I’m intrigued by the people who are extreme coupon-ers. They look through papers, read online, gather from others, and print off hundreds of coupons. They pay attention to sales, double coupon days, and hunt down rebates. They place the coupons into binders, categories, and create shopping lists for each location, all this before they even go shopping. Once home from the store, they organize their products in stock piles. Here is a clip if you are curious to see a bit about it.
Did I mention, I find this whole process fascinating? There is so much psychology involved with the desire to find a bargain, looking at how the systemic nature of marketing impacts choice, and then of course the mind-set of the person that would go this extreme. Still, watching this from afar I realize that I’m simply speculating… until… recently.
I was out for a walk and came upon a garage sale. I immediately noticed that the items being sold appeared to be new household based and were organized rather precisely. It felt right away like this person was really orderly or maybe just maybe (I was beginning to get excited) into couponing!
The photo doesn’t really do justice to the level of detail that was put into the display of the items, but it at least gives you an idea. There was tons of stuff put into sections, row after row for easy viewing.
Of course, it had to be asked if the woman was a into using coupons. Her face instantly brightened and sure enough, she began to talk about the process. She spends about 20 hours a week couponing and has her own tips and secrets. She spoke about her personal stock pile and how the tv shows represent things a bit differently than the average person. When asked if she had any coupon friends, she explained that she hasn’t been able to find any people in the local area. She was working on clipping and organizing ads while multitasking the garage sale and the conversation. We probably could have talked about the psychological details of couponing but somehow it felt like it would shift the emotional experience.
I left pondering why this felt like something special, as if I had stumbled upon a moment made just for me.
When you go about your life and you do what you always do, you don’t expect that a personal adventure could occur. It doesn’t even come into consciousness. You take your walk, feed the pets, make some dinner, clean up, watch a little tv, read a book, and go to bed. It really is the same old routine. We all need this day-to-day process for emotional structure. It is the down time our minds need as the basis of stability to deal with any unexpected problems that may come up.
And yet, we get so lost in the mundane we forget that something unique like an extreme coupon-er could be right around the corner on your walk. Being open to unexpected excitement, beauty, or even confusion might just be the very thing that makes you smile. These tiny moments of pure bliss are something to be on the look out for. I’m asking you to consider that when you are open to a moment being transformed from ordinary into extraordinary, you have created an opportunity for personal joy to exist.
I certainly don’t expect everyone to secretly (not-so-secretly in my case) wish they could meet an extreme coupon-er and ask them lots of questions. However, each one of us has our idiosyncratic tendencies and they make us fascinating. This way we are interesting to one another! Hence, it matters when we take the time to indulge in the experience of momentary gratitude in experiencing something wonderful. It is okay to bask in the absurd. It is in fact, it is the very existence of these quirks that make us giddy (I think fondly of Anderson Cooper taking pleasure in one pun after another, as a wonderful recent example).
This puts forth the idea that we should be on the look out for something to make us up-on-tip-toes-happy! It is crucial to be available to individually tailored magical moments occurring in our lives. Allow yourself to be silly, have preferences, be unusual, and giggle when you happen upon something you love!
Side note — if you want to learn a realistic way to be a coupon-er, check out this girl’s how-to video series!