Growing up, my mom and I fought constantly. She hated my tardiness, my impropriety, my messy room, how I danced in public, the time I bleached a white stripe into my black bob senior year, the nine Robert Smith posters I had thumbtacked onto the white wall of my Orange County gated home bedroom. I couldn’t stand her loud and dramatic piano playing while I was watching audio-sensitive movies like A Clockwork Orange or Dr. Strangelove. I hated the way she cackled when she spent too much time with her crazy sisters, how she always saved even the tiniest bit of leftovers with air-tight saran wrap, how she only liked a St. John jacket if it was really obviously St. John. We figured that we were simply too different to get along, so a lot of them time we spent in silence.
I don’t remember when we made the turn, but my mom and I found ourselves on the same page one day. Maybe it was when I, like she, began to hoard my Tupperware. I’ll never know.
But it happened. One day I simply realized that my mother and I were not different at all. WE’RE THE SAME.
Like, when she gets mad, she gets quiet. Really quiet. Her eyes become glassy and dead. And two strange anger dimples appear between her lips and cheeks. This goes on for hours and can continue through important, jovial events like walks in the park, childhood birthday parties, or Christmas. She can be silent forever. That shit doesn’t pass.
Lo and behold, this happens to me too. (Do not fuck with me.) Ask Jen. Same anger dimples.
Also, I lose my license and/or bank card about five times a year. And I often lose my glasses while they’re hanging on the neckline of my shirt. I always thought this was because I was forgetful. But a few months ago I went to Wells Fargo with my mom, to do some important banky stuff, and she killed the waiting time by describing the one, two, three times she had lost her drivers license and bank card over the past six months. Then in the middle of gobs of paperwork, she panicked, because she realized she had lost her glasses somewhere. They were sitting on top of her head. I nodded.
So by the time I clicked through that sassy Ebates banner at the top of our blog to claim my free $8.88, I was resigned to the fact that I am basically my mom. My momma loves to get more bang for her buck. She won’t buy makeup unless it comes with a giant gift bag. If there’s some sort of cheapo discount on the menu, like stroganoff, she’ll order it even though she doesn’t know what stroganoff is.
Me, I just like stuff and free money. Nothing crazy beyond that.
Or so I thought until I signed to Ebates.
The first thing I saw were the weekly deals:
Fun! 4%, 5%, 3% back! Free money was as fun as it sounded! I started to look for the stores where I like to spend all my money at anyway–Sur La Table (4%), Bliss Spa (4%), The National Geographic Store (4%). But I didn’t buy anything. Even though I knew I was getting FREE MONEY.
BECAUSE I’M A CHING-CHONG CHEAPASS, JUST LIKE MY MOM. And if I’m getting free money, I want the highest percentage possible. Okay???
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