Friday, November 23, 2007

I Said I Wasn't Going To Do It...

But I did...I hate shopping on Black Friday and every year I say I'm not going anywhere. If I do leave the house, I will not go to Wal-Mart, I will not go to the mall, I will not go shopping on Black Friday.

Those of you who live in the Shenandoah Vally are likely familiar with the Green Valley Book Fair. It's held for two weekends in a row, six times a year. Books--usually the unsold books from chain stores--are sold at the Book Fair at great savings, around 50% discount or more. At the last Book Fair in September, I picked up a $30.00 Bible Concordance for $8.50. Awesome savings. So Mom and I headed down again today. This was personal shopping, not Christmas shopping, and it wasn't at a mall or shopping center or a Wal-Mart, so I was okay with doing this kind of shopping on Black Friday.

On the way there, the "low tire" light on the car's dashboard comes on. We pull over at the next exit and checked the tires. They all looked fine. Mom had an issue with her car a few months back where the light was coming on and there was nothing wrong with her tires, so we figured it was the same problem recurring again. So we got back on the road.

Got to the Book Fair and started shopping. The place was a lot more crowded than it was the last time we were there, but then again this was Black Friday. I wasn't Christmas shopping, but obviously lots of other people were. Mom and I split up and met up about forty-five minutes to an hour later. I wanted to limit myself to under $50.00. My total was $49.61! Mom also had the same limit and she was about $51.50. So we did pretty well.

We got out to the car, put our bags in the trunk and I walked around to the passenger side to climb in. I happened to glance backward and saw the rear tire was flat. Not just a little low, flat. The rim was on the ground. Looks like the low tire light wasn't a false alarm.

Oh, by the way, it's about 40 degrees outside with a constant 10 mph wind with gusts to 15 or so. And neither of us is really dressed for that weather. I'm wearing a polo shirt and denim wind protection at all. Mom had on a sweatshirt and insulated jacket, so at least she was better prepared, but still, she was cold too. She called for roadside assistance and we waited about 45 minutes for the guy to show up. He did a great job and was very nice. He let us wait in his truck while he took care of the tire.

When he was done, he gave us directions to the nearest Wal-Mart (can you guess what's coming?). We went in and they told us it would take 2 to 2 1/2 hours to get to our car. Can you believe that? Well, there was nothing else we could do but wait. We--yep--shopped. But it wasn't too bad. It was about 2:00 at this point and the worst of the Black Friday shoppers were gone. It was like just about any other Saturday at Wal-Mart. Mom found a gift for her grandson/my nephew and I found a great hooded sweater/cardigan for myself. Hey, it's not a Christmas was for me so it doesn't count. Another gift...they actually pulled our car in right away so they were done in about half an hour. We were on the road by 2:45. With one quick stop at the grocery store, we were home at 4:00...only three hours later than we had hoped to get home.

So it was pretty frustrating, but through it all, I was calm. It was inconvenient, and a pain, and stressful, but I kept focusing on the positive aspects. Mom wasn't dealing with this on her own, we were never in any danger, and we were taken care of quickly without too much damage to our wallets.

I'm always grateful every Thanksgiving when I can be with my family. I'm doubly-grateful this Black Friday because even though there were problems, they were taken care of quickly and we were safe the entire time.

Tomorrow, she and I are going NOWHERE! Well, I may meet my fellow NaNo'ers because they meet every Saturday, but that's it! I'm going to do that, laundry, and write, write, write. As of today, I'm 3600 words behind in my word count and I am determined to make it up this weekend. Doesn't matter how trashy and junky it is, I will get caught up!

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