The Coupon Lady

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 I found the Coupon Lady.

Our world is a funny little place and money is a funny thing. People trying to save money can make for even more humorous situations. Just ask the profusely perspiring guy at Target. I wanted to share a story about a man who, out of everyone in the world, truly deserved a Klondike bar. Here it goes…

This last week we’ve been in San Diego hanging out with my parents while my Mom finishes her Masters Degree. Woohoo! Way to go, Mom! I will be bragging about this more later when she graduates ????

On Tuesday, Matt and I stopped at a Target for a few essentials: baby wipes, a fan (cant sleep without one), and a ball for Coco (we forgot one of her 20 balls and that was a big mistake). Anyways, Coco was an absolute terror in the store. We also purchased a little doll stroller for her and she kept whipping around the store insistent on taking out poor, unsuspecting shoppers.

So by the time we needed to check out, Matt, I, and the rest of Target, were ready for her to retreat to the car for a little peace. There were two lanes open, so Matt unloaded the stuff (we actually bought a lot more than the three necessities we went in for) so that I wouldn’t have to keep bending over ect. It was about 3 or 4 minutes before I realized that of the two lanes to choose from we had picked a really bad one.

Right in front of me stood a shrewd Italian woman. Everything about her was sharp and efficient. Sharp features, busy hands, and above all the calculating eyes that watched every single movement of the cashier. In her hands she held the mother of all coupon envelopes. Man, that thing was just spilling over with tiny clippings. I got tired just looking at it. I got more tired as the twenty minutes passed by and the cashier informed her that a coupon was expired or missing a date, and she would then demand it back and then file through that darned envelope with her deft little mouse hands. She always seemed to find another coupon. Grrrrrrrrrrreat.

And just when I thought that she was done——-BAM! She has a whole separate transaction ready to go. Gasp. More coupons. I felt a little ill when I saw that.

Anyways, to make the long story short, she pillaged through that envelope, haggled with the poor cashier, turned things back in that didn’t match her “deal,” and FINALLY paid the man. I approached the counter. Poor Mr. Cashier looked like he had been through a natural disaster or something. I tried to smile as sympathetically as possible. He looked at me with a dead-pan expression and said, “You don’t have any coupons, do you?”

Alas! I had three–but each had the expiration date on them and they were all viable savings. Still, I felt almost guilty for having them in my hands. It seemed inappropriate after such an event. He started ringing my stuff up, and one of the other cashiers came over and put a comforting hand on his shoulder. I guess everyone had been aware of the ordeal my cashier was put through.

Meanwhile, little Ms. Stromboli was off a little ways scouring over her 48 inch long receipt. Her beady eyes would dart up and down and I just know that she had some kind of supernatural calculator in her head.

She came over to the cashier and mumbled something. Like a wounded animal he grabbed a gift card and shoved it at her. “I’m sorry!” he cried. “I totally forgot to give this to you.”

Apparently she had scored a gift card out of all her couponing. I’ve done that before too. But hopefully not at the expense of someone else’s anxiety. Seriously, if you had seen this guy you would know that that woman took at least a week off of his life.

Anyways, I don’t know if this episode will strike you as much as it did me, but I walked away with a different perspective on couponing. I still think that its a great way to save, I still enjoy the thrill of getting something for practically nothing, but I think I am inspired to be as considerate as possible to other customers and cashiers.

In the animal world, that Italian woman would be a lion, the cashier a zebra, and I, an onlooking merecat. The zebra would have died and the merecat would have slipped back into a hole “Quick! Before the hyena come!” [Segway: if you haven’t seen Lion King 1 and 1/2 you will not get the intertextuality at play here. Sorry if you missed out, but thats really your own fault.]

Moral of the story: we’re not animals, people, so quit eating alive the poor Target cashiers! Come on! Is your stinking 75 cent discount really worth making someone else break out in hives? Probably not. And if it is, at least be willing to divvy up the obnoxious shopping trips and coupon victories amongst other customers. Don’t wait to do it all in front of the huge pregnant chick who needs to pee and whose toddler is having a meltdown in the car.

That’s pretty much my story. Sorry if you’re a kickbutt couponer and took offense. Sorry if you’re Italian. And if you can, give that Target cashier a Klondike bar! “Dig a tunnel, dig dig a tunnel…”

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