That’s twenty-five cents off!

I am a coupon queen.  If I can save ten cents off something, I am ecstatic.  While I don’t go to the extreme of some people who scour the internet and spend hours downloading and grouping coupons and planning their shopping trips accordingly, I do take advantage of the coupons I get.  To this end, I know what I have when I go to the commissary and choose many of my purchases based on coupons, making sure I have exactly what is specified.  Which is why, the other day, when I came up against the “Coupon Nazi” checker, my patience became sorely tested.

“This coupon says for TWO Sargento cheese snacks.  Did you buy TWO?” the checker asks in a snarky voice, indicating I may have tried to sneak that $0.75 off past her.

“Yes, I did,” I inform her.

She doesn’t believe me and has to paw through all $250.00 worth of groceries she has already rung up to verify I am not lying.

“This coupon is for All Laundry Detergent,” she says, shoving the coupon back at me.  “You didn’t buy All Laundry Detergent.”

“It says for All Laundry Detergent OR Snuggle Fabric Softener,”  I say, putting my thumb on the fine print and shoving it back at her.

The baggers are pointing to the liquid fabric softener at the end of the counter.

“I only see one.  Did you buy TWO?” she asks.

“Yes, the other is right here.”  I show her the box of dryer sheets she has yet to ring up.

“Did you buy TWO Mueller’s pastas?”

“Yes I did,” I answer.  “I bought noodles and macaroni.”

She makes the baggers produce the already bagged noodles.  They have to unpack and repack three bags.

“Where’s the other one?”

I pick up the box of macaroni she hasn’t scanned yet and wave it in her face.

“This coupon is for the battery powered Oral B toothbrush,” she states.

“I bought the battery powered toothbrush,” I tell her.

“Are you sure?”

I am starting to get annoyed.  Do I look stupid enough not to be able to distinguish a regular toothbrush from a battery powered one?  Or do I look that unscrupulous as to attempt to pass off a coupon for a simple manual toothbrush instead of a battery powered one?  But this coupon is for $5.00 off.  I am not backing down.

“Yes, I’m sure.  The coupon was hanging right in front of the battery powered toothbrushes.”

My husband has just belatedly picked up on the exchange.  “This is for a battery powered toothbrush,” he says, unhelpfully.

Now I have to fight TWO of them.  I turn around and fix him with a withering glare.  “I KNOW!  I BOUGHT a battery powered toothbrush!  My old one won’t turn on anymore!” I say through clenched teeth.

“Oh, okay,” he replies, giving me a wounded look.

The Coupon Nazi finally concedes and finishes ringing us up.  I have saved almost $26.00 in coupons.  I am victorious, even if it took a fight. There are some battles worth fighting, as this is enough to cover the service charges and the baggers’ tip. The woman clearly didn’t know who she was messing with.

 

 

 

HOLD YOUR NOSE

I was cleaning out the refrigerator the other day and came upon something that had been pushed to the back.  I had no idea what it was so I opened the lid and took a whiff to see if I could identify what the contents had been in their previous life. Big mistake!  When my eyes quit watering I noticed my husband had wandered into the kitchen.  As the hairs in my nose were singed and my olfactory cells had been completely overloaded, I held the container out to him.

“Here, smell this and tell me what it is,” I said, shoving the revolting noxious containing Tupperware wannabe under his nose.

He took a cautious sniff and backed away, gagging.  “Ugh!  Why would you want me to smell that?”  He gave me a look as if I was deliberately trying to poison him with lethal gases.

At his question, I had to stop and think.  Why did I make him smell that?  To be perfectly honest, I don’t know.  It just seemed like the thing to do at the time. Come to think of it, how many times do people do this?  They smell something disgusting and immediately everyone in the vicinity has to verify that the stench is, indeed, nauseating.  Do we do this to affirm that we are not olfactorally impaired?  It just seems to be one of those behaviors everyone does—sort of along the lines  of, “taste this.”

Not only do we have to share foul smelling substances with our friends and loved ones, we have to share rotten tastes, also.  Don’t tell me you have never opened a questionable leftover container in the refrigerator and asked your significant other to taste it.  Usually, although not always, I have already ascertained it is no longer fit for human consumption, but I just want that warm fuzzy of someone else confirming what I already know.

“It looks like a science project,” my husband says.  “I don’t need to taste it to know it’s bad.”

“The mold is just penicillin,” I assure him.  “It will kill whatever bacteria are in the food.”

“Just throw it out.”

“But I really hate to waste food.  If I could only identify what it is, I could tell how long ago we had this for dinner.”  I was raised by parents who lived through the Depression, after all, and wasting food was a mortal sin.  This principle has been ingrained into my DNA.

“Is it really worth getting ptomaine poisoning? Besides, there’s not enough to keep.  Just throw it out.”

“Oh, all right,” I reluctantly agree.  I take the container to the garbage can to scrape out the offensive former food.  Then it occurs to me I will probably never get the stain and odor out of the plastic tub it is decomposing in.

So I throw caution to the wind and dump it—container and all.  After all, I can always get another leftover container just as soon as I use up the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter—provided it doesn’t decompose first.

DON’T TOUCH THAT CLOCK!

Last night was the dreaded time change.  On one hand, it’s nice to have that extra hour of sleep, even knowing I’ll have to give it back come spring.  But that’s okay.  I might not make it until spring and then I’ll have that net gain of an hour’s sleep. However, it’s not the hour gained or lost which bugs me the most.  It’s the darkness that falls at 4:30.

My body is simply not made for darkness that early in the day.  When the sun goes down, so does my body.  During the week, I look out the window at work at the blackness and think, “It’s really late!  It’s past my bedtime!”  I’m barely able to drive home with my body in sleep mode.  Once home,  making dinner and cleaning up the kitchen requires a Herculean effort.  (Of course this always requires a Herculean effort for me, but it is magnified by the nightfall.)  To think about accomplishing any other tasks, such as checking emails, helping Darion with homework, writing anything that doesn’t sound like it was done with a brain which was half-asleep (no snarky comments, please), or doing household chores is totally out of the question.  All I want to do is curl up on the sofa and watch mindless TV—which is often a challenge because even with 100 channels, there still isn’t anything I want to watch.  I’ve pretty much seen all the 80’s reruns multiple times and haven’t sunk low enough for “My 600 pound life” or “The Real Housewives of Somewhere.”  I guess someone must watch these shows since there seem to be an abundance of them, but even my mindless TV watching has some standards.

I know I have officially hit “old” because just the thought of going out at night is repugnant to me.  (Yes, I know I officially hit “old” long ago, but this is yet one more confirmation of that fact.) If the sun has set, forcing my body to go out into the cold, dark night is tantamount to torture.  (Even if the evening temperatures are still hovering around 65 degrees, for me this is cold, okay?) This is unfortunate in that we have Wednesday night and Sunday night church services, and it looks strange if the pastor’s wife doesn’t show up.  If another evening event gets scheduled, I have to mentally psyche myself up for it.  Even then, I’m likely to fall asleep, which can be particularly embarrassing if it is a dinner event and I face plant into my mashed potatoes.  What happened to the woman who didn’t get her evening started until 9:00 pm?  She somehow turned into the same woman who, upon hearing the phone ring on a Friday night says, “I hope that’s not for me!”

It’s bad enough that I need a nap in the middle of the day.  Now, with the time change, the nap runs into my bedtime.  This is aggravating in and of itself, but on top of everything else, I am not a morning person.  So if I get to sleep in on a Saturday until 10 am, I only have a few hours of daylight before my body shuts down again. Maybe I need to move to one of those places which has the midnight sun.  But from my limited understanding, those areas are really, really cold!  Maybe Arizona, with no time change.

I guess I’ll just have to hibernate until spring.  Please wake me in April.  Or not.

TYING ONE ON

Last week I promised to divulge who shot JR (for those of you who care.)  It was Kristen Shepherd, JR’s sister-in-law.  Kristen was played by Mary Crosby, daughter of Bing Crosby, and in my humble opinion it is doubtful she would have ever made it as an actress had it not been for her famous father.  This was actually kind of a let down for me, as I never liked her to begin with and didn’t feel her character added anything to the show.  But there you have it.

On to a new topic—my husband, whom I haven’t written about recently. My husband has an amazing number of excellent qualities.  Fashion sense is not one of them.  Most of the time he wears blue jeans or khakis, so this is not a problem.  On Sundays, however, I am often consulted about which ties go with which shirts and pants.  My husband loves ties and has a huge collection.  Somewhere along the line, however, he acquired one (from where, I do not know) which I kindly refer to as the “butt ugly” (BU) tie.

The BU tie has a brown background, the shade of which I have never seen before except in baby poop, covered with a pattern of gold leaf-like foliage.  It is quite busy and probably would be ugly on any background, but the baby poop brown . . .  Every so often he will trot out this tie and ask if it goes with whatever he is wearing.  My answer is always the same.

“No, that tie doesn’t go with what you’re wearing.  It doesn’t go with anything you own.”  For that matter, it probably doesn’t go with anything anyone else owns, either, but I refrain from saying this.

“But I have on a yellow shirt,” he will attempt to argue.

“You’re also wearing blue pants.  The brown does not go with the blue.  Maybe if you got some brown pants you could wear that tie.”

“I don’t like brown pants,” he will say.

“Then you really don’t have anything that goes with that BU tie.”

He will look hurt for a moment.  “I like this tie,” he’ll mutter.

You’re the only one, I will think, but never say.

So the tie will go back into the closet for another few months before the ritual is repeated.

A while back, my husband’s brother and his wife came to visit for a few days, and my brother-in-law forgot to bring a tie for church. My husband told him to take his pick of the multitude of beautiful ties hanging in his closet.  Guess which one he picked.  Seriously.

“Hah!” my husband crowed.  “Look at which tie David picked!”

“Not the BU tie.”  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  “Well, at least he’s wearing brown pants.”

“What’s wrong with this tie?” my brother-in-law queried.

There was nothing I could say.  Obviously the lack of fashion sense is a genetic defect which runs in my husband’s family.  You can’t explain that to people who just don’t get it.

 

 

 

WHO SHOT JR?

Who shot JR Ewing?  You will only know the significance of this question if you are nearing social security age.  JR Ewing, for the unenlightened, was one of the main characters on the night time drama series, Dallas, which aired in the late seventies through the early eighties.

Watching Dallas was almost cult-like, sort of in the same vein, although not quite as over-the-top as those people who used to dress up and go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show every weekend.  (Oh please, don’t tell me you don’t know about that!)  Okay, you non-Baby Boomers, you may as well stop reading now, as you’ll never get the point of this blog.  Anyway, JR Ewing (played by Larry Hagman) was the oldest son of oil mogul, Jock Ewing.  For some reason the entire family—parents, grown children, their spouses and children—all lived together in a mansion on a sprawling cattle ranch in Dallas, even though they didn’t get along with each other.  But therein lay the delicious angst which drove the soap opera-like show.  JR was a ruthless cad, a scoundrel, a conniving scalawag whose soul purpose in life was to cheat and swindle everyone in his path, including his own wife and younger brother, Bobby, who was a goody-goody (which made it so easy for JR to take advantage of him).  JR was one of those people you loved to hate, or hated to love, depending on your point of view.  He was always up to something no good.  But his charm, charisma, and utter smarts enabled him to get away with a lot.

So it was no wonder that someone finally had enough and attempted to take him out at the other end of a gun.  But who?  There were so many potential candidates!  This cliff-hanger came at the end of my final year in vet school.  Everyone in my circle of friends was on pins and needles waiting for the culprit to be revealed.  But, alas.  We had to wait through the entire summer, at the end of which most of us had gone our separate ways and started our new careers.  So it wasn’t as if we could gather into our little groups and hold long, scintillating discussions about who shot JR while eating our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (hey, we were poor students) during our twenty minute break from clinics. Still, who shot JR was always in the back of our minds.  I remember writing a letter (yes a REAL handwritten letter. We did that back in the olden days) to my best friend saying how I anxiously anticipated watching the premiere of the new season of Dallas that night.

When the series finally returned in the fall, we had to wait through FOUR episodes of Dallas before the shooter was revealed.  FOUR!  Do you have any idea how frustrating that was?  Every week we thought, maybe tonight, only to be strung along until the next episode.

Who shot JR was probably the most popular cliff-hanger of all time. According to WiKipedia, “The mystery and its catchphrase became a global phenomenon, with international oddsmakers setting odds for the culprit.” People everywhere had their theories.  So ‘fess up. Do you know who shot JR?  Don’t be embarrassed—shout out the answer with pride!  If you don’t, I’ll reveal the answer in the next blog.  Or you can just google it.  Now-a-days everyone needs instant gratification!

UPGRADE, OR ELSE!

For the past few weeks now, I have noticed strange advertisements inserted into the blogs I post on my website.  At first I was embarrassed.  How in the world did that get in there?  Did I accidentally paste something onto my word document and forget to delete it?  I went back and checked.  No, there wasn’t anything in the original, which I copied and pasted onto my blog site at Word Press.

I kind of got busy and forgot about it until it happened the following week.  Now I was irritated.  What’s up with unauthorized advertisements appearing on my personal website?  It makes my postings look ultra-tacky!  So I emailed my web person asking how to get rid of these unwanted ads.  After not getting a response, I emailed again.  In essence, I was told that I am on a free plan.  To get rid of the ads, I need to be on a higher level plan.

What?  So if I don’t sign up for the deluxe package which I have no use for, my site will be hijacked with annoying ads?  I’m not sure why these ads only recently began appearing, since my web page has been active for over a year.  Maybe it’s a subtle hint to start paying or things may get worse.  Is this a form of blackmail?  Extortion? I might even consider coughing up whatever I need to get rid of these unwelcome intrusions which detract from my scintillating blog postings, but I can barely navigate the basic website I have now.  Remember I am technology challenged.  I can only handle a couple of the many supposedly amazing functions my basic website can provide. And frankly, I don’t want to be confused with anything more.  So why in the blazes would I want to upgrade to something even more complicated?  I can only take so much stress.  Technology for me must be simple.  Simple technology—is that an oxymoron? Even simple technology freaks me out.  I really need an IT person to take care of all this for me, but since my writing earns exactly nothing, I can’t afford one.  And nobody seems to be crawling out of the woodwork to do this for me.

So … it appears for now I am stuck with ads in my blogs—which means you, my devoted and valued reader are stuck with ads.  This gives you one of two choices.  Either ignore them or volunteer to be my IT person!

SEEMS LIKE JUST YESTERDAY

I had a depressing Thursday morning.  My husband and I went to the Social Security office to sign up for Medicare.  Yes, Medicare!  There is no way I can possibly be this old.  It’s only been fairly recently that I have come to terms with the fact that I am an adult now—although there are still times I feel like a child who is playing house, totally ill-prepared to deal with real life.  How dare Medicare sneak up on me?

I know I sound like all old people who reminisce that it seems like only yesterday that such and such occurred.  But in my case, it truly does feel like only yesterday.  I sit in the bleachers at Darion’s football games and think about the fact it wasn’t that long ago I was out there on the field in my sequined majorette outfit twirling (and dropping) my baton at halftime.  It might not be so painful if the band didn’t play the same pep music like “Smoke on the Water” that was played when I was a teenager.

I work with new young veterinarians who weren’t even born yet when I started practicing.  Talk about depressing!  I could not only be their mother, I could be their grandmother!  Yet it seems likes it wasn’t that long ago I walked across the huge Ohio State stadium at my graduation ceremony and received my diploma stating I was finally a real veterinarian.  Some days I still don’t feel like a real veterinarian. I wonder if the imposter syndrome will wear off sometime before I retire.

Now that I’m finally at the age where I feel mature enough to raise children, I realize that even if like Sarah in the Bible, I conceived a child at the age of ninety, I would be sent to a retirement home before the kids were out of preschool. Even the fact that I have grandchildren doesn’t bring out the warm grandma fuzzies in me. Besides, they’re technically my husband’s grandchildren, so it doesn’t really count.

This is quite upsetting to someone who never expected to see forty.  Not that I had a wish to die young, mind you, I just never thought the time would move forward to that point. Now I realize that not only did time pass, it went barreling down the road at warp speed.  I guess I kind of saw myself as Peter Pan—never having to grow up.  And then I look at my wrinkles and flabby body and my joints ache and I fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon, and I tell myself this is all so inherently unfair.  I’m not old enough to be this old!  Inside is a twenty year old wondering what the heck happened.  I still have quite a bucket list to check off.

Wasn’t it just yesterday my husband and I were dating?  How did it happen that all of a sudden I wake up next to an old man?  I remember we couldn’t wait to start our married life together and it seemed like an eternity until the wedding, then yesterday we celebrated our 28th anniversary.  Twenty-eight!  We celebrated our anniversary at the Think Pink cancer event at church.  Then he came home and worked on his sermon while I watched a Hallmark movie by myself. How romantic!

I know there are advantages to getting old, such as free drinks at Chik-fil-A.  But Medicare?  Come on!  I am suddenly faced with the reality there aren’t that many milestones left for me.  Retirement, social security—as long as it holds out—then what?  My last milestone—my tombstone! However, my plan to live forever is working so far, so why worry?  The best years are yet to come!

HAPPY 28TH ANNIVERSARY TO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, DOUG.  I PRAY GOD BLESSES US WITH AT LEAST 28 MORE. WE’LL BE LOVERS UNTIL WE’RE OLD AND SENILE.  THEN WE’LL BE NEW LOVERS!