If you are not familiar with the Kübler-Ross model, here is a basic summary:
- Denial – "This can't be happening, not to me."
- Anger – "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"
- Bargaining – "If only..."
- Depression – "I'm so sad..."
- Acceptance – "It's going to be okay."
This was my big shopping trip for the week; I made my list before I went containing everything our family would need until next Monday. Before I left I looked through my coupon file because this store has a lot of "free with $10 purchase" coupons that I get in the mail frequently. I only found one non-expired coupon which I was bummed about, but off we went. We made it through the store and back home in about an hour without any major meltdowns, no potty trips, and getting almost everything on my list. Success.
But then, tragedy strikes. After lunch, I finally take the time to go through the pile of mail on my desk that has been sitting there growing taller and taller through the holiday weekend when I was too busy visiting family to get it all sorted. And there I find them - 4 AWESOME coupons that I totally could have used today... for FREE items. Free Ice Cream (that I would have used for Oliver's birthday this weekend), free bananas (which I paid full price for this morning), free ground beef (which I would have used for this week's meals), and free orange juice (which I could have used for when my family is in town this weekend).
Now for most normal people, this would not seem like a tragedy. But for someone who loves to use coupons, prides themselves on being organized, can only make so many trips out of the house with 3 kids each week to sustain her sanity, and is her biggest critic... this is bad folks.
The dollar signs started flashing in my mind, as well as the missed opportunity cost of already being at the store and missing the chance to grab those items. I quickly spiraled into the 5 stages of grief:
- Denial (NO! - which I did yell out loud prompting my daughter to ask in a concerned voice, "Why did you say that, mommy?")
- Anger (Are you kidding me! I made such a great list and even made cute lists for the kids to use and I forgot those coupons! Perfect shopping trip ruined!)
- Bargaining (Maybe I can take my receipt up there tonight without the kids after Matt gets home and get the money... even though the coupons say must be presented at time of purchase.)
- Depression (Enough said. Although I think I went back to anger again at this point too for a few minutes.)
- Acceptance... I think I'm just about there. And it only took about an hour.
Now, I could always go back and use them you might say. But most of these coupons are such that you can use one with each $10 purchased. So I would have to spend $30 more dollars to get these items for free. So not really worth an additional $30, but I did spend well over $30 on my original trip. Sad. Sad. I'm still tempted to do it though... just buying meat or some staple that I could freeze. But that would mean another trip to the store. We'll see which side of my brain wins that battle... the money saving side or the get-over-it-and-move-on side. Sigh.
Now this next part will not surprise you if you know me. This tragedy will not be in vain. In the wake of this disaster (and since sadly this is not the first time something like this has happened), I have instituted a NEW COUPON SYSTEM! I will now keep track of all the coupons I have in a list on my computer desktop so that I can just pull up the document and do a quick scan of what I have on hand before I head out to the store. I plan to quickly type them into this document as soon as I get them so that no matter where they physically land, I know they exist and can remember to hunt them down before I start shopping. You see, I had looked at these coupons the day they came in the mail, but promptly forgot about them when they went in to the aforementioned "pile." I am convinced that with each child you have, a portion of your memory goes away. Now I wouldn't trade any of my kids to have those portions of my memory back, so I am just going to have to find a way to work around it.
And that is a little peek into my brain... crazy as it is.