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Shopping with a purpose

By Staff
Melissa Cason
This year we decided that Wal-Mart had good enough deals for us to brave the crowd Friday morning. While this was not our first year to shop the day after Thanksgiving, it was the first time we got there to find nothing left.
We were going after pants for Jordan because he had a growth spurt and needed pants for school. What we found was empty binds. We did manage to find our boys three fleece hoodies at $4 each. That was a good deal. We went to the cash register, and waited in line for 15 minutes only to buy a few items.
The cashier said there was a lady in the store earlier who decided she wanted the big flat screen TV bad enough that she hit people to get one.
Listening to all the craziness made me think of the first time I decided a deal was worth fighting over. Before I start telling my story, let me say that I have never hit, bit or slapped someone in order to get the needed item in my possession.
I have, however, waited three hours in the freezing cold only to find myself in the midst of a shopping mob.
The first time I decided to go to Wal-Mart was in 2002. The sale paper said they would have a Jeep on sale for $69 so I decided Jordan, who was two-years-old at the time, needed the Jeep.
I woke up at 2 a.m. I was dressed and at Wal-Mart by 3 a.m. I sat in my car until 5 a.m., which was when I noticed a crowd forming in front of the store.
Since I wanted to get the prized item, I ran up to the door to wait like everyone else. As I stood there, the crowd grew bigger and bigger by the minute. About 5:45, the crowd started pushing forward, and I admit I was terrified. I had visions of me being knocked down and trampled by the mob. I knew I had to be ready.
When the doors finally opened, the crowd took off in a fast walk that quickly turned into a sprint.
I moved as fast as I could toward the area I thought the Jeep would be. I found the Jeep and headed straight for the check out. When I got to the cashier, I learned I had picked up the wrong Jeep and the store only had one sale item Jeep.
I was so angry. I felt cheated. I told her that I didn't want it and went home to tell Jimmy about my first voyage to Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving.
Later on that day, I decided to pick up the phone and make my disappointment known. I called the corporate office, and talked with a lady who takes complaints.
She took my phone number and told me she was sorry that my store only had one Jeep.
At that point, I thought it was over until the next week when I got a phone call from the store manager telling me that the corporate office had sent the store the Jeep that had ran in the sale paper with the instructions that if I still wanted it, I could have it at the $69 price.
I sent Jimmy to the store, and he picked it up. Jordan loved that Jeep. He played with it until he totally outgrew it and, then, Cameron inherited it from his big brother.
Eventually, the Jeep got wore out and we gave it away.
But, as long as I live, I will never forget that first terrifying experience.
Now, I go when I can just to feel the excitement of racing to an item. But, again, I never use violence. Happy shopping everybody and good luck.