Growing up in Colorado, I recall my father telling us to get in the car because we were going somewhere. Once it was to a newly opened bank in our neighborhood. They were giving out free tee shirts to each customer. All four girls piled into the car to get these freebies. We were each one customer. I don’t recall wearing them. Probably our mother used them to dust the furniture instead.
There were frequent gas wars in the 1950s when gas went for as little as 17 cents per gallon. Most gas stations included a free loaf of bread or quart of milk or free glasses and plates. My father made certain he accumulated enough plates for all his daughters. Entire sets of plates for a family of 4-6 people. Imagine how many gallons of gas he purchased! With all the nicer sets of plates we received as wedding gifts, guess which ones I still use today? Sentimental value perhaps? Even the chipped one which became our daughter’s after she learned it was for good luck.
Today began with another promise of a bargain: one free ugly sweater with the purchase of a specialty drink. With visions in my head about the red and green patterned ugly sweater, I jumped in the car and drove to our coffee shop in the middle of a big snow storm, all the time thinking of my father jumping in his car to go get a “bargain.” And this was only for three days with the purchase of a sweet drink I never order. But it was coming with an ugly sweater, right? I thought I would get a size for our daughter who had told me about this deal being offered.
After asking about the sizes of the free ugly sweaters, the barista who waited on me went for help. We seemed to have not understood one another. I asked what sizes the ugly sweaters came in. The drink sizes were explained to me when I had no need for that information. The manager then came to my aid and when drink sizes were given again, I asked what sizes the sweaters came in. Sweaters? Yes, the ugly sweater sizes. Oh, we don’t have sweaters in the store. Loud laughter emanated from the store. In place of the drink sleeves, I received one which imitated a knit sweater.
When I returned home to review the ad our daughter had sent me, it was in paragraph three that the word “cozy” appeared after the words ugly sweater. Cozy? Ah, that fine print. I fell for it too. Looking at the photo again, I saw two people in red and green sweaters and holding a drink in their hands but nowhere was a cozy to be seen. They had me at the word “free.” Well, it will become a stocking stuffer. And I can now laugh about how like my father I must be. Jump in the car for that freebie! Live and learn.