On Becoming an Informed Consumer

All things in time.

When I was about 14 or 15 I became the primary grocery shopper in my household because it was becoming too much walking for her. Plus, with my handy-dandy phone card and a keen knowledge of nearby pay phones I could, and would, be in constant contact. (I turned 14 in 2000 before cell phones had become commonplace and did not have my own cell phone until 2006 when I was 16. I blame these facts for the reason that I use my cell phone more as a walkie-talkie than an actual phone.)

At that point in time I really wanted to get into using coupons but it was not meant to be. When the coupons continued to languish, forgotten, at home and expire I finally gave up. Coupons were not meant for me.

Things changed again a few years ago when one of my best friends started working at Duane Reade and enrolled me in their reward program. It works like magic! I spend money and get money back for it. Next thing you know I had reward cards at Staples, DSW, and Balducci’s not to mention joining Coca Cola’s rewards program. I haven’t met a Val Pak I didn’t like and I save coupons from Macy’s and Filene’s.

I’ve become one of those people who stand in line sorting through their wallet to see if any coupons are of use. And it’s kind of great. I know that all of these programs are meant to help sellers retain buyers and get people to spend more than they planned. But, that’s part of being an informed consumer, which I know since I now am one. Next stop, store circulars–whoo boy.

“I like you. I don’t want to murder you.”

After giving out holiday cards, “Bear” thanked me for his by saying “Thank you, Mrs. Print.” He said it twice, in fact, to be sure I heard him. This was the third time over the course of two days that I had been called Mrs. Print and it irked. Oh how it irked.

So, the next time I could catch “Bear” in private I decided to approach him.

Miss Print: “I like you. But if you call me Mrs. Print again I’m going to have to kill you.”

Bear: “Okay. . . .”

Later I tried to explain that, if there were an equivalent term to “Mrs.” for men–which, since I was six, I have really thought there should be–then Bear would understand why it was so annoying to be called “Mrs.” when you are not in fact married. I have a feminist flag and I’m not afraid to let it fly.

Even later, after he whined about a idle threat of bodily harm (inaccurately since I didn’t threaten harm, just death), it came out that he was only calling me “Mrs. Print” because he forgot my first name. Which doesn’t even make any sense since he didn’t know my last name for a solid month. Was he making up for lost time? Anyway, he won’t be calling me Mrs. Print ever again, so mission accomplished.