After being at Wal-Mart at 9 pm Thursday night, it was pretty well decided we were not women of shopping fortitude and therefore should not attempt to navigate the mayhem there. Three hours before Wal-Mart’s official start time, people were already lined up, inside the store, gathering their booty. I just thought shopping two days before Thanksgiving was crazy, the day after is down right insane!
At about 2 AM Friday morning, my Mama and I put on our brave faces and headed out into the cold in order to be amongst the crazies that participate in the Black Friday mayhem. Our plan was strategic: avoid Wal-Mart at all cost.
First stop was at Old Navy. I weaved and bobbed my way around the nutso people who had been there since midnight , just to get into the store. I browsed around looking at all the goodies. The problem I had with Old Navy is, the “sale prices” weren’t much if any better than their normal prices. I just didn’t see anything that was a good enough buy to justify waiting in line for over an hour to check out.
With Old Navy being a bust, we decided to go straight to Kohl’s. They were opening their doors at 3 A.M., we had 5 minutes to spare when we got there. As we approached the front of the store, looking for a parking spot, you could see the line of people. Now this line was about 5 people deep and stretched a good football field in length. I later heard that the people in the very front of the line had been there since 5 P.M. last night!
Surprisingly though, by the time I had parked the car, the line had made great progress into the store. Our original plan had been to divide and conquer the store. We quickly altered our plan with the realization that if we separated we would never find one another again. People had walkie-talkie’s to communicate with other members of their group! It was nuts. With the invention of the cell phone, are walkie-talkie’s the best form of communication? Maybe they knew something we didn’t. But it was still funny to see!
Mama and I fought and pushed our way through the store, making our selections. After about 45 minutes of checking out various things, I found it amusing that the items I wanted/needed to be cheap weren’t really even affected by the sale there (aka girls clothing and shoes). Appliances and home decor seemed to be the things that had the greatest discounts. I think they had some toys on sale, but by the time we made our way to that section, there wasn’t that much left to choose from. Even with that, I managed to rack up $200 worth of crap. The lines to the check out wrapped all the way to the back of the store. Mama and I took our appropriate place in line. At this point, we heard that the wait to check out was about 3 hours. When an employee came around announcing “If you apply for a Kohl’s card, you can move immediately to the front of the line”, Mama and I were on board. This was no time to be waiting in line for over 3 hours, especially because we still had JC Penny’s to attack. Even after getting to the “front” of the line, we waited for about 45 minutes to check out.
I am not much of a shopper to start with. I am thinking that maybe, just maybe, Black Friday wasn’t the most appropriate day for me to try to evolve into a shopper. I got extremely frustrated at the crowds, the waiting and the pressure I felt to buy things simply because they were on sale.
Thanksgiving was great. Mama was here and the in-laws came over. I did really good not over eating. That is, until I got the bright idea to make meringue cookies. They are light and crunchy and I ate a ton of them!6 egg whites 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup sugar (fine) Beat egg whites until just frothy and add vanilla. Continue beating until fairly stiff peaks are formed. Gradually add in sugar and continue beating. (Because I did not have creme of Tartar, I beat the egg whites until “extra firm” peaks were formed). Once the appropriate stiffness was formed, I used a pastry bag and tip to pipe the cookies onto parchment paper. I made about 100 cookies. (I know that sounds like a lot, but really I only used 3 cookie sheets with about 1/2 inch in between each cookie). Bake in an oven at 200 F. The first recipe I read said for an hour, but it was more like 2 hours for me. Then I turned the oven off and left them in over night to finish drying.
These cookies are light and crisp and really satisfy a sweet tooth. According the SparkPeople recipe calculator each cookie had 8.8 calories. I am anxious to try making these with Splenda.
How was your Thanksgiving?
Did you participate in Black Friday?