Coupon StrangersPosted: December 16, 2011
I had a lot to do in town today. The last stop on my list was the grocery store. For regular groceries and all of the baking supplies for the holidays. A week before Christmas. On a Friday. I am either crazy or insane. Or both. Duh.
After about an hour of shopping I was waiting in the long checkout line with my loaded cart. I am waiting quietly for about two minutes when two women with their two loaded carts, their four kids, one of which is an infant in a carrier, and one of which is a 3 year old boy who is jumping on top of the cart yelling at the top of his lungs, line up behind me. These two women are talking very loud and I hear one of them say to the other “Make sure you tell whoever lines up behind us that we are couponing!”
Next thing I know, they are showing me their skills as master coupon ninjas. They have the binders with dividers and the whole thing. They spend thirty hours a week online searching for coupons. They have relatives sending them coupons. They told me how they give a lot of things to the homeless and women shelters. I praised them and told them they are awesome for doing so.
By the time I got up to the front of the line and started to unload my things onto the belt, they were in full force. They scanned over my items and started pointing and spitting out what I could “price match.” “I will tell the cashier what these cost for you. You could save some money here”. One of them said. “OH! I have a coupon for that! I am not going to use it. Do you want it?” Says the other.
By the time I got done with my transaction, a slurry of shuffling and buzzing and talking and laughing and thanking, I had saved over $20.00.
I thanked them more times than I could count. And as I was finishing up and they were unloading their carts, one of them offered to give me a rechargeable toothbrush. I declined and knew it would get a better home with someone who really needed it.
I shared their joy of giving to people in need. I loved those unseen people and was filled with joy at the idea of being a part of this process and benefiting from it myself, at the same time.
Then I wished them luck on their transaction, said thank you AGAIN, and wished them a Merry Christmas. I looked up as I started to push my cart away and had not noticed until then that EVERYONE was staring. Staring and watching these women and their coupon frenzy.
I left the store with a smile on my face.
I had saved money unexpectedly. I had felt love and joy for complete strangers. I had shared a moment with other women and had the full attention of half of the store on me, without even knowing. I had been blessed by an amazing energy and gift.
As I drove home I realized. I had never even learned their names.
But I know who they are.