Fred Meyer Night

September 24th, 2009

Ingredients for a perfect Fred Meyer night

A pair of comfortable walking shoes
Several decks of cards
Several close friends (can be replaced for your entire wing, or your entire dorm)
Several topics to discuss
An i pod (in case you run out of things to talk about and games to play)
A list
An idea of where things are
The ability to meet new people
A pillow or lawn chair to sit on
Something warm
Strong arms
A good eye for deals


A small side note: the comfortable walking shoes can be replaced with a bus ride, but that will require at least five more servings of patience.

Describing Fred Meyer to a Californian like myself is simple enough; imagine a classy version of a walmart with a bit more food, most of which is organic. To describe Fred Meyer night to anyone who is not enrolled at OSU is a near impossibility, but I will do my best.

As my entire wing of McNary headed of to Fred Meyer I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I figured there would be a few people waiting in line for sub par deals for things nobody wants. So as we meandered down King Street three hours before we were allowed inside Fred Meyer I had low expectations for what the night would bring. My fellow freshman and I talked about what the night would bring and as we arrived at Fred Meyer there were no more then twenty people in front of us and our hopes were high. And then the waiting began.

We played cards, we talked, we played more cards, and we talked some more. Slowly but surely people were filling in behind us doing much of the same thing. You could tell the upperclassmen from the underclassmen because the freshman lacked things to sit on, other then the concrete, while most everyone else had chairs or pillows to sit on. Yet the line did not seem to get any longer behind us. If anything there were more people in front of us as people let their friends and their friend’s friends cut in line. Still it did not seem appropriate for us to be at Fred Meyer three hours early. As the night wore on and the entrance time arrived the noise level grew and grew until it was indistinguishable sound. And then the doors opened.

As the creaky gates swung outward the mob of people in front of us, which had started out as ten people, but had grown to at least one hundred people due to cutting, rushed forward and I was taken along for the ride. With my arms trapped at my side and the smell of thousands in the air we flooded Fred Meyer with whoops of joy and of excitement. Upon entering we were given a raffle ticket and a page of coupons. As I looked down at the coupons I realized that these were no ordinary deals, and I felt the sudden urge to buy more pairs of jeans because they were twenty percent off or more electronic gizmos because they were ten percent off. As I perused the aisles of Fred Meyer twangs of guilt racked my stomach as I saw all the deals that I was passing up. Fred Meyer had instilled in me a sense that I had to take advantages of these deals and if I did not then there was something wrong with me. It was at that point that I realized the power Fred Meyer held over me fellow classmates and myself.

The only thing better then the amazing deals was the copious amounts of free food. Pizza, chips, monster energy drink, five hour energy drinks, kiwis, apples, and even when you were all done shopping and you walked outside and you gazed upon the line that wrapped around Fred Meyer twice; you suddenly appreciated those three hours you spent waiting in line because now you could go home while they were forced to wait for their turn inside Freddie’s. After that moment of total bliss a worker standing beside several shopping carts full of bags handed you a bag and said “thank you for shopping at Fred Meyer” as they handed you more free things. In that euphoric moment as all things seem possible and nothing is beyond your grasp, you stand in awe at the power of capitalism and Fred Meyer. The walk back was uneventful. As was the time I spent unpacking and fawning over my free treasures. That night our dorm stayed up late, as if I was Christmas and none of us dared to fall asleep for fear that we would walk up and this amazing night would be naught but happy dream.

These next section had no place in the blog, yet I feel it is a key part of the Fred Meyer experience. While waiting in line and inside Fred Meyer and even later that night, in their delusional state people say things that are truly out of this world and yet describe parts of the night. Here are a few of the quotes that I heard and remembered. If you heard any more, or had one you made up please add it to the comments section.

Fred Meyer Quotes:
“Standing in line for Fred Meyer is just like a high school dance”

“Hey what did you do last night?”
“I went to Fred Meyer and had a pretty awesome time”
This quote I used myself and heard several times throughout the time following Fred Meyer night. Fred Meyer is more then just a time to buy things for cheap it’s a social event. Sure you could go out that night and do other things, but the following day the most exciting thing people can talk about is Fred Meyer.

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