A coupon for beauty cream caught my eye.
My last birthday put me perilously close to the big 3-0. I remember when my best friend turned 15, she spent a good part of the day lamenting that she was halfway to 30--an age almost too old to comprehend. If she was worried about 30 all those years ago, shouldn't I now have a healthy sense of doom for the impending event? With the onset of wrinkles looming large, I couldn't pass up a $3 coupon for the latest in advanced skin smoothing technology.
On my next trip to the store, coupon in hand, I searched out the new miracle treatment. Being somewhat cheap, I was nearly dissuaded by the $20 something price tag for a .6 oz tube. Really?! I stood there reading the label for a good ten minutes. The drug company touted 10 years of research and promises of rejuvenated, stress-free skin in a matter of weeks. Dark circles, fine lines, crow's feet would all disappear. Finally, I reasoned, I did have my $3 coupon and if the stuff cost that much, it must be good. The marketing department, at least, knew what they were doing; hopefully the chemists were as smart.
I took the bait and put the wonder cream in my cart--only to take it out again moments later. $20+ for .6 oz? My consciences couldn't do it. But, the dark circles are getting worse... With that, I grabbed the tube and hurried out of the aisle before my thrift could catch up.
At the checkout stand, I carefully placed my budget-saving coupon on top of the package so as to be as conspicuous as possible. The cashier took it, placing it strategically on her keyboard as she rang up my purchases. She pushed total. I slid my card. She gave me the receipt. Then...
"Oh, I forgot to scan the coupon."
Before I could say anything, she left in search of her manager. By the time the cashier returned, manager in tow, a long line had formed at the register, head by an obviously impatient gentleman with two kids and a basketful of groceries. The manager explained that she would have to return the original purchase and re-ring it up, to which news the gentleman behind me heaved a rather pointed sigh.
"Don't worry about it," I tried to smile as I took my bags.
The cashier thoughtfully handed me back the coupon, "You can use it next time."
Hmm, not likely. One full-price tube of wonder cream ought to last me quite a long time.