In January I posted a list of things that were going to change about myself this year. It was inspired by the discovery that buying a new coffee maker was not going to suddenly turn me into a person that cleaned out the coffee maker in a timely manner. I vowed to slow down enough to pay attention to details: details that, when neglected, resulted in a messy house and going to the store without my list or coupon.
Let's check in and see how I'm doing, shall we? Well, my bedroom floor is mostly clear of clothes, and my coffee pot is cleaned and set to automatic brew about five days out of seven. Not too shabby. The coupon and list thing is harder.
But last week something glorious happened. I spent 35 minutes ransacking my house, looking for a 25% off Old Navy coupon that I needed in order to get a price adjustment on a Hello Kitty bathing suit for Livie before the 10-day-after-purchase clock ran out. This search was accompanied by self loathing and mommy swear words ("Where the poop is that stinking coupon? I saw it right here on the friggin kitchen table!"). I never found it.
For years these searches have included at least one accusation of the other members of my household. "Who moved my list/mail/book/coffee cup? I set it right here!" Hubby is extremely annoyed by this. History has told him that this is all my fault.
But three days after the coupon search, I was helping Sophia find a word in the dictionary, and there, on my eight-year-old's desk was my Old Navy coupon! She had taken it from the kitchen table and been using it as a book mark.
Oh, the joy I felt. Not only was I still within the 10-day price adjustment period, but here was proof that not every lost item in the house was lost by me. I'm not crazy! Sometimes, something really was where I remember seeing it last, and someone else misplaced it! I even called Hubby at work to tell him. He did not take quite the same view of the situation, believing that this was the exception.
Well, of course it is. But even if my lost items are someone else's fault only 3% of the time, I still have hope in those minutes of self-loathing. I might have filed this item in just the right place as I intended, and one of my little munchkins may have moved it.
I'm clinging to that small victory, because this story doesn't have a happy ending, actually. Though I did get my coupon back, I still forgot to bring it the next time I was at the mall, having dinner with girlfriends and shopping kids' sale racks. Also, I bought two new shirts for Livie, thinking I could use a rewards certificate I did remember. Unfortunately, it was not valid for four more days.
"Don't worry, you can come back, return it, and use your reward bucks next week," the cashier, who at this point is the person in the world with the most faith in my abilities, said. Yes, I guess I could. Here's hoping.