Published on June 29th, 2012 | by TLV News0
“My First Everything – Part 2: Coupons” (by Vera P., from TLV #159)
My First Everything
Part 2: Coupons
Can you imagine it? We don’t have coupons in Russia! We don’t have the advertisement flyers as well. So, when we just moved to US, I knew nothing about them. But I heard that you could save tons of money with those magic pieces of paper, and that they sometimes come in the mail. Very soon I found in the mailbox the flyer from some tiny grocery store in Pine Bluff. I really liked the low prices for bananas, vanilla wafers, milk, beef, and such (we had three growing teenagers to feed with one salary). Being an immaculate foreigner in the culture shock, I decided, that these little squares with colored pictures of the product and the price in the corner were my so desirable coupons.
I got myself a pair of scissors…and real soon I had a nice stock of colored square pictures of food. I couldn’t wait till weekend! (It was our first month in this country, I didn’t know how to drive yet, we lived 20 miles away from the grocery store, so we had to wait until my husband’s day off for he could take us to that wonderful land of milk and honey).
On Saturday we all jammed in the tiny Honda-my husband, our three sons and I. It was a pure bliss just to look at that family—stocky Daddy with a white beard, long white hair, and a beer belly, looking exactly like Santa, and three tall teenagers in motorcycle leather jackets, black jeans, and high boots of leather, with blond hair to their waists (it was a most popular and cool style of heavy metal fans in Russia at that time). I was wearing some black jean jacket and black jeans as well. We all had very harsh accents yet. When we got into that supermarket, we found ourselves in the small, stinky, and dirty environment, with not very friendly sales clerks and customers, openly staring at us while we walked through.
I, as a brave Mother and a Chef of the house, found a manager and handed him my stack of “coupons.” “Hi. Me likes to buy ol zis prrodacts wiz zat cooponz. How me doez it?”
You should see that poor guy’s face. He turned pale and then red, trying to stay all professional and not to die from laughter right there in front of us. He snatched a treasure from my hand and said as politely as he could, “Lady, these here are NOT coupons. You can jes buy everthang you need with that our regular low prices! Jes go ahead, getcha a that there buggy and git it loaded full as you can!”
I learned about coupons later. Yes, they do save you money on brand names. They can even bring you some money if you don’t have anything better to do than spending hours and hours researching places, prices, and double coupon days. As for me, from now on I just use generic!