– Ben Martens

Black Friday

I don’t go much for Black Friday sales, but there was a time that I tried to survive the mob and I realized that story hasn’t appeared on this site before…

I believe it was my junior year of college (Nov 2000) when I decided I wanted to buy a sound system, DVD player and TV for our dorm room. All of it was pretty entry level stuff but it was going to be a major upgrade! I went shopping at Best Buy and figured out what I wanted. The sales guy hinted that there were going to be some big sales on Black Friday so I decided I’d wait and save some money.

Dad kindly waited with me that morning. I don’t remember the specifics but I think we got there around 5am and it was below 20 degrees. We were about 10th or so in line and we waited for hours for the store to open. As the doors open, everyone mobbed the doors and pushed their way in so we probably weren’t the 10th people to get in. Dad and I had a plan so we went directly for the stuff we wanted, grabbed it and reconvened. That maybe took 60 seconds, but the store was already completely full. It took forever (half an hour?) to make it back to the cash registers.

As the cashier rang up my total, I happily said, “How much did I save?” … “Save? Nothing. None of this was on sale.”

Yep, we waited in the freezing cold for hours to save… nothing. The TV and DVD player are long gone, but that sound system has traveled all over the country with me and is currently in our theater room (complete with birdseed and a mouse carcass inside the subwoofer but that’s a story for another day.) I think about that Black Friday regularly when I flip on the sound system. Thank you, Dad, for suffering through that with me and not giving me grief.