Growing up, my sister and I weren’t close.
Because she is younger, I felt like she wasn’t on the same intellectual level that I was. We had no common interests: She liked handbells, I licked doorbells. She would play house, I would tap every piece of furniture/appliance/inanimate object in the house (just so there were no hurt feelings and the ottoman wouldn’t think that I was giving preferential treatment to the toaster oven).
But now that we’re older and wiser and my sister has suddenly developed her own OCD-triggered quirks, things are different.
Now when she has exciting news, I’m the first one to hear about it. Like the time she entered a random draw and won a new car. Or last November, when she went into labor with my nephew. Or just the other week, when she found out Shopper’s Drug Mart was having a sale on feminine hygiene products.
Recently, in an effort to keep my blog from collecting dust while waiting for my fiance/online scam artist to either put up or shut up, I asked my sister if I could interview her.
.**Warning- The following interview contains material that may not be relevant/interesting for some people. Reader discretion is advised.
Interview With A Couponing Enthusiast
Me: How did you first get into couponing?
Sis: I saw a show called Extreme Couponing when I was in the states and I thought…”Wow…I wish I could do that.” And then a friend told me I could!
Me: Do any of your friends share your passion/illness?
Sis: My friend Hayley. We both have the same hoarding/OCD issues so it can get a little crazy. After a good score we generally text back and forth for hours going over the transaction. (”…and then the cashier said such-and-such and I was like what?”)
Me: Where do you shop? Have cashiers ever refused to serve you?
Sis: Usually Superstore and Walmart. Safeway is usually more expensive but when they have a B1G1 sale (‘Buy One Get One’) you can really score if you have a coupon for a free item.
Most cashiers don’t like us when they see us coming but so far only one has refused to ring us through. There are a few cashiers who are amazed by our skill. Sometimes we give them a coupon to to use themselves.
Me: Your kindness is inspiring. Why don’t you show us some of the items you currently have in your stockpile.
Sis: My pleasure.
You can call this one “Christmas gifts may be a little awkward this year!”
And a tip: When buying 26 boxes of tampons go to the young guy. He will not
question your coupon and try and get you out fast!
I keep this cupboard closed when new people come over. At
least until they know I’m not insane. Also, there are 32 cans
of shaving cream…and my legs are still hairy!
I got these for $0.32 each. Haven’t bought laundry soap in over a year!
I don’t even have a dog.
I like having options for my hair.
I think this shows my passion for oral care.
Any guesses what my deal was this week?
Haha no not free but $1.33 a pack.
Me: I notice that a lot of your purchases consist of toiletries. Since when did you suddenly develop an interest in personal hygiene?
Sis: Food coupons are rarely healthy choices so it’s really my only option.
Me: How many boxes of tampons does one person need?
Sis: It depends on your age and when menopause kicks in. But in general I’d say at least a thousand in a lifetime.
Me: If you had a coupon for these would you buy them?
Me: Thanks. I came up with it myself. Anyway, back to the questions. Do you have any funny couponing stories you’d like to share?
Sis: It was early in our couponing days and we were at superstore. Back then we didn’t know the cashiers so we went through some bitter old lady’s till. She looked at the coupons, looked at the item and said we had the wrong product. The coupons even had a picture of the product on it, so we questioned her. Then she got mad and shouted at my friend that she smelled like cheese.
When we asked for a manager she said she would let us off the hook this time. We were like “Let us off the hook for what?” But we saw our co-workers in line behind us so we just let it go.
Me: I said “funny” stories.
Sis: Every time Phil [Ollie's Dad] comes over to watch Ollie I have had tampons strategically placed throughout the apartment. I like to admire my haul for a few days. Anyway, I finally put them away and then one day I came home and suddenly they turned up in the bathroom in a pyramid. haha
Me: You should submit that one to Reader’s Digest. They’d be all over it.
Sis: Yeah. they can put it under Life’s Like That or Menstruating.
Me: Hypothetically speaking, say your family came to visit one weekend and you invited your sister to run errands with you. Assuming you wanted to bond with her, she agreed. After spending the next ten minutes driving in complete silence (something about you not being able to “talk and steer” at the same time), you arrived at the store parking lot, at which point you then jumped out of the car and yelled “MEET ME AT THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY SECTION” before rushing the front doors and elbow-checking the Walmart Greeter.
When your sister finally tracked you down, you then shoved a stack of coupons and 12 sticks of deodorant in her arms and said “Make sure you go to a guy cashier because they don’t question you.” (This is a rhetorical question by the way.)
Sis: I’d say you have a good sister that takes care of your hygiene. Most people don’t have that.
Me: That reminds me, do you remember when you used to wear deodorant on your forehead? (Again, rhetorical question.)
Sis: Do you rmember when you tried to make me drink your urine? (Also a rhetorical question.)
Me: You’re obviously suffering from reverse-toxic-shock syndrome-related delusions because that didn’t happen. Also, you really need to look up what the word “rhetorical” means. Now, moving on…what advice would you give to people who want to pursue this socially-maladjusted lifestyle?
Sis: You have to have time on your hands and a good memory. You need to go through each flier every week to check out the sales and match them with your coupon. Some cashiers will inspect your coupons and try and find something wrong with them. We call these cashiers the coupon inspectors. They are usually bitter old woman who hate to see anyone get anything for free.
Me: Sounds fun.
Sis: It’s a bit of a mental illness, really. But at least it’s not heroin.
Me: No need to explain. Any time a single woman brags about having hairy legs and a fondness for dog food, the mental illness part goes without saying.
Sis: To be fair, I was getting the dog food for Nicki. Apparently her dog has allergies. So does Brandy’s dog. And so does Marion’s.
Me: Don’t worry. I’m sure one of your non-discriminating dog owner friends will appreciate your generosity.
.Me: Okay so I was wrong. Just out of curiousity, does it ever occur to you that I was the one mom and dad sent to see a psychologist?
Sis: My kind of OCD is useful. What good does counting sidewalk squares do for anyone? Or tapping your nose 49 times on both sides so one side doesn’t feel bad?
Me: Yes, I’m sure your friend Brad would agree that your kind of crazy is waaaay more useful. One last question… You do realize panty liners can’t love you back, right?
Sis: They weren’t built for love. Just protection.
Me: Thank-you for your time. I look forward to Christmas, when I can once again open each of the 143 individually-wrapped Lady Speed Sticks you have waiting for me under the tree.
Sis: Don’t forget about the toothpaste. I really spoiled you this year.
~Later That Night~