Let us talk about a serious social issue. One that is shaking the nation right now as we speak. That is right, folks. I am talking about couponing.
We all know what they are and know at least one Facebook friend that takes the craft seriously. We’ve all seen the post where they have fifteen of ten random items piled up on the kitchen table with the post: “$19.28, people! #Couponqueen”.
I get it, I do. I like coupons. Food just tastes that much sweeter when you buy it for 25% off. Clothes just look better when they were on clearance. I love the feeling of saving money (thrifty is my middle name) so I can completely understand the passion that goes into finding bargains and racking up savings.
But -and this is a big but- if your shopping cart looks like you are stockpiling for the next apocalypse and you are yelling at a grocery clerk over a 50 cent coupon that the computer (not the clerk herself) will not take…let us just call it what it really is– an extraordinarily good reason to seek some therapy. You obviously have an addiction issue and it needs to be addressed just as much as the gentleman having a beer in the shower before breakfast.
Today, as I stood behind a woman yelling –yelling– at a clerk over 50 cents off of a tube of $1.50 toothpaste, I wanted to reach out and smack her. I had visions of me knocking over her cart full of 4 24-packs of toilet paper, 10 rolls of paper towels, 15 packages of hot dogs, 20 cans of Lima Beans, and a single tube of tooth paste (yes, I had plenty of time to inventory her cart while she unloaded on everyone that would listen about the stupid coupon) just to get to her.
Get a grip, Amber, pull it together.
One, it is my pet peeve in life to watch anyone berate a person in any variation of customer service. I spent too many years being paid to kiss someone’s rear for a living. It makes me see red. My blood starts to boil and I remember every single time that I had to take the verbal abuse so I could pay my tuition, rent, and attempt not to starve in the process. I just want to bop them in the nose and ask them, “Where you raised by wolves?!”, now that I do not have to smile and nod just to make ends meet.
Second, I am not -by any stretch of the imagination- rich. I am certainly not in a position to burn fifty dollar bills to heat my house in the winter or throw away clothing just because they are “out of style”. I am a stay-at-home mom. I know my way around a tight budget. But you cannot tell me that you need 10 packages of hot dogs to survive. You are buying them because they are on sale and you have a coupon. From the looks of your purchases, you probably have a storm shelter full of nonsense that you may never live long enough to eat as long as they keep mass-producing these little slips of paper that you are currently yelling about.
Third, some of us are just trying to buy groceries on a Tuesday when there are only three lanes open. To feed our family tonight. Some of us have children that are sitting in a basket seconds away from losing it and all we want to do is purchase our food in a timely fashion so that we can get the chicken home to marinate.
After calling the second manager, with me blocked in, I just lost it. I reached in my purse and pulled out a dollar bill and slammed it on the counter. “Look lady, we have lives! Take the money so we can get on with our day, already!”
As soon as the words came flying out of my mouth, I immediately regretted it. The woman turned to me with a look that could murder a million kittens on the spot. Pure kitty genocide glare status. I froze. I couldn’t run…there was nowhere to go. Besides, what would we eat for dinner?
Then, as soon as I was sure that she was actually going to slap me, I heard the man behind me clapping. I cannot make this up. This really happened.
The man behind me started to clap. Which the woman behind him with three kids in tow joined in and added, “Yeah, get a life!” Then the man behind her threw up his fists victoriously and then began clapping, too.
I watched all of this in slow motion, utterly horrified, as the woman just told the clerk to never mind, paid for the groceries, and left without picking up my dollar or ever looking at me again. Then, after she was gone, the cashier gave me a high five. Every one in line was cheering, asking me my name, and making comment about how they wished they had said it.
So today, I received my first standing ovation (well, it is not like you can sit in the line, but I will take it). For being a b!t@& to a woman in the grocery store over two quarters.
Everyone needs a “Rudy moment“. Mine just happened to be over a coupon.
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.