I was recently reminded of the quote, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
No, I didn’t just watch Spiderman, and I’m not referring to the importance and responsibility of parenting.
I’m talking about having control of the household coupon book.
I shared my story of triumph and success after winning full control of the coupon book before. It was no easy task to be granted with this honor of the coupon holder and I intended to not take this title lightly. I continued clipping coupons and purged the out-dated ones. I even participated in my first ever (and only) coupon swap! I didn’t have any to swap, so I was just a taker. But still! I was in this to win it. But as things got busier and I got lazier with my grocery lists and meal planning, my passion for coupon using started to fizzle. And that’s when tragedy struck.
Most everything I buy you can’t use coupons for anyway. Meat, fruit and vegetables, eggs, milk, bread, and cheese. I do have some canned goods and boxed things I keep on hand that coupons can be useful, but I only stock up on them once in awhile. I watch for the sale and then hit it with a coupon too. That’s where the mad savings comes in.
Anyway, without the weekly need for coupons combined with an overall laziness the coupon book wasn’t getting much use. I would still take it with me every week just in case I saw an unexpected item, like cake mix or cookies. I never buy cookies, but with a coupon combined with a sale, it’d be a crime not to!
But most often, the coupon book would sit in the buggy and never be opened and then get stuffed into one of the eco bags until the next shopping trip. It wasn’t hurting anyone. I just wasn’t bragging about my savings. I was still within my budget and Aya wasn’t asking questions until…
One day she asked, “where is the coupon book?”
“Isn’t it in the cabinet?” I replied.
“No. Can you get it for me? I need it,” she asked.
At this time, I started to panic because I really didn’t know where it was. But I needed to remain calm and casual on the outside because I knew I wouldn’t hear the end of it if I lost it.
“I’ll look for it tomorrow, it’s probably in my truck,” I replied casually to play it off as if I was barely even paying attention to her.
But the next day I searched my car and I searched through the eco bags. I checked my diaper bag, my jackets, my pants pockets, and all the kitchen cabinets. I looked in every place it should be and every place it shouldn’t. And it was nowhere to be found. Now I really started to panic.
I was in serious trouble. I made such a big deal about having control of the coupon book and I lost it! It really wasn’t about losing the coupons, or even the coupon book itself, but the fact that it went missing under my care. The question of my responsibility was on the line.
I told my friend how I was in trouble and she suggested that I check the lost and found at the store. I kind of sluffed it off, because I thought, who would turn in a coupon book? So why even bother. It was gone. It was time to fess up.
Over dinner while Aya was eating (at her happiest moment of the day), I said, “I have something to tell you.”
She looked up from her plate with a look of concern worried for what I would say. She could hear the guilt in my voice already.
“I lost the coupon book,” I said while avoiding eye contact.
She gave me “the eyes” and said, “You made such a big deal about being able to handle it and you lost it!? It’s really no big deal about the coupons. But you have to write about this and admit you couldn’t handle the responsibilities.”
I accepted my punishment without protest, but before I could sit down and write I found myself at the grocery store again. I was in an unusually chatty mood with the cashier which never happens. And when she asked if I had coupons, I told her how I lost the coupon book, “or should I say, my wife’s coupon book.”
She looked at Ellie and said sympathetically, “Well, it’s not like you don’t have your hands full.”
I thought, “That’s right, I do have my hands full.”
When she suggested I check the lost and found, I almost walked away but my subliminal instincts told me to check it. And before I could even finish describing the coupon book, they opened a drawer and placed it on the counter. “Is this it?”
“Yep, that’s been here for a few weeks now,” she exclaimed.
I immediately texted a picture of it to Aya and wrote, “Surprise!”
I thought she would be happy with my recovery and praise me. But her unenthusiastic response was, “This is not a surprise for me. You just saved your butt. You’re lucky. You still have to write about it though.”
So here we are.
Hi, my name is Matt and I am not responsible enough to have full control of the coupon book and have now lost my crown as “The King of Savings” until further notice.