Saturday, April 12, 2008

Coupon Togetherness

by Shirley Bahlmann
The printed word is magic. You can learn about anything in the world if you can read. My always hungry 14-year-old proved that point yesterday when he pulled a sheet of fast food coupons out of the trash, where his eat-at-home-loving dad had tossed them.
"Hey, Mom, let's go get some cinna-blobs," he said, pointed to a picture of a cinnamon roll that had been chopped to bits and stacked in a small plastic tray.
I think fast food is way over priced, but I went ahead and read the coupon. Well, whaddya know, buy one, get one free. I had errands to run, so I was fine with getting a snack if my 17-year-old would drive. He was happy to do so, and away we went.
When we got back home, all was well until my 8-year-old returned from playing at a friend's house and found the evidence: little boxes with smears of frosting in the corners.
"Hey," he asked, "where did these come from?"
I was cornered. Furtively, I admitted, "I bought them."
"I want some."
So I sent him on a clandestine mission on his bike with a pocketful of pennies and another coupon. His mission failed when he came home and reported that they were all out of cinna-blobs. "We can try again tomorrow," I told him to his frowny face.
So as soon as he got up this morning, he began chanting, "Go get food, go get food, go get food." Sleep had done nothing to fog his memory. I'd said we'd try again, so I slid my bare feet into a pair of flip flops and drove the few blocks to the fast food store, blinking at the girl through the little glass window. "Two cinna-blobs, please."
When we reached home, my 8-year-old hurried inside to share his bounty with his big brothers, regardless of the fact that they'd inhaled everything they'd gotten the day before.
Who would have guessed that coupons would bring our family closer together? Besides that, I didn't have to cook breakfast. It was a good morning after all.

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