Black Friday is on Thursday now

There are a few things I wanted to post about our Thanksgiving week… for example, a definite highlight of the week was the day Candice baked four homemade pies! Two apple, one cherry, and one pecan—all made from scratch. They were all fantastic, and each in their own special way made my life everything it was meant to be.



Apple (the black bit is my fault, btw)


And pecan


As I was taking these pictures, I was literally singing to myself:

Also a highlight of my Thanksgiving was getting to see my long lost brother… well, he’s not that long, just a little taller than I am, and he’s not lost, he just lives in Nashville. I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen Chris grow a moustache… so that was weird, but also cool. Everything he does is cool, almost nothing I do is cool—we’re very different, except that we’re pretty much the same—it’s a very strange mix of sameness and differentness when we’re together.


In any case, we had quite an adventure on the evening of Thanksgiving when some of the “Black Friday” sales were actually starting on Thursday night. Wal-Mart is the local piazza (town square) in Ardmore, and since absolutely nothing else is going on at 6pm on Thanksgiving, we drove the two blocks down to Wal-Mart just to see the spectacle. And, oh man, what a spectacle to behold! Never in my life have I seen anything like it. Before we even got to the parking lot, I could see cars flooding in and out of the entrance from the main road… I could see lines of cars circling the parking spaces… time was of the essence so I pulled into a bank parking lot that is some distance from Wal-Mart thinking, “I’ll just park way out here to avoid the hassle in the Wal-Mart parking lot… boy am I a smart one… I should do a Ph.D… oh wait, check!”

You know where this is headed… of course, the bank parking lot was completely packed. People were parked everywhere; on the grass, on the sidewalks; the adjacent business parks were full; the bank parking lots were full, the mall parking lot was full (not really that close to Wal-Mart). It didn’t take me long to see that quick action was needed; I whipped to and fro deftly making my way to where a man, a dear man, was loading up a giant box no doubt filled with some special treasure that this man could not live without for another minute so he had to come to Wal-Mart at flippin’ 6pm on Thanksgiving to get it at 90% off.

But others noticed this man as well… I was in good position, but I was being crowded by a lightweight pick-up that was creeping up in my rear-view mirror (get a real truck, man, lightweights are for wimps). I had the line of cars behind me blocked, but this truck somehow got around me, turned to the right and began trying to turn his truck around to get into position directly behind the car that was pulling out. I was perpendicular to the row of cars, and the “leaving-car” began pulling out of the space just ahead of me on my left. The “competing-truck” was lined up right behind the “leaving-car” ready to block me out as soon as the “leaving-car” pulled away. I couldn’t let this happen, but what could I do? It all hinged on how far the “leaving-car” pulled away from his space before turning to exit the lot… would there be enough space as he reversed for me to slip into the space just as he was pulling away from it? I saw my window of opportunity, a split-second when the “leaving-car” was far enough out for me to slip in, but hadn’t started pulling forward to turn towards the exit… I stepped on it… vroom-vroom, and I whipped my little car right through the gap to everyone’s amazement… I had conquered the quest for a parking spot on the busiest day of the year. Mission accomplished.

Inside was mass chaos. Thousands, literally thousands of people were packed into every square foot of the Wal-Mart. The sales were staggered throughout the evening with certain products going on sale at 6pm and others going on sale at 8pm. They had 32” TV’s for $98… $98! King-size 700 thread-count sheet sets for $25!! I headed for the sheets. My brother and I waded through swarms of Oklahoman humanity with some measure of success for about 5 minutes. But at some point the capacity reached a tipping-point. By about 6:15 there were just too many people crammed into the Wal-Mart for any of them to move, especially because so many people were trying to move around with shopping carts. There were Wal-Mart employees trying to figure out how to get people moving through the gridlock. Literally the mass chaos had turned into a single, motionless mass of people just standing, unable to move. The next 20 minutes or so consisted of Chris and I just trying to press through the crowds to get to the front of the store. I showed up at the register with a set of sheets tucked under my arm feeling quite accomplished. And there we met the girls in our crew—who had somehow managed to snag a 7.5 foot tall Christmas tree (still in the box) and get it all the way to the front of the store… unbelievable! Women have magical shopping powers. This is what the store looked like at the point.


This doesn’t even begin to capture it, you really have to zoom in to see that these are actually continuous lines of people that go as far back in the store as the lines of lights at the top of the picture reach.

I’m tired just reliving the adventure. Next I’ll have to tell you about me climbing into our 40 foot tall pecan tree to try to shake loose the pecans for us to pick! That will need to wait for another day.


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