I’ll admit that I greatly enjoy shopping. It’s fun browsing the latest offerings, trying on piles of cashmere, making faces at the more absurdly feathered and sequined and ruched dresses, petting the fur coats I would never dream of buying. But I usually draw the line at letting shopping interfere with my REM cycle. Until two days ago, that is.
Though I was in a food coma resulting from Thanksgiving dinner and two pieces of pie, 11:45 Thursday night found me and my little sister (a shopping maven if there ever was one), standing in front of Lululemon at Tyson’s Corner in Virginia. The doors were set to open at midnight. We thought it’d be fun to brave the crazy Black Friday crowds for once – we usually avoid any of those 3 a.m. doorbuster deals for fear of being trampled. Thankfully, I had the foresight to wear sneakers.
The rush for the door of Lululemon at midnight was relatively tame by Black Friday standards. No flying elbows, no tug-of-war over the last pair of size 4 yoga pants. But braving Tyson Corner’s halls for further retail therapy was much more daunting.
A DJ was set up on the lower level, and a crowd formed a circle around some hopeful break dancers. This reduced the already crowded passing lane to the equivalent of a narrow path through the woods. Gridlock with shopping bags. I was hesitant to enter the fray, but my sister grabbed my hand, threw her other arm in front of her like a battering ram, and plowed through the mass of grumbling shoppers. We didn’t even knock anyone over, though we were bashed with a few shopping bags and handbags so oversized they dwarfed the women carrying them.
Bend, plow and snake was our strategy for the rest of the night. Though we were occasionally held up behind three or four women teetering side-by-side in spindly heels, we managed to move somewhat quickly through the evermore maddening crowds.
We stayed until 2, having used up all our energy just trying to maneuver around crazy-eyed shoppers (the gleam caused only by a good sale and adversity) in H&M and Sephora. The lines were unbelievable; Urban Outfitters was letting in only a handful of people at a time, and the line to get in snaked around the large entrance to Macy’s, turned the corner, and continued down the hall. We didn’t wait.
I am happy to say we emerged from the fray unscathed. Not even a bruise from one of the bigger handbags – filled with bricks, if that blow to my shoulder was any indication. And it was fun, in an adrenaline-fueled, push-through-or-die-by-squashing sort of way. Would I do it again? Probably not – I think my sister and I got lucky, given the number of horror stories I read in the papers the next day. So many poor salespeople verbally and physically attacked by irate bargain hunters. My plan is to quit while I’m ahead. Next Thanksgiving, I’ll deal with my food coma in the traditional way: lying on the couch, groaning in pain.