Coupon

Coupon: (n) a discount

There is a certain madness I maintain so as not to become superior to those around me.

Without it—or minus the awareness of it—I might begin to believe that my form of insanity is preferred to the mental mayhem offered daily by others. I realize that many of the things I think, believe or prefer can be quite distasteful to my fellow-travelers.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Yet truthfully, realizing this does not prevent me from believing that I have captured some greater sense of balance than those around me.

I offer this preface because I do not want you to believe for one second that what I am about to share is factual, but rather, the experience of my heart.

I hate coupons.

Do not try to explain to me how beneficial they can be or how much money you can save by using them.

On occasion, I find myself at a grocery store, in line behind some man or woman who clips coupons so as to save on groceries. They rarely bring one or two—it is a stack.

So once all the prices have been tallied, the cashier has to patiently stand there, and one by one register the coupons on the machine, to deduct them from the subtotal.

And it’s not just being robbed of my personal time that brings aggravation—it is also the look of pride cast in my direction by the “couponer” which curdles my milk of human-kindness. He or she is convinced that they have found the secret to life, and they pity me, who stands there coupon-less, failing to understand the alpha and omega of shopping.

I can’t argue with their results.

I have observed people who have saved over a hundred dollars by using those little boogers.

But I always ask myself, how many hours are spent poring over circulars and newspapers in order to acquire the discount—and have they factored this in as a labor cost?

I think not.

Even though the cashier always asks me if I have coupons, I never feel intimidated, or any sense of necessity to explain why I remain a hold-out from the hold-up.

I will shop.

I will look for deals.

I will even consider something on sale that I’ve never tried before simply because it is cheap.

But when I was six years old, I stopped using scissors to cut out little pieces of paper.


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Barber

Barber: (n) a person who cuts hairDictionary B

They called it a “regular.”

When I was eleven years old, my mother made me repeat the word “regular” back to her, so I would know what kind of haircut to ask for when I went to our barber, Mr. Smythe.

I hated to go.

Mr. Smythe was a nice man–small, soft-spoken and now, as I look back on it, probably gay. In our town, it was illegal to be gay, to think about being gay, or even to mention the word “homosexual.” So Mr. Smythe was more than likely hiding out behind his scissors and clippers.

And I now realize that he was probably just as terrified when I arrived at his barbershop as I was to climb up in his big chair and have him snip at my locks.

We struggled through fifteen minutes of conversation, which deteriorated with each of his questions, which I finalized with a “yes” or “no.”

I was always glad when we got to the end of the experience and he began to brush my hair to dispel all the dislodged members.

But then he would ask the most embarrassing question of all: “Would you like me to put some smell-good on you, for the ladies?”

I was only eleven years old, and the only ladies I knew were still forcing their way into my life to wipe my nose with Kleenex.

I don’t remember what I ever mumbled back, but sometimes he smeared me with aftershave, and on other occasions we would forego the ordeal.

I had my dollar and a quarter all ready for him, and as I left, he pretended we had made an amazing connection, and told me to “stop in any time.”

I didn’t. I only went when my mother decided I needed to display more ears.

I think about him from time to time.

  • What was his story?
  • Where did he end up?
  • Was he ever able to come out of the barber’s closet?

Perhaps he just a real sweet guy who liked women and was kind to little boys like me … who had not yet learned how to correctly answer questions.

 

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