23 November 2007

Braving Black Friday (aka The Importance of Socks)

Yeah, I went out before noon on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It's not a practice that I recommend, but, see, two places were having "buy one get one free" deals on socks. This may not strike anyone but me as significant, but both places carry wool socks, and I'm rather fond of wool socks during the winter.

First stop: Fred Meyer. It was mildly crowded by my standards, but not too bad...until I went into electronics. They have two cash registers in there. They needed, oh, six, and it's a small space anyway. I made a brief circuit, and headed back out into the main store to look for socks. Sadly, most of the ones that I really like were gone already, but I did find two pairs, and got one of them free. There was also a $10 DVD rack set up near books, and I found a few good deals there. These were recent releases, btw, on sale for $10. And I even lucked into a very short line. One person was ahead of me, and he was just leaving as I got in line.

Second stop: Sportsman's Warehouse. This wasn't nearly as crowded as Fred Meyer, likely because it's a store that caters to males, and males, by and large, are more sensible about bizarre early sales. I also noted that SW had no early morning specials in their ad: just some deals that ran the full day. There were a lot of people congregating around the socks, but not so many that I was put off from searching through them. I found 6 pairs (the limit was get 3 free) and headed up to pay for them. SW has VERY good socks, with prices to match. Most of them are designed for hiking. The priciest pair that I got are normally $17 per pair. $17 for two pair was much better, imo. And, once again, a very short wait in line to pay.

Mostly out of curiosity, and because their ad had been mercifully brief (20% off entire store), I wandered over to Bed, Bath and Beyond...and wandered right back out. The lines were at least 3 deep across the board, and crowded to boot, and I despise both. Even if I found something that would have been nice to get 20% off on, I wouldn't have been willing to wait in line under those circumstances. For wool socks, I might have put up with it, but not for the flim-flammery that they have at BBB.

I don't know whether to call it clautrophobia or agoraphobia or something else entirely, but I really really loathe crowded places. The size of the space is mostly irrelevant; it's the amount of people packed in per square unit of space. If a place is too crowded for me, I will walk right back out. This is why, by and large, I avoid Wal-Mart. It's crowded nearly all the time. If I have to drive clear through the lot and still don't find a parking space, I drive right back out. My mom has occasionally dragged me there during an objectionable peak hour. I would rather stick my hand in a blender, quite frankly. It would be more enjoyable.

But I was careful with my choices for today, and did NOT go at 6:00 am, when Fred Meyer opened. Both places were only slightly more crowded than I like, and had very short lines.


Quixie said...

I hear you.

Although . . . that's probably my least favorite part of winter . . .
That is, the fact that I HAVE to wear socks at all.
Given my druthers, I'd rather be wearing my flip-flops all year long.



Qalmlea said...

Yeah... I tend to wear my (generic) Birkenstocks or some other sort of sandal all through the summer, except when I'm hiking. ^/^ But if I must wear socks, the may as well be warm ones!