October 17, 2013
Today’s Reader Spotlight comes to us from Christina from over at Laughing And Losing It. Christina is the youngest of 17 children…which has given her a unique perspective on a little side benefit of couponing. Take it away, Christina!
Our funds are tight, we threw away a lot of food when we moved across country (from CA to FL), and I wanted to stockpile good deals for everyday use–or the zombie apocalypse, whichever came first–so I turned to couponing. Hopefully zombies melt when you squirt them with shaving cream, because I have a LOT of that. Much more than this once-a-week (on a good week) leg-shaver would need. Oh YES, and disposable razors! I will throw those at the approaching zombies! So, why do I get free shaving cream and razors when I don’t need ALL of them? Because I WILL BARTER WITH THEM WHEN THE WORLD ENDS!
Really though, I like the free stuff because it lets me share even when I don’t have much to share. I’ve given shaving cream to complete strangers in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. (I don’t approach Wal-Mart men or terrifying women for peopleofwalmart reasons). It is a thrilling social experiment! You walk up to a lady getting out of her car….”Oh great…another shady chick with bad highlights asking for a handout,” she thinks….and surprise her by saying, “Could you use some shaving cream?” You’ll get a simple, “Sure, I could use that,” with a relief-that-I’m-not-a-weirdo look OR, you will be showered with thanks like you just gave them a fresh kidney! You learn about people and do a good turn all at the same time!
Couponing also gets you free MAKEUP!
I remember being four or five, and my 2nd oldest sister was my absolute idol. She would do her hair and face and I would watch taking in the glory of all the colors applied with a brush, a pencil, like a princess!! She would stand bent over the counter of our bathroom and keep her mouth open just slightly as she applied her mascara. She let me watch, but always made sure, while pointing to the large, middle drawer, “This is MY makeup drawer, you DO NOT touch my makeup!” I was obedient, mostly because I was TERRIFIED. But also because I had a certain reverent respect for this makeup stuff. I would, however, peek in the drawer while she was at High School just to get a closer look.
One afternoon I was wondering the house (as the youngest of 17 often found herself doing) when I discovered an abandoned nail polish jar on the corner of the bathroom floor. BRIGHT RED. This was NOT in the makeup drawer so I knew it couldn’t be SOOO forbidden. I sat down on the ugly white tiles and went to work on my nails. I didn’t just paint my nails, I painted all the way up my fingers–to my knuckles. My little mind knew it didn’t look quite right, but I was in heaven, I didn’t want it to END! Suddenly the door whooshes open and I see the nasty cleaning lady standing in the doorway with a horrified look on her face. Now this women wasn’t your average cleaning lady. She would insult my mom, threaten to spank us, and scream…often. I thought I was going to die. She grabbed me under the armpits and hoisted me up to the sink and began to scrub my hands. “Now we are gonna get EVERY last SPECK of this stuff off your fingers!!” She’s not doing it right, I thought. I knew my sister didn’t use water to get nail polish off. It was something liquid, but it smelled weird, kind of stung your nose, but it definitely wasn’t water. I did not fight her futile effort to SCRUB the nail polish off my fingers with water. I was quietly triumphant because she didn’t know how nail polish worked. My fingers would be a little raw, but I would STILL have a little bright red left when the nasty cleaning lady abandoned her efforts. I felt like a real princess who escaped the evil stepmother! When I was older I asked my mom why she didn’t fire this cleaning lady. She answered, quite simply, “I was AFRAID to, she scared me!”
I wanted my girls to feel the thrill of painting their OWN nails. Minus scary lady. Minus fear of retribution from sisters. So I got my coupon-zero-cost-to-me polish, lined the table with newspapers (plenty of those when you coupon) and said, ” YOU get to paint your OWN nails!” They looked at me like it was Christmas. I wasn’t sure how it would go, especially with 2-year old Ashley. You have never seen a 2-year old girl more focused than when she is painting her own fingernails. They were so still I thought maybe I was dulling their brains with lacquer fumes! But I think they knew this was a once-in-a-never opportunity, so they weren’t going to waste it by being crazy. And just like little me, they put on coat-after-coat, not too worried about the dripping globs that formed. We had a little fit when it was time to clean up, but I could tell it made them feel older, trusted. Ashley now must sleep with a nail polish. I allow it because she doesn’t know how to open the bottle. My husband suggested I crazy glue the lid for that one misfortunate afternoon when she finds the strength, and pretties the carpet. GENIUS.
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Christina!
I could really use a few new volunteers for the Reader Spotlight – so pretty please with a cherry on top…please write in if you have a story to tell! Your post can be about almost anything to do with couponing. You can tell us about a particularly good or bad situation you’ve dealt with as a couponer, about how you got into couponing or how couponing has impacted the rest of your life, you can make a list of things every new couponer should know…just about anything, really! If you think it’s interesting and it has to do with couponing, email me with your idea at contactiheartpublix @ gmail.com.
This is one of my favorite features on the site! Be sure and check out all the past Reader Spotlights HERE.