Coupon Queen

Our mother loved nothing more than cutting out coupons and trying to use them long after their expiration date. Imagine the fighting that ensued at the checkout line when the checker politely told Mary that the coupons were expired. Mother enjoyed doing battle at the grocery store and if she could hold up the line, so much the better.

Whenever the battle was joined, my sister and I would try to remove ourselves from the situation but to no avail. Mother’s loud and booming voice carried throughout the store – no loudspeaker needed. Because my sister and I never create a scene when out in public, we had grown accustomed to whizzing throughout the grocery store with no problems. Enter Mother.

No scene? Why not? After all, this was her usual “far from normal” behavior.

Later in life, Mother would cut out and send coupons to the two of us through the mail. Of course, most of them had expired or the date had been snipped off so were unusable. We begged Mother to quit sending them but she took that as a challenge and sent even more the next time.

When she moved to Iowa, the habit of coupons continued and she would buy massive amount of broth, tuna and other products that could not be used in her lifetime,  just to save ten cents. I would try to control her binge shopping but she was resistant. Well, actually she was more than resistant. Mother was one step away from being hospitalized with her awful ranting and raving.

To this day, my sister and I find coupons a pain in the ass, kind of like our mother was when she was in one of her moods. We prefer to go through the checkout line with no problems and no reason to call into question our behavior. And I’m proud to say that we have never been 86’ed from any grocery store.

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