I have a confession: I love coupons. I use them all. the. time. I have no shame when it comes to making our one income stretch as far as possible. In fact, it gives me a thrill.
The folks behind me in lines don't really like it though.
Well, except for one very curious lady.
Picture it: Target, about a month ago. I was just finishing my weekly pilgrimage and found an empty checkout lane (lest I hold up a long line). I had a stack of coupons in my hand and I was ready to do some damage to my total bill. Everything was going well and all of my coupons were scanning (!) and the cashier was coupon-friendly (!!).
Then the dreaded "beep" happened. For those of you who don't coupon, the "beep" is something couponers dread. It means that the register is beeping to alert the cashier that the coupon doesn't meet some (usually ridiculous) criteria. It means a manager has to be called. It also means that a line of angry people behind you will start to form.
C'est la vie, right?
And, of course, there was a line beginning to form behind me at this point. Of the 3 or 4 unhappy people behind me, I noticed one lady was curious. Very curious. I caught her watching me very closely a few times. I knew by the look on her face that she was intrigued by what I was doing (not that I'm special, but I did have about 30 coupons in my hand.) It was taking the manager a while to come to the register so I turned around to the line and apologized for holding things up.
I suppose it was this apology that broke the ice for the curious lady because she said something that made me chuckle. I even blushed a little.
"Are you one of those extreme couponers?," she asked.
"I don't think so," I told her. "I do what I can to make one income stretch as far as I can. But my family thinks I'm extreme, so maybe I am?"
We had a good chuckle and she asked me where I get my coupons and how long I've been doing it. Of the people in that line, she was by far the most kind. The rest of the line probably wanted to chase me to the parking lot with pitchforks and torches.
Am I in denial about my use of coupons? CajunGuy would point to the amount of printer ink we go through in a month (which, by the way, I got for free). My parents would point to the fact that even when we go out to eat as a family I usually have a coupon.
OK, so maybe I have a problem. But it's not like they have a Couponers Anonymous group.
Besides, I know "my kind". The meetings would go something like this:
"My name is Liz. And I have a problem. By the way, I have a coupon to cover this meeting fee. Y'all take 'em?"