The Plan: go to Best Buy, camp out, spend the night in the cold in the parking lot (ohhhh to live in Arizona for this occasion) and to walk away with a lap top or two. (Background: I desperately need a new computer for me. LM and I are sharing his ancient piece of, well, I'm reluctant to even call it technology. I've been without my own for nearly a year now and it's wearing on us both. To boot, LM's other half of his family pooled together funds and had the budget if I could perhaps get a good deal.) Back to the story, I had planned to arrive at Best Buy around 10 Thursday night, but I was unable to nap and decided I would head over earlier and sit in the parking lot.
When I arrived, there were no less than 15 tents already up and more than 40 people in line already waiting. I was stunned. A woman in front of me told me the story from last year, that the people at the front (generally thought to be local college students) had gotten as many tickets as possible for every item and then sold them for $50 to people further back in the line). I was discouraged. I called my brother. He immediately referred to the spreadsheet they had put together for this exact purpose and guided me to Office Depot instead, telling me about my options there.
I was the second person to arrive at O.D. The short of the story is that I did stay all night, but was able to stay in my car until 5am as I was with very courteous people and none of us wanted to freeze. At 5:45 I was given two tickets, one for each of the laptops I wanted and I went with glee back to my car to warm up until the store opened 15 minutes later.
I was back home, had the dog out and back in and was in bed by 6:30 am. I was exhausted. Never, even in my college days, did I ever pull an all-nighter and I had my doubts at 4am that I was going to be able to pull this one off, but when I collapsed into bed, I did feel a slight bit of elation despite my exhaustion and severe headache.
It really wasn't until Saturday when it all sank in. I called my dad (about to board a cruise ship for back to back Caribbean cruises - oh, to retire like my dad and second mom) and thanked him profusely. His Christmas money for me, plus his support and encouragement, had made this possible. I had, in my possession, a new computer. And, with his father's help, I had a Christmas gift for LM that was beyond his wildest dreams.
I don't encourage shopping on a holiday and I hate the materialistic side of Christmas, but I must admit, I am simply giddy over several gifts that I am giving this year and the joy that they will bring to their recipients. And I am thrilled about a box under the tree with my name on it that will allow me to pursue more of the things I love at my leisure.
Now, to just wait until Christmas to open it....
OH, and LM doesn't know about any of it. So, he will first have the surprise of the new home computer and later will have the added HUGE bonus of one for himself. Does this get any better?