A couple of weekends ago, when Mom and Little Brother were in town, a Macy’s gift card that I’d been hanging onto since the wedding began to burn a hole in my pocket. It was a really generous gift card given to Denny and I by his co-workers and I had managed to spend about half of it, but hadn’t yet found something nice to spend the other half on (and by “nice” I mean “practical and yet not outlandishly expensive”—even if it was “free money,” I just couldn’t fathom using it to buy a $200 teapot, ya know?).
So the three of us headed on over the mall and braved the somewhat crazy Labor Day crowd. As it turned out, Macy’s was having a legitimately impressive sale on bed and bath stuff, which worked out well for me since, as of two months ago (sidenote: stay tuned for an anniversary surprise later!), we’ve upgraded from one bedroom to four and from one bathroom to two-and-a-half! So I picked out a bunch of towels and washcloths, some new sheets, a bathmat, even a funky little laptop lap-desk.
I was feeling really pleased with my purchases until we got to the counter and I handed over my still-very-shiny-and-full-of-funds gift card. The nice old lady ringing me up smiled politely and told me that it had a balance of zero, “would I like to pay with another card?” At which point I promptly had a heart attack.
You see, that gift card did not have a zero balance when I last got done with it. It actually had a balance of just under $175. I stuttered and stammered a little, feebly disagreed, saying that it was supposed to be FULL of money, but in the end there was nothing she could do and I (still feeling totally flabbergasted) handed over my debit card to pay for the purchases.
I then walked approximately 10 feet away, threw my purchases on the closest display bed, whipped out my celly, and called the hotline on the back of my card. It turns out that someone in San Bernadino (that’s southern California, in case you don’t recognize the name) had somehow used my account to buy a bunch of clothes, leaving me with a completely useless card on my hands. Luckily, I didn’t have to throw a fit (I had definitely intended to) and the customer service girl quickly remedied the situation, telling me that they would send off a replacement card in the refunded amount right away.
I breathed an almost complete sigh of relief (although, part of me wouldn’t be calm until I had the new card in my hands) and swore that the second I had that money back, I would spend it. No more waiting around for creeps in SoCal to fritter away MY (I mean, our) money on stupid Ecko tee-shirts and Ralph Lauren onesies. [The moral of this story? Routinely check your gift card balances like you would your other cards—fraud comes in all shapes and sizes.]
So, true to my word, when I received the card in the mail on Monday night, I immediately began hunting for something (anything, really) to buy. In the end, I decided to buy some floor cleaning equipment for the house (you were expecting something much more frivolous, weren’t you?). It came down to A) I wanted to spend the money on something I wouldn’t usually buy with my own cash and B) we have a ton of hard flooring now and, frankly, I’m not very well equipped to take care of it yet.
Enter Explanation of Pig-Sty Pictures Here: First of all, please disregard the mess on both sides. The picture of the old place was taken in the midst of packing for the move, finals week at my school, and both of us working full-time (sounds like a lot of excuses, but it’s true). And the picture of the new place was taken about four days after we moved in. It doesn’t look like that anymore and I will prove it to you with the pictures I’m planning to post tonight.
See what I mean, though? And this doesn’t even show the full extent, since there’s also the catwalk to consider, the utility room and small bath downstairs, and both upstairs bathrooms. My 30-seconds-of-dry-Swiffering followed by a-solid-minute-and-a-half-of-wet-Swiffering is just not going to cut it in this new place. For example, I spent an HOUR sweeping the other day. Yes. An hour. No, I am not kidding.
Therefore, my purchase today consisted of these two bad-boys:
Nice, huh? The purple one is a Shark Steam Mop (which can be used in place of a traditional mop) and the yellow one is an Electrolux 2-in-1 Stick Vac (which can be used in place of a traditional broom AND has a detachable handheld vac, too). I am ridiculously excited about both of these items. I’m also excited that given that the total order cost over $99 and due to an online coupon, shipping was free and I got an additional 15% off of the sale price. Take that, Macy’s!
Which brings me to something that I’ve been pondering for a while now. It’s funny how my priorities have changed since we bought our house. It used to be that only a new Nine West bag or the latest TooFaced eye shadow palette would set my heart a-fluttering like this. Now, here I am. All cow-eyed about a couple of gadgets whose sole purpose is to suck gunk off the floor. My, how the mighty have fallen.