How do you know we’re officially in a recession?
Well, not long ago I bought 2 pairs of sale-priced earrings at Talbot’s, and ended up returning them because I liked them, but I didn’t love them.
Mind you, Talbot’s is the kind of store where the words ‘on sale’ are rarely spoken, and actual sale events are attended only by women in disguise who are hoping that their peers from the Junior League don’t catch them scoring an $80 scarf for $27.50.
Talbot’s shoppers aside, if you’re an average girl or you know an average girl, then you know the power of the irresistible merchandise markdown. For many of us women, passing up a good buy can be a little like making a corned beef sandwich with white bread; it’s possible, but it’s just not done.
For me, returning the sale items was momentous because I was raised by the queen of all bargain shoppers; jumping on a sale is in my genes.
Mine is the Mom who saves all the really good coupons for triple coupon day. Mine is the Mom who regularly finds high quality, adult-sized clothing items for $2.00—and not at Goodwill either. Mine is the Mom who always holds up the line at the supermarket because some poor checkout girl made the unfortunate decision to charge tax on the Yoo-Hoo, when everyone (or maybe just my Mom) knows that in the state of New Jersey only carbonated beverages are taxed, and YooHoo, while chocolatey, smooth, and strangely refreshing, is NOT a carbonated beverage.
But, just as folding the church bulletin every Saturday night ruined me for any future voluntary folding responsibilities, I’m sad to say that my mother’s bent toward saving ruined me for hard-core thrift. I may be hard-pressed to pass up a good sale on earrings, but I’m certainly not driving all over Creation so I can save 50 bucks on a new printer. And I won’t give one coupon to every member of the family so that we can get 4 discounts instead of just one. I don’t go for the grocery store door-busters, either, because the way I see it, at the end of the day, the 25 cent Pop Tarts are still just as bad for you as the $2.99 ones.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me; I give my mother credit for her dedication to saving money. She’s certainly a lot more disciplined about it than I. Even in these tough economic times, I’m certainly not buying 10 furnace filters just because they’re marked down to 10 for $10. Instead, I’ve come upon a new money-saving strategy: Facebook.
We all know that on its worst days Facebook is a tremendous waste of valuable time. But knowing myself as I do, I can honestly say that it’s probably better for me to be on Facebook than at the mall. Gone are the days when I’d buy a new trinket or chotchkie just to break up my boredom or give myself a boost. Now, for the low, low cost of a couple hours of my life, I’ve given up retail therapy in favor of clever banter, goofy photos, meaningless quizzes, and unlimited cyber-friendship.
That’s what I’m posting as my Facebook status right now, darn it: “Cheryl Scheir – she may be wasting time right now, but she’s sure not wasting money.”
See, Mom. I done good. And I didn’t have to drive all over New Jersey to do it.