I really love those conversations with people when you're standing in line at a store waiting to check out and they notice that you have a coupon in your hand.
Its that moment you look at them and see the cogs turning in their heads when their eyes move from your hand to your face.
Their mouths open and the same statement comes out. "You a couponer?"
Its then I typically have something sarcastic to say in reply because I can't count the many times I've already heard the same thing from others. "Nope. I just like holding it."
I am at a local thrift store where the lines are atrociously long and waiting for every check out ahead of you is almost as painful as childbirth. Its this extra long period of time people in line get social to distract themselves from irritating wait.
Dismissing my sarcasm the woman carrying five dvd's in her hand continues on. "You know, I really wish I had time for stuff like that, but I'm such a busy person... You must have a lot of free time on your hands."
She says it as if I have somehow registered as a person whose life is less for the simple fact that I am more organized with my time and make the time for the fifteen seconds it takes to clip the damn thing.
"If you say so." I reply waiting for the person in front of me at the check out to finish counting the pennies they're using to purchase the item they bought.
Miss Social butterfly speaks again. "My husband and I are always looking for ways to save a little extra money... He keeps telling me how we should start clipping coupons, but its not like you save that much money using them anyhow."
I only grunt in reply.
There are a few beats of silence. The cashier calls for the manager because her register drawer won't open. My impatience grows.
"So you must like books." The woman behind me says.
"Gee, how'd you guess?" I am standing in front of a cart filled from bottom to top with books, you would think that observation would be evident.
"I got a couple dvds because I thought it was worth four dollars a piece. I'll still have to hold off splurging again for awhile but what the heck, its just a couple movies... I bet you're going to be paying a lot for that pile of books though. I can't believe they charge a dollar ninety nine for books. Seems awful high for a book at a thrift store don't you think?"
Finally my turn at the register comes up. I stack my several piles of books neatly on the table for the cashier price sticker up in hopes that it will help get through the check out faster.
I assist with the rotation of bags piling up on the table placing bag after bag in my cart to free up space for more books.
The item list is ranging in the sixties by the time the cashier completes scanning the last one.
I hand the cashier my membership card and my coupon, the cashier scans both then hands the card and the coupon back to me because the coupon is reusable until the end of the month.
Price rolls back on the monitor the cashier states my total.
The woman behind me fish mouths. My total is less than what her dvds will cost.
Today is half off everything for store members. The cards knock off twenty percent, email subscribers get an extra forty taken off on top of that and you're allowed to stack.
I turn to briefly face my now silent company. "You know.. I envy people that can over spend and not live on a budget, but I was too busy thinking about going out to lunch. Have a nice day."
I walk out the door with a smile. Maybe next time she'll think twice about not clipping those coupons.