Friday, September 18, 2009

Coupon D'Etat

My wife and I always go to the grocery store together. We get to spend more time together, it's faster that way, and I can toss Fritos or brownie mix into the cart when she's not looking. It really is fun. But we've found out that there is a curse set upon every middle-class person. That you will become that guy or that girl that annoyed you when you were growing up. Since middle-class people don't exactly struggle very often, we are blind to certain things growing up. I didn't understand why people did what they did. And being a know-it-all from 6 to 21, I could obviously complain about whatever I wanted to. So when I would go with my mom to the store, I would quite vocally lament the presence of boisterous youngsters (say how much I hated loud kids being in the store), and I would be less than excited to see the frugal detail-attending women attempting to save money (hate those stupid coupon ladies) in front of us in the checkout.

But now, we have become those people. Our first mistake is that we always forget to put long pants on our baby daughter. We live in a warm climate, so she wears onesies and shorts and such. And we fail to take into account the temperature difference between our home and the grocery store. And when we inevitably spend 75% of our time in the cold/frozen section, she gets "boisterous" and we hear many people vocally "lamenting" her boisterousness. And because of the combination of the economy, us being broke, stupidity of over-paying when coupons are so readily available, and the middle-class curse, we have a stack of slick paper cutouts to hand the cashier when we're done. Then it takes us a few minutes to figure out which ones we need to hand over. And that's because we have yet to find a procedure that keeps them neatly stacked throughout the trip so they're in perfect order at the register. Usually my son thinks they're for coloring and my daughter thinks they're for eating. So we get some strange looks from the workers when we hand over crayon-covered, slobber-soaked coupons.

But I don't really care all that much. I care more about saving a total of 15 dollars on those "stupid" coupons than people thinking I'm a weirdo. Yeah, I cut out a bunch of paper squares to save 35 cents on each can of vegetables we bought. I've got all the excuses I need: I'm broke, I can start any reason with "in this economy...", I'm supporting my family, every little bit helps, I'm cheap, and over-paying is stupid. So if I could spell the sound you make when you stick your tongue out and spit, I would ("Pbpbpblpbl"?)

And on a sidenote, does anyone else feel like a jerk when you use those order-separating sticks in the checkout. If I put it in front of my stuff, I feel like I'm saying, "Don't try to take my Fritos, man! These are MY Fritos! I picked them out and you can't have them!" But if I put it behind my stuff I'm saying, "Listen dude, I know you personally selected all this stuff, but I just don't believe that you're gonna remember that these are your pizzas once I walk down the row to sort through my 18 coupons. And I am not gonna get stuck with your stupid frozen pizzas. So I'm gonna mark my territory with this plastic baton to make sure you don't sneak anything into my pile. Because I'm not paying 8 bucks for a DiGiornio! I have a coupon at home that makes them 4 bucks!"

1 comment:

Jill said...

I agree about the customer divider sticks, or whatever they're called. But it makes me feel better when I put one behind my stuff and the person (usually a lady) says 'thank-you.' It lets me know they're not offended.