". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Friday, November 27, 2009

We Really Did It

And it wasn't so bad. Sort of fun, actually--made us feel young and adventurous.

We decided the night before that we didn't need to get in line early because the item(s) we were interested in were not "doorbusters" for which tickets would be handed out. So we set the alarm for 4:15 and after throwing on clothes and brushing hair and teeth (at least I think I brushed my teeth--if not, sorry, Mr. Salesman!) fueled up with coffee and leftover cranberry-apple pie before leaving the house a few minutes before 5:00 a.m. Destination: our local Best Buy, just around the corner. We passed Target on the way and sure enough, there they were, the Black Friday hordes, extending the full length of the front of the store. I was amazed by the amount of traffic and the full parking lots at this time of the morning, but it was kind of fun to be in the thick of it. For today at least, we too belonged to the Black Friday Brotherhood.

Here was the scene as we drove up to Best Buy. I thought that, being more of a specialty store, it might be less crowded than Target or Wal-Mart, but the line was comparable (the picture only shows a small segment of it). Doors were being unlocked as we arrived, and by the time we had parked and crossed the lot, the line had dispersed and we walked right in.

First stop: electronics, to replace our current television (see previous post). The television that had drawn us to the store was there for the taking, but we ended up getting a slightly larger and higher resolution set, also for a very good price. A bit more than we intended to spend, but hey, we've had a hard year, you know? Call it our Christmas gift to ourselves.

Next stop: appliances. We have also been needing a new refrigerator and had seen one in the Black Friday ad for $599--a Samsung side-by-side, 25 cu. feet, black, with through-the-door water and ice, regularly $999. Compared to the rest of the store, the appliance department was pretty quiet--just a few other customers besides us. But no salesmen to take our order! Finally one arrived, only to inform us that the inventory/delivery system had crashed and he would have to take hand orders. We bought the refrigerator but so did a bunch of other people across the country as well as the nice lady in line ahead of us. We'll find out later if we were high enough in the queue to actually get one of the units before the inventory ran out. Sigh. Wish us luck.

(Update: Best Buy just called. We have our fridge! Or will when it's delivered later this week.)

Here's the checkout area as we were leaving the store at about 6:30 a.m.--thank goodness we didn't have to deal with this crowd since we had already paid for our items in appliances.

After a stop at the grocery store, we were home before 7:00, thinking we would get the new TV set up as a surprise for the kids and then go back to sleep for a nice long morning nap. You would think two fairly bright, college educated types would be able to knock down this task in a matter of minutes. You would think.

But by this time the coffee was starting to wear off, and fatigue was setting in, and my dearest and I found ourselves strangers in a strange land, lost in a blur of cords and cardboard and styrofoam and a heretofore unknown tongue: " . . . connect one end of the coaxial cable to the RF-out jack above the HDMI2 saturation plug next to the RF-in video input contrast source, tightening the VGA connectors and being careful not to drop the whole stupid mess on the floor . . . . and if you need help, be sure to call the customer service number in the manual, which will not connect you to our customer service at all but instead to some other pathetic outfit that is going to have a long, miserable year because their number was incorrectly printed in our 2009 manual . . . . "

I did have to laugh when the "initial setup screen" came on:

I think the writers of the setup instructions were no more familiar with English than we were with HDTV-ese. I guess maybe the exclamation points are an effort to remind us of how we felt when we first got home? You know, before we opened the box?

It took several hours, but finally . . . finally, we ended up with this.

And the frosting on the cake? The Huskers won!

I don't think we will make Black Friday shopping an annual event, but would I do it again? Yes. It was worth it, more for the refrigerator (40% off is not typical!) than for the television (we could have probably gotten a comparable deal next week). And notwithstanding some of the Black Friday horror stories of the last few years, it wasn't unpleasant at all. The store was well-prepared for the crowd and we saw no one behaving badly. In fact, there was an odd sort of cameraderie among the shoppers as we shared the insanity of it all and pulled for each other to get the deals we had come for. And the best part? My husband and I had more silly fun together than we have had in a while.

I hope your Friday after Thanksgiving was as rewarding as mine and that you, too, got to spend it laughing with someone you love.


Elephantschild said...

The camaraderie can be fun.

Good news on the fridge!

Cate said...

Enjoy your new TV! And a new fridge too! Woo-hoo!

And I'm glad someone else has pie for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. (I did too.)

Melody said...

I am coveting your refrigerator. We have a Spot for our frig, and only a certain size frig will fit in the Spot. None of the modern, purty frigs fit in the Spot. But I am thinking of putting this one in the basement and getting a Frig-only unit. THAT might work...

Cheryl said...

Melody, this fridge is about an inch too tall for our Spot. We're going to have to remove the cabinet above the Spot for it to fit. But that's okay--I never put anything in that cabinet anyway because the stuffed rooster is always in the way.