One of the reasons our marriage works so well is that we have different skill sets that complement each other. For example, I can make instant decisions and buy something on the spot. Whereas Sara will shop in 27 countries and find the best price on the same item, usually 90% off, plus another 10% off if she uses the store’s credit card. And she’s just as aggressive when she makes a return.

Back in October, Sara found one of her incredible bargains that we couldn’t live without. It was an Air Fryer Oven that could cook a small goat in 12 minutes. It was so big, I had to drive to the department store where she bought it, to carry it out for her. We got it home and set it up on one of the kitchen counters (it took up the entire counter). It sat there, unused until the first week in January. How often do you make air-fried goat? Finally, after trying the appliance on the kitchen counter, the butler’s pantry, and the top of the washing machine, Sara said, “Michael, do you think we should return the oven?”

Following my affirmative answer, she asked me to help her carry it back to the store. But then she changed her mind, as another store was running a blowout sale. Rushing out the door, she sheepishly asked, “Michael, would you mind taking it back by yourself?”
I responded, “No problem. I can use a backhoe to get it in the car.”

The glib answer only served to hide my fear of making the return by myself. After all, this was Sara’s area of expertise.

Wearing my hernia-prevention belt, I lugged the monstrous box into the store, where I was greeted by a greeter. He helped me get the package to the return desk where I encountered Mrs. No! She sneered at me, scanned the receipt, scanned the barcode on the box, and told me because of the 70% off sale, the return date expired two weeks ago. Now panic overshadowed my fear. I stood there frozen, trying to come up with a solution. There was no way I was carrying this casket-size box back home. And I thought, “What would Sara do?” And I did what she would do.

I said, “Here’s the problem. This item went on sale back at the end of October, and my wife wanted to get it for me for Christmas. So, she bought it back then and hid it in the basement (we don’t have a basement). And Christmas morning, voila, she gives me the damn oven. Now let me ask you, what loving wife gives her husband a deluxe, super-size air fryer oven for Christmas? I was expecting a set of golf clubs. And today is the first chance I had to return the appliance to the store because the tow truck was booked until this morning. Now how can you help me out of this dilemma?”

She smiles, hands me back the receipt, and says, I’ll put it through as a return without a receipt. But you will have to accept the amount that comes up on the register, which will be the lowest price the item ever sold for.”

“I’m willing to accept that. At least now I can buy my golf clubs.”

It turns out the lowest price the computer came up with was $10 more than Sara paid. I told you she was a good shopper.