If there was one thing to get me shopping on Black Friday it would be Kohl’s cash. At my previous destinations it was all about the people watching. At Kohl’s I was ready to consummate my relationship with Black Friday. How could I resist with the Kohl’s spend $50 get $15 dollars back they were literally paying me to shop. Talk about retail foreplay? For that kind of cash action I’d let Kohl’s round all the bases and slide into home. Plus, I had a 15% off coupon. It was like a menage a trois. Me, Kohl’s cash and the coupon.
Just thinking about what awaited me I walked into the store all worked up and then had a major case of coitus interruptus. It was jammed packed. Not packed with people shopping, but packed with people waiting in line to pay for their purchases. I kid you not, the lines to pay for your robes, blouses and socks wound through the store twice like a double helix. Kohl’s even had signs up, like they have at theme parks, that said, “Congratulations you are only 60 minutes from the check out stand.” The only way to get a fast pass was to open a Kohl’s charge card. Sure, I wanted to shop, but it was almost 2 a.m. and I didn’t want to have to stand in line till the sun came up. Since I was there I decided to circulate through the store and see what discounts Kohl’s was offering that would justify standing in line for hours and bringing your own stadium seating chair.
I had made it half way through the store when I saw two precious little girls sleeping on top of a “bed” decked out in Vera Wang sheets in the linen department. The girls who looked to be about two and four were in cuddly p.j’s and pink slippers. I inquired in a curious voice, “Whose adorable little girls are these?”
One grandma-ish woman piped up, “I don’t know. I haven’t seen anyone check on them and I’ve been standing in this area for about 20 minutes.” I asked the woman to stand guard over them and she said, “Honey my eyes haven’t left these angels.”
I asked another woman to please go to customer service and get some help. She was a little hesitant, but the person in front of her in line promised to save her place. I then started working my way up the line asking people if they know who the two little girls belonged to that were sleeping in the linens department.
Finally, a woman said they were her granddaughters. “Are you kidding me?” I asked, “Your letting your grandbabies sleep at Kohl’s while you stand in this stupid line? You do realize your about half a store away from them and anybody could just take them and poof they’re gone.”
She didn’t even try to defend her actions. She just said, “Well, you’ll have to talk my daughter about it. She put them there and then told me to hold a place in line while she shopped.” I almost felt sorry for her. She sounded like she was afraid of her own daughter.
“Good God woman,” I said, “Go get your grandchildren and what does your daughter look like I’m going to find her?”
The woman described her daughter as wearing a baseball hat, jeans and (wait for it, wait for it) a hot pink bedazzled hoodie that says, “This Mom of Two Rocks.” Armed with that description the woman was easy to find in the jewelry department. Which as any Kohl’s shopper knows is near the front of the store and about as far away as you can get from where she left her sleeping daughters. I adjusted my fanny pack and said in my most authoritative voice, “Excuse me, but are you the woman who abandoned two little girls one of the beds in the linen department?”
She didn’t even take her eyes off the ring she was trying on and sighed, “Did they wake up or something?”
That really got me peeved so I went to my old stand by – lying about my occupation and threatening people with some sort of legal action. “No!” But I’m affiliated with Children’s Protective Services and unless you take your kids home right now I will forced to take then into custody.”
She finally looked up at me and said, “Don’t you think you’re over reacting? What’s that thing people say. Oh yeah, It takes a village.”
“Well, in this case it take one social service agency employee and I’m going to give you about 3 minutes to get your precious girls, your mother and yourself out of the store.”
She sighed again and seemed very put out and said, “Whatever.” Then she asked, “What if I have my mom stand by them as they sleep can I stay then?”
It was at this point I realized I was out of my element it was time to turn it over to a higher power – Kohl’s security. They assured me they had the situation in hand. Before I walked away, I couldn’t help myself, I had to ask this blinged out “Mom of Two,” Why didn’t you just leave your kids at home with your mother? Wouldn’t that have been easier than dragging your babies out at 2 a.m.?”
She looked at me like I was the biggest loser on the planet and said, “But then who would hold my place in the check out line?” I just shook my head in disgust and left the store. I was growing weary of this thing called Black Friday and promised myself after checking out Old Navy I would head home.
Why Old Navy you ask? I was drawn to the store because it seemed to be the place to be if you were female and under the age of 30 plus it was right next door. The store looked like it had been attacked my a flash mob. Jeans were strewn about, hoodies were laying on the floor and women were in various stages of undress. Not willing to wait for a dressing room (the line did look brutal) women were shedding their clothes in public. I found this a little unseemly. First, why would you need to try on clothes? You’re Christmas shopping right? Not buying $15.99 denim for yourself. Then there’s the naked part. I know if I were at any swimming pool I would, no doubt, see the same amount of skin. But people in their underwear, in public, as they attempt to shimmy into skinny jeans is, I daresay, a little different. It also brings up the thong issue.
What’s so wrong with a full coverage panty? You’re out shopping in the middle of night while wearing sweats and you feel your outfit calls for a thong. Ladies, there is no visible panty line when were wrapped in a pair of baggy sweats. Embrace, at the very least, a bikini cut panty. In addition, if you must wear a itsy bitsy thong and feel the need to take your pants off in public please make sure your nether regions don’t resemble Chewbacca on a Rogaine Plus regime.
I was averting my eyes as much as possible when out of my peripheral vision I saw what looked to be a large woman totally nude from the waist down. I thought, that can’t be right. So, I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Yep, she seemed to be going fancy free in the women’s sportswear section of Old Navy. Isn’t there some sort of health code that prohibits trying on clothes butt naked?
As I ponder that point, I noticed what looked to be a small piece of nylon peeking out from south of her belly button. It looked like the tip of a ski trapped in an avalanche of flab. Oh my, this young woman had her fat rolls disguising her thong thus giving her the appearance of being naked. I wanted to go over to her and proselytize the superior hygiene and comfort qualities of a real, honest to goodness, panty. Some call them Granny panties, but I call them underwear that won’t become bff’s with your butt crack. I took all this nudity as the final sign that I needed to go home and cleanse my corneas with some sleep.
Five hours later my phone rings. It’s my mother. From 1,000 miles away she asks me to do the unthinkable. She wants me to go the mall. It gets worse. She wants me to go the American Girl doll store. I tell her she’s crazy and I’m not doing it. “Why can’t you just order all the doll stuff on-line? I ask. Well, that a big “no can do” from her. She wants two dolls and according to her the money she would save from not paying for shipping and handling would allow her to also get some “really adorable accessories” to go with the dolls. Plus, there’s some “incredible” today only bargains. She also points out that one of the dolls is for my daughter and thus begins the never-ending guilt merry go round. I swear under my breath and tell her I’ll go. Bad move.
The mall is almost Walmart crowded and so over heated it feels like it’s doing double duty as a tanning bed. When I reach the American Girl store it’s chocked full of high maintenance moms who smell like they were assaulted by the Sephora perfume bomb. Don’t get me wrong, I like Sephora, but you can’t go in there without a safe word. Once you cross the threshold of the store you’re besieged by women spritzing perfume and sales associates wanting to give you a make-over that always ends with you slathered in a quantity of cosmetics that would put a drag queen to shame. Although, they tell you, “Oh no, that’s not a lot of make-up. It’s just an evening look.” Yes, an evening out working the corner.
After I surrendered my sense of smell I adhere to my game plan of grabbing the new Marie Grace and Cecile dolls and ski set and ice skates accessories. Why the hell my mom wanted to pair up dolls based on girls that live in 1853 New Orleans with down hill skis and ice skates confused me so much I had to call her to verify the purchase. I wanted to make sure I got just want she wanted because there was no way I was coming back here and doing a return. I moved to one of the corners of the store to call my mom which unbeknownst to me would be a front row seat to Battle of the Doll Beds.
As I get off the phone with my mother (yes she wanted those doll size skis and skates) I noticed two women each grabbing for the what I’m guessing was the last “Dreamy Daybed and Bedding” box. Both women looked to be what I call Classic Cul-de-Sacers. They had the blonde highlighted hair, skinny to point of being butt-less with their bead and stitch True Religion jeans and some sort of long sleeve bejeweled burn out t-shirt. The only distinguishing characteristics between the two were one had on cowboy boots and the other Uggs.
Uggsy made the first move by trying to pull her side of the box away from Cowboy. Cowboy did the arm over-arm for a double handed tug. This gave her some more box real estate. Uggsy panicked and did a tug and twist, trying to wrench the box from Cowboy’s grip. Cowboy dug in her heels and yanked on the box so hard she managed to get Uggsy off-balance. Now Uggsy was super ticked. She kicked Cowboy in the shins. This was a tactical error. Everyone knows in an Uggs vs Cowboy boot throw down cowboy boots win. They’re pointy and have heels. Uggs just have ugly on their side. But Uggsy wasn’t going to give up just yet. She went for Cowboy’s rhinestone belt and tugged hard. This almost toppled over Cowboy. Finally, Cowboy knelt the death-blow and took her pointy boots and just wailed on Uggsy’s shins. Uggsy screamed and dropped her grip on the box enabling Cowboy to establish full control of the package and sashay up to the check out.
I was stunned by this mom-on-mom action. I followed Cowboy up the check out area and decided the best course of action was to not make any sudden moves or eye contact with this chick. Then the unbelievable happened. Cowboy looked at the box, stood there a moment and then put the bed set on the nearest shelf and walked out of the store. I thought perhaps, upon reflection, she was ashamed of herself and left the store in personal disgrace. I was so intrigued that I picked up the box she had left behind. Holy crap, it was empty. Two moms had been fighting over an empty box. Nothing could have been more symbolic of my Black Friday experience.
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