Down East 2013 ©
The Women Who Run With the Moose (Celeste, Rita, Betty, Dot, Shirley and me) have been in training lately. The last four weeks, we’ve been meeting every Saturday and taking a power walk, gradually working our way up from two miles, to three, then four and topping out at five miles. Seriously! And of course, doing it as a group, you push yourselves harder. Boy, I can really feel it in my legs, after.
Which isn’t to say we’re neglecting our upper body strength. No way! Dot had the brilliant idea of walking with our pocket books (full, of course) and a couple of hand weights. OK, so we look a little funny. But it’s all part of getting in shape for one of my favorites days of the year. The Super Bowl of Shopping. You guessed it: Black Friday!
Listen, the Bangor Mall is pretty big, and you got to be able to go the distance. Not get tuckered out by mid-day. You’ll be glad you did all that weight training, too. Those shopping bags are heavy, and it’s just not practical to keep running back and forth to the car every two minutes.
We also have a strategizing session where we compare lists and come up with a game plan: who is going where with whom, and most important, where we’re eating lunch and having snacks. Taking a time out every now and then is important, not just for energy, but for keeping up your morale. Like in any big game, there are fumbles, missed opportunities, and disappointments, so you have to build in time to get together and regroup, bolster each other up.
And sometimes, you have to punt. You know, improvise. That’s the most important thing (and the hardest, really) about having a game plan: being able to assess the situation and adapt the plan. Or, in some cases throw it out altogether. You may be thinking you’re going to buy your sister some nice Isotoner gloves, but then you come across a cashmere scarf that they’re practically giving away. You need to be able seize the opportunity without hesitation, because in shopping, like in life, you snooze you loose.
So Thanksgiving night, us girls all go to bed early. That’s usually easy for me, because I’m plum worn out from all that cooking, eating, and talking.
3 a.m. I’m up. Shirley swings by in the Bonneville 4ish with Celeste and Betty. We pick up the rest of the gals and, travel mugs of coffee and Rita’s homemade cinnamon rolls in hand, we’re off. The Bangor Mall opens at 5, and by mid-morning, a lot of the really good bargains are gone.
By 10 a.m., the Women Who Run With the Moose (or the A-Team, as we started ourselves this year), have already made one trip to the car, and are kicking back at Orange Julius for our first snack of the day. I had the Pomegranate Julius (you know, for the anti-oxidants).
Then, more shopping, and lunch at Bugaboo Creek. Our waitress’ name, poor thing, was Clarabelle, like the cow. I asked Clarabelle if that’s what her parents named her, and she said it’s her Bugaboo Creek name. I guess they have to take on an alias at work, and that was the only name tag left. Can you imagine? Having a cow’s name, that’s just not right! But, the food is always good.
After lunch, the A-Team did a little clean-up batting: a field trip over to the Wally-Mart, Toys-R-Us, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Shopped out, we head over to Herman and Sweet Dreams Bakery for our reward. By now, we’re on a first name basis with the baker, Phil. Oh my God, what that man can do with chocolate! It’s unreal! We stumble back into Shirley’s Bonneville all giddy and exhausted, and somehow she got us home to Mahoosuc Mills for a well-deserved nap.
Needless to say, I got some wicked good deals. Of course, I can’t tell you what they are. That would spoil the surprise! All I’m saying is, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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