Did you hear about the lady who was standing in a checkout line with her shopping cart heaped full? She said, “My husband’s going to be so mad that I’ve shopped all day.” The clerk replied, “I’m sure he’ll understand when you tell him about all the bargains you found.” The woman said, “Well, normally that’s true; but this morning he broke his arm, and he’s waiting in the car for me to take him to the hospital emergency room.”
People who love to shop enjoy that story and can relate to it. Shopaholics like me lose all track of time when they’re sniffing out sales in search of that illusive ultimate bargain.
But yesterday, I had a first time experience. I went to Walmart, bought the two items on my list, and was back in my car within ten minutes. It was an unfamiliar and eerie feeling to shop without a cart, spend less than ten dollars, and leave the store without checking out the sale racks. Normally, I run in for a couple of things and emerge four hours later with an empty checkbook and a forklift loaded with purchases.
I love to shop. I like it even more than triple fudge chocolate bliss surprise, double decker super duper supreme pizza, or having a weekend at home alone without kids or spouse.
Shopping is my favorite hobby and my greatest talent. I can turn a trip to the drugstore for toenail clippers into a shopping marathon. I go into a sort of shopping stupor when I walk through those automatic doors, and I rarely leave without an overflowing cart full of handy items like the industrial size cherry pitter I got for half price, or the duster on a twelve foot pole — which I’ve never used — to clean those hard to reach places. (Heck! I don’t even clean the EASY to reach places.)
I’ve found some real bargains over the years, like those cute little nets you put over paper plates to keep flies off your potato salad. Too bad I can never find them when we go on picnics. Then there were those ten-cent pantyhose. Now that’s the sort of discount you don’t see everyday. I’m sure I’ll need them eventually, even if they are iridescent orange. And how about those adorable little brushes made especially for scrubbing mushrooms! No, I never remember to dig them out when I wash mushrooms, but my husband used them to zip strip his grandmother’s old dresser once. What about the great deal I got on old Monkeys albums! At ninety-nine cents each, they were a steal, so guess what everyone on my shopping list is getting for Christmas this year? I was so proud of the fondue pot I got on sale in 1975. I haven’t had the chance to use it yet, but last month my grandson found it useful for melting crayons.
My favorite drug of choice is the Dollar Store. The last thing my hubby tells me when I leave the house is, “Stay away from the Dollar Store!” He knows I’m helpless to resist its lure as it beckons me to satisfy my addiction within its treasure-laden aisles. I can have a real shopgasm there. I’ve been known to push not one but two carts around in that fun-land. Children follow me and stare in amazement as I heap the baskets to overflowing.
I stock up on things like dog toys, potholders, extension cords, ear wax removers, and kitty litter. Sure, I don’t have a cat; but I might get one someday, and I’ll be prepared. After all, everything in the store is only one dollar, so why not splurge? What a rush! Till I reach the checkout counter and the clerk announces my total of $387.
My husband doesn’t understand about sales. He doesn’t care that I saved ten dollars. All he sees are the double digit figures in the check register. I hate the way his lips turn white and form a thin, straight line when he looks through the check book. And when the veins in his neck bulge out, I know he’s beginning to get peeved with me. At times like that, I wonder if he considers me a habit that he’d like to kick.
Tom is a twice-a-year shopper. Every Christmas Eve at 11:000 PM, he makes a five minute trip through the open-all-night drug store to pick up whatever is on the end caps of the aisles. Family members are always surprised by his unique gifts like the battery powered nose hair trimmer and the package of Snoopy band-aids I received last year. His second shopping spree takes place during the Spring equinox when he spends a total of seven minutes purchasing his new summer wardrobe.
I hate shopping with my husband because he goes into race mode once his feet hit the floor of a store. He grabs whatever is nearest the checkout counter, doesn’t try anything on, and he never uses a cart. I run to keep up, as he throws items over my arms. The next day, I inevitably must trudge back to the store to exchange it all because the shoes are three sizes too small and the shirts he picked out were size 6X.
I know better than to send him to the grocery store. I once gave him a list with three items on it and he didn’t get any of them. Instead of canned tomatoes, he brought home a can of beets. Instead of a bag of sugar, I got a bag of flour. And rather than buying oranges, he got a case of grapefruit. We HATE grapefruit. He claims the mistakes are the result of not reading labels, being in a hurry, and simply grabbing whatever looks like the item he’s after. I think he does it on purpose so I won’t send him to the store again.
Maybe I do need to become a little more like him though. Think of the time I would save if I spent less of it in search for the ultimate bargain.
Actually, I don’t need to shop to find the deal of the century. I’ve already found it — and not just the deal of this century, but of every century.
The best deal I ever got is the one God made two thousand years ago. He paid a ransom for me with the life of His only son. By sacrificing Jesus, He purchased my freedom from the power of sin and death. His blood bought eternal life for me.
I know I’ll never find a better deal in any mall on earth. The price has been paid. You too can get the same deal. The choice is yours.
Author - Marsha Jordan