“Oh,” my wife cried, “25% OFF!!”
“Where?” I asked.
She pointed in the direction of a quiet residential neighborhood. My heart sank. Behind the residential neighborhood lay the mall.
I hoped to get out of town without being dragged into the mall. In fact, I so wanted to get out of town without being dragged into the mall that I steered clear across town to avoid it. Still, it wasn’t far enough.
My wife can detect a discount the same way a vulture can hone in on a mouse carcass from two time-zones away.
“I just want to stop for a few minutes,” she said.
Naively, I asked, “What do you have to get?”
“Nothing,” she said, “but everything is 25% off.”
“25% off of what?” I asked.
“25% off the 50% they marked off last week. You can't beat that.”
“But if you don't need anything.....”
“At those prices you don't need to need anything, silly.”
I know when I am licked. That is just who she is. She loves a discount.
The same goes for coupons.
We get reams of them every day. They sprout in our mailbox like mushrooms. They flood into our email like swollen electronic rivers.
It drives me nuts.
When I pull an offer out of the mail, it goes directly into the recycling. As for the email, I have automated the disposal process.
That in turn drives my wife nuts.
She says it’s like throwing away money.
I say it is like throwing away money we cannot afford. Still, I am no match for marketing. As a consequence, our house is full of deals. Our closets bulge with mark-downs. Our dressers overflow with discounts. Our shelves groan under the weight of savings.
The trouble is we have so much stuff because of all the deals that we cannot find anything.
“Didn’t we just buy one of those?” is a household mantra.
We have so much stuff packed under such great pressure that it has developed its own weird physics. Think of it like critical mass. Our stuff multiplies spontaneously.
Not a day goes by when one of us doesn't exclaim, “My God, I just found three of these and I swear I looked in that drawer yesterday!”
“Well,” the other will say, “now we know where to put the two we just bought.”
We have so much stuff that we are periodically forced to undergo a purge and give it all away. It all goes to the Goodwill. Sometimes in unopened boxes, sometimes with the tags still on it.
Won’t that be a deal for whoever gets it?
Personal note: I will be on and off the grid until early June. So if you don't see a column from me, don't be concerned.
This week’s writing challenge: write about the lust for stuff.
- Write about the thing you most wanted a kid. (Remember that thing that went zip when it moved, bop when it stopped and whrrr when it stood still?)
- Write about what happened when you got the thing you most wanted as a kid.
- Write about the thing you most want now.
- Write about all the things you have accumulated without the slightest knowledge of how they came to be in your possession.
- Write about the little treasures you surround yourself with.
Post your article to Gather Writing Essentials.
BE SURE TO TAG your submission with MWE. Note: I search for articles using the tag "MWE" If you don't tag it right, I will not find it.
- Include "Monday Writing Essential" in your title.
I howled with laughter at a couple of responses to last week's challenge. Great writing folks. Sorry I could not have commented in a more timely manner... Anyways, here is the list:
Weekly reminder:don't forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida's article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!).. Also try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.