I’d like to preface this by saying that I’ve never been to a Black Friday sale. I’ve never “camped out” for anything (even when I was at camp as a kid). I’ve never stood in line for anything longer than 15 minutes and when I did, Splash Mountain or the Indiana Jones rides at Disneyland were the rewards at the ends of those lines, so they were worth it. Knowing that, it’s possible that what follows is normal – or, if not “normal” then par for the course for such events.
I’d seen the TV ads for Missoni’s collection for Target and I thought they were very cute. I found the lookbook online and liked several items. So much so that I marked September 13th – the first day Target would take orders – on my calendar. Did I NEED that short-sleeved multi-colored sweater dress? No. But I wanted it. And for some reason I had my heart set on the clipboard. And the box of pencils. And the ballet flats. And the child’s rainboots, even though I don’t yet have children.
I thought I was pretty damn clever this morning. I had set my clock for 5am and logged on to Target’s website. I started to add some items to my cart and then poof! I lost my connection to the site. When I tried to get back on, the little Target dog, Bullseye, was staring back at me, woofing something about how they’re trying to get the site back up and running. Fine. I refreshed my page for two hours. Any time I started to drift back to sleep, I’d wake with a start, only to see that damn dog. Finally, I made what I felt was a GENIUS decision: I’d go to one of their locations! I shared this novel idea with my husband (“While every one else is waiting online for this shitty site to come back up, I’ll be in the store grabbing whatever I want! I’ll have first dibs on everything!” Then, for effect, I tapped my finger against my temple, to remind him, in case he’d forgotten, that he married a smarty pants). My husband said he didn’t think that was a good idea, but I was already out the door.
I was so impressed with myself as I drove across town to what I assumed would be the least popular and most deserted of their many locations.
I was very very wrong. I arrived 15 minutes before the opening, and saw the crowd, nay, mob. There were easily 250 people ahead of me in line, some who apparently had camped out the night before. By the time the doors finally opened, there were at least 250 more people behind me.
This is as good a time as any to tell you that I’ve never actually been INSIDE of a Target. I’ve ordered from them online, but I’ve never been lucky enough to have one near wherever I’m living. I didn’t realize how big they are. Sprawling, really. In retrospect, I wish I’d somehow studied a store-map prior to going in, because I had no idea where I was going or where anything would be. Once the doors opened, I followed the throngs of women, but it felt like a massive and poorly organized Easter egg hunt.
By the time I got in, the Missoni racks were empty. No short-sleeved dresses (in ANY size) left. No clipboards. No pencils. No rainboots for my future child. Nothing.
Well, that’s not entirely true: I found some Missoni file folders and some bulldog clips. And a notepad. I’d fashion a Missoni clipboard myself, thank you very much.
What I purchased is not the point, though. It’s what I witnessed:
-One woman stole something out of another woman’s basket right in front of her! They got into a swearing match until the one who stole it just took off – ran like a crazy person through the store! – with the “stolen” items.
-One woman stole another woman’s ENTIRE cart full of stuff! She just walked away with it! (Around this time Target employees announced over the loudspeakers to be aware of our surroundings [??] and to keep our purses close to our bodies [!!].)
-I saw a woman in a motorized wheelchair (to whom no one afforded any respect or extra space to maneuver) intentionally ramming said motorized wheelchair into the backs of other shoppers’ knees and calves. Was she trying to mow them all down? It’s entirely possible. If the world was told to take shelter for an undetermined amount of time, I’d totally hire this woman to do my pre-disaster grocery shopping and/or looting. (Side note: Target even has groceries! WTF!)
-And then, finally, I saw a woman punch another woman IN THE FACE! Over a pair of size 3 flats! No adult even wears a size 3! I’m not even sure these women checked to see the size! They fought over the box until the one lady punched the other lady (IN THE FACE!! I CAN’T GET OVER IT)!
I later heard that lots of people grabbed anything they could so that they could sell it online for a profit.
(Reality check: This happened TWO days after the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.)
So what have I learned from my first foray into what I now call fad-mob-shopping? So much:
1. Never, ever leave your house. 2. When websites go haywire, so do we, 3. Missoni’s zig-zags ultimately give you a day-long migraine, 4. Target over-advertised this collection, but didn’t ultimately have the supply (or the web support) to back it up, and 5. BITCHES BE CRAZY.
My bull-dog clips and file folders: