog I do so on my new Toshiba laptop for which I saved $400 and had a fun adventure. I never thought I would say it, but I highly recommend the experience to those brave enough to invest not only with money, but also with time.

As my husband, the trekkie says "KAPLACH!" (Klingon for "VICTORY!)


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