The next stop for us was Big Lots. I’ve not been a frequent shopper at Big Lots since the nearest one to where I live in Indy is in a “rougher” area. But dad works at the one in BR, so we decided to pay him a visit since he was up and working anyways. Big Lots didn’t have a lot to offer, but we did look through the cheap DVDs (are you beginning to notice a pattern in my shopping habits?). Amy and I both found a movie we wanted, but since there was only one copy at the sale price, she let me have it. She was going to give it as a present, so that was nice of her. I decided to pass on the six dollar seasons of Walker, Texas Ranger, though.
Our shopping was just about done at that point. There wasn’t a whole lot more we wanted to do or see. We stopped at McD’s, but the girls just wanted something off the dollar menu. I guess mom’s promise to cook us breakfast was too good to pass up on. And here I was willing and able to get them specialty drinks. They’ll probably hit me up for an eggnog shake next time I’m up.
We ran into Julie Cole again at McD’s, but we were off pretty quick and didn’t stick around to chat. We decided to hit Menards.
If you’re not from Big Rapids, you need to understand something. Meijer is crazy. Walmart is insane. Menards tops them all. Its parking lot, one of the bigger ones in BR, is always overflowing with people to the point that cars are lined up on the grass (or in the snow, depending on the weather). It has one entrance, and one exit. Everyone is funneled through the same doors. It opens the doors at 6am. The store is a recipe for chaos, and even though we were going in over an hour after the sale started, we knew we were in for some fun.
We managed to snag a real parking space and hiked up to the entrance. The return line was over twenty people long. Somewhere on the other side of the store the checkout line would be worse. Much worse.
As we made our way past the first few displays of merchandise we found my great aunt Marcia and her boyfriend, or her “man friend” as my grandma sometimes calls him. They were looking for something or other for a home construction project. We said hello, called them crazy for going out on Black Friday at their age, and moved on. I managed to snag a gift for the wife, along with some candles, a two dollar knife that I still won’t stop playing with (here’s why), and some other items for a shoebox present for children in poverty back home in Indy.
While I was looking for those items Amy and Alyssa managed to snag what they were looking for and I had to call them on the phone to find out where they were standing in line. I violated one of the cardinal rules of Black Friday shopping to cut in line to be with them.
The line moved slow.
That’s an understatement. It moved painfully slow. Holding twenty pounds of oddly-shaped items, including glass candle jars, is not easy. As time goes by you want to set something down, and I did think about dropping Hannah’s present. Amy and Alyssa weren’t much better, but Alyssa was nice and helped Amy hold stuff. Between that and letting me ride shotgun, she was doing her best to be on the nice list and get a present from her two awesome siblings for Christmas.
Compared to the chaos at Menards, our final return trip to Walmart was nothing. Most of the displays had been either removed or moved out of the way. The store actually had an 8 o’ clock sale, and Amy was on the lookout for a Disney movie. Dad gave her a five dollar coupon off a Disney movie. He didn’t have one for me. She was always the favorite, you know.
Stacked on the movie display were blue Nintendo Wii’s. People had been standing in line and fighting over the things less than twelve hours prior. Now there were probably seven or so that no one was even interested in. Such is the vanity of our consumerism.
Back at the Wencl home mom had made up some pancakes for us to enjoy. She had real maple syrup and a special blueberry syrup, both of which were delish. The perfect end to a fun-filled shopping experience with my two sisters. I think it was their favorite part of the weekend. I think it was mine too.