I’m not generally one to participate in Black Friday shopping. I once stumbled into the Black Friday shopping hole at the Glendale Galleria because I wanted to buy my younger siblings some new church clothes and heard there were going to be sales….and then realized (because of the parking nightmare) it was because of Black Friday. Doh! But, for a few months, I’d been stalking a new iPhone 5c for several reasons — 1) my current 4S had had a bum screen for months; the touch screen had a dead zone that was growing from the right edge all the way into the middle by the time its end had come; and 2) its so cheap, and apparently, I can’t be trusted with an expensive cell phone. So when I saw that Walmart was offering the iPhone 5c at the doorbuster price of $45 plus a $75 gift card, I was sold. But I still didn’t want to go out on Black Friday.
I spent Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving happily planning to go out for dinner at my kids grandparents’ place, and shaking my head in disapproval as I saw so many people heading out on Thursday to shop. Sheesh, I know I was planning to go out to shop myself that weekend but at least it was for me! But by Friday night, I began to have doubts. Doorbusters typically sell out, would they still have the phone? Crap. I began calling around and one by one, each harried Walmart confirmed my worst fear — that cheap, pretty phone was sold out. I was so bummed.
I had still been planning to take advantage of Famous Footwear’s BOGO +20 percent off sale this weekend, so I headed out there Saturday with my church mom and sister to try on the shoes I’d scoped out. It was next door to Porter Ranch’s Walmart, and even though we didn’t plan to go in, they said they needed to buy milk, so in we went. And I made a detour to check out Walmart’s wireless center — and didn’t come out for another three hours.
Because Porter Ranch hadn’t sold out of the iPhone 5c or 5s! I was shocked. I called Trinity right away to make sure it was still OK, and he told me to just buy it so he could stop hearing about it. Then I got in line and waited…and waited…and waited… And waited. Wow, it was a long wait. Seriously, with Walmart’s whole process of making sure each person upgraded/opened a new account, I’m actually surprised those other stores sold out. Or maybe they just said they did when people called? Who knows. But Porter Ranch had so many phones, I think I could have come in on Sunday and still gotten one.
But the wait was killer. Seriously, I couldn’t have gone by myself and done it; I would have had to leave the line at some point to go to the bathroom. It felt a little like one of those radio station contests in which whoever can keep a hand on the grand prize car for the longest time wins. At one point, I felt like a jury duty crowd and wondered if I should start a Facebook support group for all of us sitting in line. There was one couple in front of me who had gone to this Walmart the night before, saw the ridiculous line and decided to come back. They waited another three hours in line in front of me (possibly four), then it turned out they couldn’t get their 5cs because they had a business account. Wow, if that would have been me, I think there would have been spluttering tears and a major scene.
Anyway, I finally got to the counter and the lady helping me was quite nice and cheerful, which I was so glad about, I made a point to tell her manager that she made the process so much more pleasant.
So, yeah. I sort of did Black Friday, but in my head, I’m calling it Blue Saturday. In honor of my new phone. Let’s all hope I won’t drop this one.