I’m back, I’m alive, and after five days of not being glued to a computer, I’m trying to relearn how to stick myself to one for 8+ hours a day. The biggest hurdle I suppose is slowing down the pace from an absolutely jam-packed, exhausting weekend of absolutely jam-packing myself to the point of exhaustion.
My clever plan to arrive early and leave late led to a traffic free trip, and besides the morons wanting to watch a movie on the bus rides, it was relatively painless. YEE GADS. I mean, really, you’re an adult . . . you SERIOUSLY want to watch The Game Plan starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? At 8 am? Blasting from overhead speakers? I don’t even know if there is a strong enough insult for such a person. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I have little patience for lots of noise in confined spaces, especially during hours in which I am supposed to be SLEEPING. On a vacation day, 8 AM qualifies. I guess I’ve been away from home too long, but I should have remembered that noise would be a running theme over the long weekend and it would serve me well to, um, get used to it.
Obnoxious noise aside, I love Thanksgiving – it’s only about eating ridiculously buttery, starchy food and drinking lots of wine with family, and mine happens to be awesome. There’s no gift-hunting pressure, no smiling and saying “thank you” while thinking, “nice, but do I really need more crap?” stress – it’s perfect. We ate turkey, ham, mashed potatoes (red with lots of skin left on, of course), sweet potatoes cooked with about a pound of butter and half a bottle of Grand Marnier, creamed spinach, cranberry sauce, green beans, you know, the typical American OMFG dinner wherein by the end you are literally moaning from the pain. Excellent. Oh, and dessert? Ha. Along with the usual pie varietals, we had the dessert version of a turducken: a pecan pie BAKED INSIDE OF A PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE. You guys, is that not the most disgustingly fabulous thing you have ever heard of in your life?
I wish I could say that I have since stopped eating all together to make up for it, but alas, I just keep eating more. But this year, I had to. There was a purpose. Like a marathon runner carbo-loading the night before the big race, my gorging turned out to be for a specific reason: on Friday morning, I got up at 4:00 am to go to Target. You may be surprised by this, as I am the kind of person that normally makes fun of these kinds of people, but I did it.
I’ve always pictured hordes of middle-aged white women with blonde bobs, mom-jeans and turtlenecks, as roided-out football players playing chicken with gigantic shopping carts, growling at anyone who might dare rip that Tickle Me Elmo-Cabbage Patch-Furby-whatever the kids are into these days thing. I imagined them playing tug-of-war with large boxes and beaming each other over the head with See-n-Says – “the insane woman who got up at 4 am for her spoiled children says ‘MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE”, you know that kind of thing . . . so when my cousin asked me to join her on Wednesday, I agreed, obviously.
Said cousin, my mom, sister, and I arrived about 4:45 to a decent sized line, anxious to snatch up the things on our respective lists. Besides what my cracked-out imagination pictured, I really didn’t have any idea of what to expect, but as soon as the doors opened, people sprinted and pushed their carts inside and started throwing things into them a la Supermarket Sweep. And by people I of course mean me. I headed over to the bed & bath section in search of towels and sheets and, always the indecisive one, started throwing any and all in my cart for fear that they might all suddenly disappear. I mean, isn’t that what happens on Black Friday? Wouldn’t I have to go all American Gladiator for $12.99 bath sheets? Oh, and I SO would have won if it came down to a joust on a balance beam.
Unfortunately, the scene was much tamer than I had expected. It was a little hectic at first, but there was nary a death-match nor blood-bath in sight. No one even got trampled! You disappoint me, Rockville soccer moms. I did escape with some great deals, though. All in all I spent $135 and walked away with bath sheets, hand towels, wash cloths, three movies, two sweaters, a dress, two tubes of toothpaste (don’t ask), a queen-sized set of flannel sheets, four pairs of socks, and all of my limbs in tact. Was it necessary to get there at 5 am? For the things I purchased, probably not, but it was still fun and funny to walk out of a Target at 6:30 in the morning with several bags in tow. Who knows, maybe it will become a tradition.