Warning: my inner-braggart is coming out. I am a fairly talented person. I swam competitively from ages 5-18, I was on the speech and debate team in high school, and in college I briefly dabbled in beirut (who didn’t?). In general, I have many gifts. However, these gifts have never amounted to much because I lack one very important characteristic; a competitive spirit. I was always too busy chatting with my opponents to really care about the outcome of the competitions. This character flaw has been a major source of frustration to various teachers and coaches over the years… not to mention Brakes, who would cheerfully shove a Grandma out of the way if she were blocking his path to the finish line.
Well, this morning Eloise and I happened upon the key to unlocking my competitive spirit; it all started with an innocent trip to the mailbox.
Several days ago, I received the newer version of this coupon. It came in a packet with other advertisements. Tucked away on the last page, I spied another deal. It said, “Whopping 50% off total purchase for the first 50 customers at participating stores!” I immediately called my closest store and confirmed their opening time and participation, then Eloise and I sat down and began to plot strategy. Would you think less of me if I confessed that I was tossing and turning all night with excitement?
This morning, despite Weezy’s double late night feedings, I got up when Brakes did. I splashed cold water on my face and dressed in comfortable clothes made for quick movement. I ate a high protein breakfast of peanut butter toast and Halloween candy (I needed the energy!) and waited for the Weez to wake up. Eloise takes after her mama and she typically likes to ease into the day. So you can imagine her disconcertion when she was whisked out of bed, popped into a clean dipe, had an orange bow jammed into her hair (being rushed is NOT an excuse to not accessorize with Fall decor!), and scooted into her car seat where I booked it to the nearest Old Navy.
After much debate, it was decided that a stroller would just slow us down, so away in the Ergo Weez went, down the escalator to join the other bargain hunters patiently waiting in line. I eyed my competition; mostly other moms with babies in strollers. “Fools!” I thought as I practiced my hip pivots with Weezy securely attached to my chest. “Try navigating tight corners with that boat!” I silently berated a mom with the double BOB.
a few hours about 20 minutes, an ON employee came out and explained the rules. The first 50 people in the store would receive a complimentary tote and anything they could shove in the tote would be marked 50% off. Elbows started snaking out to the sides and one woman kept tripping people with her foot as we all inched forward trying to be one of the first 50 in.
Eloise and I were lucky #17! Over the next hour we raced, jostled, tucked, and rolled our way to the check-out counter. At one point Eloise wanted to abort our mission and go home but I simply latched her on in a side carry and put the sun shade up for privacy, and kept marching on. (I do realize I have no shame.)
In the end, for $311.22 I got almost $800 worth of merchandise (most of my purchases were already on sale) for the family. We got:
29 shirts, 11 pants, 2 jackets, 2 packets of socks, and a pair of shoes.
It was a valiant victory and now the family won’t need any clothes for almost a year (although, Brakes, I make no promises. There will be some incidentals that pop up, I’m sure). Now I am exhausted but content in my glory. If bargain-shopping were a sport, I would have a full-ride scholarship at an ivy league school. Who knew it was the thrill of the hunt that would finally wake up my competitive drive?