Looking UP…Looking Down

| September 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

Just gimme a minute here, while I assure you that I’m not going to elaborate on the urgent stories of the day: Egypt, Syria, Gay Conversion, Bradley Manning, Oscar Pistorius, Fires, Filner, the Hermanos Arellanos. By publication, the world will have turned (hopefully, not tumbled) and my deeply considered opinions will already be obsolete.

A loss, no doubt.

No, this month, I’m an ambassador of looking on the upside. For instance, the top guy at J. C. Penny’s could be booted, but in the meantime, I may be the foremost beneficiary of the company’s peculiar pricing. I admit to a craving for using all the discounts, coupons and birthday presents a retailer can come up with – which is why I cheerfully report that my new jeans cost 79 cents.

That’s not a typo.

I urge you to follow my practice – even to Von’s, where traveling through their discount systems requires – at minimum – a Ph.D. in Economics. Despite my arduous attempts to unravel their customer specials, I’m a four-star Von’s shopper. Despite the ordeal – to say nothing of confusion – of clipping coupons, entering passwords, phone numbers and mother’s maiden names, to say nothing of simply collecting Von’s snail-mail, I save a ton. In fact, except for what was surely a professional expert who carted off a basket of groceries for no cash at all – I’m not making that up – I’ve drawn admiration – however reluctant – from incredibly patient shoppers behind me.

In honor of one visit, which resulted in a 55 percent savings, I penned a celebratory limerick:

Oh, coupons ‘pon coupons I clip
For my totals to take a steep dip
My record – I broke!
(This isn’t a joke,
Tho’ I realize it’s not very hip …

My family has developed any number of creative techniques for sending me up, inspired by my un-hipness. But I don’t care. They should have respect for their inheritance.

One relative sighs at my using restaurant coupons. She’s embarrassed, imagine that. Doesn’t she know that the coupon reminded me of the restaurant, gave me an incentive for choosing it over the several dozen others? There’s even a reasonably good chance that, given a good meal and service, I’d return? Could even make it a regular? Either way, we all win.

(I’ll pause here to report that I never even think of “Saigon on Fifth” until I see their coupons. Now, this lovely restaurant’s cuisine and service are really commendable, yet given other dining demands, etc., I don’t think of them until I see the coupon. Better that I use the coupon than don’t patronize them at all?)

Try as I might, I simply can not tell the value difference between a T-shirt for $65 and one for $7.95. It’s got to be the labels. My highly affordable “Gotta Dance – Baryshnakov!” tee may be the most-admired in the city. And I’m not even counting those who say they love the shirt but never heard of Baryshnakov. “More People Have Read This T-shirt Than Have Seen Your Blog,” is my second most-admired tee, but it has a downside, of course.

I hope I’ve persuaded you to similarly manage your money, for the good of your pocketbook and the satisfaction of your soul. And don’t even think for one minute of the financial challenges of those guys, Manning, Pistorius, Fires, Filner, the Arellanos. They’ve got other troubles.

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