There’s something magical that happens the very instant you become a mom. I’m not sure of the details because I have not yet crossed that shaky domestic bridge, but from what I can gather: you become the cheapest person alive.
My very best friend is a new mom. I get in her car and immediately she throws the largest coupon organizer of ALL TIME onto my lap. The coupons were alphabetically organized. “This is going to get us through the day,” she said with a grin. First, we roll up to McDonald’s because she has a buy one extra value meal, get one free sandwich coupon. I thought, “ok, thats fine, free sandwich.” For the next 10 (and I am NOT exaggerating) mins, I was but an innocent bystander to the following drive thru conversation:
friend: Yes, can I get the grilled chicken value meal?
lady: Sure. Drink?
friend: I’d just like water and actually I don’t want any fries with that cus I’m trying to lose weight. And then I’d like another grilled chicken sandwich, lettuce only.
lady: Okaaaaay. $9.42.
friend: And no mayonnaise on both. (we pull ahead to the window and she hands over the coupon) Okay, I have a coupon, so I should get the second sandwich free.
lady: OKAY. SO your new total is $6.12
friend: UM. Hmm.. Now, shouldn’t the total be less than that? Because the sandwich is free and I only ordered an extra value meal -but I didn’t even get fries and I only got water.
lady: Well, why don’t you just order two sandwiches then?
friend: Because the coupon says I have to order an extra value meal in order to get the other sandwich free.
lady: OKAY. SO you want the extra value meal, with just the sandwich and the water?
lady: Well, the bottled water is actually more expensive than the other drinks, so it’s still going to be that amount.
friend: Ok, then no water.
lady: OKAY. SO you just want the extra value meal - with no fries and no drink?
friend: Yes, that is correct.
(at this point, the lady is rendered speechless and has to get the manager)
(this is also the point when I call my dad and have a five minute conversation, while trying not to leap out the car window and thrust myself into moving traffic.)
Finally, they tell her just to pay three dollars and they hand over the sandwiches. As we’re leaving, she tells me that later we’ll have to go back cus the Mochas are buy one get one free from 2:00-5. Then we go to Baby’s R Us. She rolls up to the checkout with a cart full of stuff and hands the elderly cashier AN ENTIRE STACK of coupons. Then, she says:
friend: But here’s the thing, they are all expired.
cashier: Um, so you want to use a stack of expired coupons for your purchases?
friend: Yes. George said it was okay because I live out of town and only come around once a week.
cashier: George doesn’t work here anymore. Let me get the manager. (at this point, I start to get uncomfortable)
friend: Oh, and I’m supposed to get a free box of diapers because I bought three Pamper products.
(Knowing what is about to come, I just walk away. I stand by the door for a good 15 mins before going to the car, where I waited for another 10 minutes.)
As soon as she gets in the car, I tell her that she took so long that we might miss the 2-5 time frame in which to get the free mocha at McDonald’s. I start driving, when I notice some rustling in the passenger seat. Before I know it, she has plugged in her breast pump and was holding two empty bottles. I just looked over and she says, “Don’t you worry, I got this under control.” We ended the day by going to JCPenney, where the clearance items were also buy one get one free. Then there was yet another confrontation with an elderly cashier when my friend asked if she could do two separate purchases in order to get more things free. The lady said that wasn’t really fair to JCPenney, to which my friend replied that she has to do what’s fair for her wallet.