Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Let's Make a Deal
You know how some people are at the right place at the right time, unearthing all the genuine bargains and never paying full price for a single thing? EVER? I’m not one of them, but my sister is. It doesn’t matter what we are talking about, from toiletries to handbags to clothing to house furnishings, she manages to sniff out any advertised or unadvertised sale, and top it off with extra discounts or coupons thus further lowering its already reduced price. She can wade through a garage sale or secondhand store and uncover real gems sprinkled throughout the superficial dross, totally skipping over the worthless junk. I, on the other hand, will either find nothing but crap, select the most expensive items when I do find anything of worth, and no matter what I’m buying, will have totally missed the sale by sometimes only a day. Sis bought a leopard purse just like mine recently and plunked down a whopping dollar for her second-hand twinkie. This comparison could have been worse as I only paid five bucks for a new one but as we shall see, this is a very rare scenario. Much more common are the next two examples proving this startling monetary deviation where she made out like a bandit and I paid through the nose. Both of us have duplicate prescriptions for a certain tube of medication from our shared dermatologist. And just how much does yours truly shell out for this green cylinder? $97 smackeroos. Almost one hundred dollars and that’s generic mind you. And how much does Mz WaaayBetterInsurance cough up? $10. Ten measly dollars. For the exact same medication. And I don’t think hers is even generic! Now I realize that the obvious reason for this wide discrepancy is the huge gulf between our respective insurance companies (mine bites) and that my state insurance won’t pay jack on something they don’t view as ‘medical’ (which indeed is now) and federal insurance is considerably more accommodating, but still... The most recent instance was a few weeks ago when we both selected almost duplicate frames from our optometrist’s office. Same brand, same color, just a slightly different shape. Thanks to my sucky insurance, I am completely left at the mercy of retail prices and the full cost of those attractive frames was $150. And just how much out-of-pocket money would dear sis need to purchase the exact same pair? $20!!! I think I can be excused for feeling taken advantage of, a clueless neophyte in a sea of savvy shoppers. It’s the story of my life. I will admit to green-eyed envy directed at those blessed with the gift of sniffing out true bargains and making impressive deals. All I ask that they occasionally stop and remember the hapless paying-out-the-wazooty souls who offset their seemingly effortless consumer transactions.