The Rebate Debate

My work peeps and I go out to lunch together, as work peeps are known to do. More times than not, our lunchtime conversations go off on funny tangents... which can make for some good stories.

Or blog posts.

Several weeks ago Matt, Aaron and I went to Costa Vida. As we were chatting, I mentioned that I had a rebate form at home that I had to fill out and mail in. And that I didn't really want to fill it out, but I had to because Dave was making me. And it sucked that Dave was making me, because filling out rebates is HARD and DUMB and I don't want to be bothered with them.

The whole time I'm talking, Matt and Aaron are looking at me with an expression they probably use when their wives are saying something they think is completely ridiculous (although I'm positive that Amy and Michelle, whom I adore, would never ever say anything ridiculous).

"How much is the rebate?" Matt asked.

I roll my eyes, inconvenienced even by questions about rebates. "It's for $50."

Incredulous pause.

In general, Matt and Aaron are both extremely polite and diplomatic, but they both enjoy a friendly debate amongst friends (especially Matt). So, after I tell them how much the rebate is, Aaron starts in on his burrito... and Matt starts in on me.

"Let me get this straight," Matt says. "All you have to do to get $50 back is fill out the form, attach a couple of things to it, put it in an envelope and mail it... and you're not interested?"

"Nope," I said. "I just don't want to bother with it."

More incredulous pausing.

I realize that Matt said exactly the same thing Dave said when we discussed it the night before... and then it dawns on me: I'm trying to curry sympathy from two people who share my husband's passion for value and frugality! I'm attempting to convince my cost-conscious colleagues to sympathize with my blatant and unapologetic fiscal apathy... and failing miserably.

I'm horrified... but I'm steadfast.

"Dude," I say, my chin stuck out in protest, "I won't get my money for... like... three months! Maybe even longer!"

Non-plussed pausing.

"So what? You'll get it eventually, right?"

"Probably... but that's too long to wait! And filling out those forms and enclosing all that crap is too time-consuming!"

Even more pausing.

Aaron is silently smiling at me and getting comfortable... he's more than happy to sit back, relax and watch the train wreck in progress. Meanwhile, Matt has come up with a new angle to test my commitment to the Too-Damn-Lazy-to-Claim-Free-Cash platform.

"What if you were outside and, all of a sudden, a $5 bill blows past you down the street. Would you chase it down?"

Without skipping a beat, in an effort to clarify the scenario I ask the most obvious question:

"What season is it?"

Surprise-attacked pause.

Matt doesn't get it. I've thrown him off... which is hard to do, because he's a smarty-pants. "Uh... what season is it?" he repeats.

"Yeah... Is it winter, spring, summer or fall?" I'm silently high-fiving myself for discombobulating him.

"Uh, ok... it's winter. But what does the season have to do with it?"

I'm actually hurt that he doesn't see the connection. Any friend of mine knows I believe with all my heart that if Satan was a season, he would be WINTER. (A bit ironic, I know, considering he's reported to live in a fairly warm climate.) Point is, Matt should know exactly where I'm going with this.

"Because if it's cold outside, you know there's NO WAY I would chase down a $5 bill because... uh, it's cold outside."

It finally registers. "Ah, yes, of course," he says. "Winter is evil. Sorry, I forgot. Ok, so let's say it's 75 degrees outside. Would you go after the money then?"

"Probably not."

Bonus round of incredulous pausing. I start to wonder if these guys are going to give me a ride back to the office.


"Because! I'm not going to look like a fool chasing money blowing in the wind... that's just silly! Besides, you've seen the shoes I wear to work. Do you honestly think I would trot down the street in eighty-dollar high heels for five measley bucks?"

Now they're thinking many things about me... things featuring words like "diva" and "hoity-toity" and "sucks to be Dave"... but mostly they can't believe that, if a perfectly good finsky meandered past me in a breeze, I would turn on my (high) heel and walk the other way.

In fact, Matt refuses to accept this. He's determined to find my threshold, the point at which I am willing to concede this cockamamie platform.

"So how much money would it have to be for you to chase it down the street? Ten dollars?"

I wrinkle my nose. He rolls his eyes.

"Ok, ten dollars in 75-degree weather. And you're wearing flats." (Like I said, a smarty-pants.)

I think it over... and shrug my shoulders.

His eyes widen. "You wouldn't chase down TEN DOLLARS?"

I shrug again, picking at my tortilla. Any second his corneas are going to pop out of their sockets and land in his refried beans.

And then they'd be refreyed beans!! Ha ha ha, hee hee hee, ha ha ha ha ha...


Dumbfounded by my obvious aversion to rational thought, Matt blurts: "Twenty?! Would you chase down a twenty-dollar bill?!"

The threshold at last! "Yes, I would definitely chase down a twenty-dollar bill."

Matt's smelling victory, but he knows he's not quite there. "Would you really?" He asks, his eyes
narrowing. "Even in winter?"

"Yes!" I insist.

And then, because it's the absolute truth and I can't help myself, I add:

"Unless it's actually snowing, and the money blows across the street. I wouldn't want to cross the street in the snow... especially if I'm wearing those cute red pumps that I love."

Threshold destroyed. Victory in tatters. Work peeps chalk me up as a total wackadoo.

As we headed back to work, I'm sure Matt and Aaron were silently thanking their lucky stars that they only have to put up with my nonsense from 9 to 5.

I was silently thanking my lucky stars it wasn't snowing.

P.S. It's been 30 days since I mailed that rebate to the Godforsaken Black Hole of Rebate Redemption and, of course, I haven't heard a peep. Only seven more months to wait.

P.S.S. Is anyone else with me on this, or am I the only one with a "No-thanks, I'm good" policy on rebates? If so please give me a shout out... it might help chip away at the huge complex this conversation gave me...

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Sorry, I'm with the fellas on this one. Anything that makes spending money easier for Danny, then I'm all for it. :)

Yes, and we do need to get together soon.