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Sunday, May 1, 2016

View From The Fence

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

What will a woman do for a free $10 gift certificate? This question was put to a test this past weekend when I went shopping the day after Thanksgiving with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and grandmother.The fact that we ventured out on the busiest shopping day of the year speaks for itself. But I have to say it was a shoppers dream - everything on sale and a free $10 gift certificate with each purchase.We literally shopped until we dropped, then went and got some lunch and went back and shopped until we dropped again. We just couldn't pass up a second gift certificate.That's right, we fought the traffic and the crowd not only once -- but twice. We snatched and we grabbed and we raced around the store like madwomen.We clawed our way through the sale racks and scurried to the dressing rooms like little mice.We put our math skills to use and counted our savings -- all the while buying more.We grabbed items that weren't meant for ourselves, just in case one of the others wanted it, and juggled our prizes and our heavy purses (when will we women learn to carry a small purse when shopping?).All of this for the savings and the gift certificate. However, there was a catch to the gift certificate. Isn't there always?It was good only for Saturday or Sunday and you were allowed only one per customer. Since we were planning to leave early Saturday morning this gave us a moment's pause. But never underestimate the power of a woman with a free gift certificate.Now all we had to do was convince our husbands to take us back to the store on our way out of town. We told them of all the money we had saved and how great the prices were. We pointed out that we had $50 worth of gift certificates between us and surely it would be worth $50 for a little side trip.We promised them we had everything planned and in fact had already picked out what we would purchase with our certificates.We assured them there wouldn't really be any shopping -- just a quick run into the store.What we didn't tell them was they would have to go in with us in order to use our extra certificates. We saved that little tidbit for the last minute. It was really a significant point and hardly even crossed our minds.We got up bright and early the next morning and hurriedly helped pack the cars. This should have given them a hint of what was to come; we're not exactly known for helping load the trunks. But the shopping incentive put an extra pep in our step and we lugged those heavy bags like they were full of feathers.When we arrived at the store I explained to my husband his part in the endeavor, and being the good sport he is, he agreed. He's not much on shopping and has told me more than once about his shopping experiences as a child; he thinks he was psychologically scarred early in life when he was repeatedly forced to shop with his mother and grandmother. To this day he has an irrational fear of Indian Mall in Jonesboro.We stepped out of our car and waited on my mother and father-in-law. My father-in-law dislikes shopping even more than my husband and, though we couldn't hear what they were saying, the look on his face made it apparent she was just then explaining that he wouldn't be able to wait in the car as he had expected.We could see the gift certificates in her hand as she waved them about and explained the necessity of his cooperation. She finally coaxed him into leaving the car.We ran in and made our purchases and were back on the road in a short time -- though not short enough for the men, I suspect, and were indeed thankful for a wonderful holiday, good meal and great shopping -- what more could a woman ask for?I've answered the question of what a woman will do for a free $10 gift certificate - obviously just about anything. But what will a man do? I posed this question to my husband."Give the woman $20 and tell her she's $10 ahead," was his cranky reply.