The Bargain Gene

I think all of us get some sort of talent from our gene pool. Not just our tallness, or beauty or perfect skin – but actual talents and character traits.

Now, my Ma has many talents and you wouldn’t know it because for the most part, she doesn’t know that these gifts she has are talents. For one thing, the woman can cook. She can cook any ol’ thing she wants and it comes out great. In fact, I truly don’t ever remember eating a experiment gone bad. She is one of those people who can put together dinner for 8 with nothing in the fridge or the pantry. A real talent and one I believe that inspired me to become a good cook and my love of food. She’s also a heck of a gardener, or at least was. She always had the roses, peonies, honeysuckle and God knows what else growing in the yard. But of all the many talents Ma’s gene pool provided the very best one was the bargain gene.

Nobody but nobody could find a bargain like my mother. She had an attitude, a savvy, a radar that could sniff out a bargain and get it in her cart before anyone was the wiser. Her policy- if it ain’t $3.95 or under, it ain’t a bargain. Okay, I exagerate, but with a family of seven and one income my mother fed, clothed and housed all of us. I don’t remember ever going without anything really. Oh sure there was stuff I always wanted but those were extras.

Anyway, this gene has apparently passed down to me. From the time I was old enough to earn money doing anything, I was a shopper. A bargain huntress, always on the lookout for un-noticed treasures and deals of the century. This year alone, I found 2 Kate Spade bags, a Prada bag, a Coach bag, a set of sixΒ crystal wineglasses, a rare, limited issue book, and a brand new foot massager, each for under $10.

Thrift stores, consignment shops, vintage shops, back alleys of antique shops, garage sales, outlets, what have you – if there is a bargain I will find it. I just have the gene for it and it all came from Ma.

Every weekend, just about, I’m out there, slugging my way through racks of crap to find the one gem nestled among the trash. Digging through piles of junk and pull out the antique jewelry box or designer silk shirt. I’m telling you, it should be against the law, I’m so lucky in my finds. In fact, if I don’t come home without at least one really unbelievable find, I feel cheated. As if the universe is punishing me or something.

So, while I can’t swim, or catch fish. Can’t do trig or the new math. And will never be able to figure out how to properly program a vcr or dvd player – I will always be able to find food or anything else at a bargain and feed myself and anyone else who wants to join me at the table. While it’s not everything. It’s quite a bit.

Now…what gene did you get?


13 thoughts on “The Bargain Gene

  1. Don’t think I got a damn thing from my father. He couldn’t cook and my mother would beg him to stop singing. <i>{“Jesus, Wally, you’re out of key!”}</i><i>
    I’m going to group some things together and opt for the creative gene from my mom.
    I cook very well (I think), sing pretty good and can listen to a song a few times and sit down and play it on the piano.
    If the gene came from anyone, it came from my mom.
    My wife wants to know where she can get a cart like that? πŸ˜‰

    I think you got plenty from your dad – your patience, your stability and steadfastness, your resolve to raise your family and your sense of responsibility. Clearly you got the creative stuff from your mom.


  2. My mother is also one of those perfect cooks/gardeners/hostess and all-around nice person. There is literally nobody on the planet that does not like my mom. I wish I could say I was more like her, but I hold her up as my perfect example of the kind of person to strive to be.
    I know I’m not exactly on-topic here, but it got me to thinking about my own relationship with my mom and how much I admire her.

    Hi OB!
    I’m glad you came back cuz I forgot your url.

    I’m happy that my post reminded you of your great relationship with your mom. A compliment of high order.


  3. Both of my parents were creative people-
    my mother in the kitchen and stringing together curse words in way that sounds like music while my dad played the saxaphone and chain smoked. i think i can say that i am a creative person. i write, paint, play with food, make crap. From my dad, i think i inherited the talent for smooth talk- not the kind that gets women to peel off their panties, rather the kind that calms people down. i am usually the cool one in a crisis, the level head. i think that’s a gift. From Mom i got the ability to analyze situations somewhat accurately. i learned to watch and understand from her, which is intregal to my writing. i don’t know if these fit exactly but it’s what i got.

    Hey Christine,
    They all sound like talents to me. I got the cool head from my Pop too. I am very cool in a crisis and can keep my wits about me. Stoic, I think they call it. Of course, afterwards I’m a mess. LOL. I love your mother being able to string curse words like music – great image.


  4. From dad
    -music: appreciation, execution, and creation. I can sing, play, and write, as can my sister, as can dad.
    – The ability to keep pressing forward no matter what life throws at you.
    From mom:
    -Compassion, for others, and the ability to forgive one’s self for stupidity and hurt.
    -I can cook. Really cook. I can take a clove of garlic, a few grains of rice, and voila: gourmet meal. And my kids will eat everything I cook. That, in itself, is its own talent.

    See, I knew you were perfect. πŸ˜‰


  5. “She can cook any ol’ thing she wants and it comes out great. In fact, I truly don’t ever remember eating a experiment gone bad.”
    Now why aren’t you a “large” woman then. Did you also get the cooking gene?
    The only good genes I inherited were my older brother’s blue genes πŸ™‚
    …………… Next Stop Lauderdale

    Hey Steve,
    Who said I wasn’t a large woman? πŸ˜† Well, I also got my Pop’s small, built for tough & tumble body. Plus all that cooking and gardening works up a sweat.

    So…was it blue jeans to wear or blue genes to sing?


  6. Hi WC,
    My grandfather on my mother’s side got semi-rich making moonshine during the great depression (although he blew the money before I was born.) When time permits, I make some mighty fine wine and beer. You could be onto something.
    the Grit

    Hey Grit,
    Well…anything is possible. And I wouldn’t mind sampling that wine and beer – no, I surely wouldn’t. πŸ˜‰


  7. As for me, I got my spidey powers from my dad, and my super strength from my mom.
    In all seriousness, I really hope I didn’t get anything from my parents. Some people say I have my dad’s sense of humor, but I don’t see it. He likes corny puns, while I prefer jokes that are actually funny.
    I also hope I didn’t get my mom’s nagging charisma, but thankfully that gene is X-dominant.

    Hey DT – well I guess all of your powers come from far away planets and strange mystical spirits. I knew you were different. πŸ˜‰


  8. Oh, how I WISH I could come shopping with you!! THAT gene I did not inherit!
    I did inherit the ‘take-on-too-much-feel-the-need-to-save-the-world-gene’ from my mother and the ‘let’s-look-after-number-one’ gene from my father. Yes… it does make for an interesting combination/confusion!!

    Hey Simonne,
    Oh but you can come shopping with me. Any time you’re in my neighborhood, just give a ring – we’ll get on our power walking shoes and go. πŸ˜‰


  9. I have the bargain gene … and inherited it directly from my mom. πŸ™‚

    Hey Debi,
    You know, I’m really starting to believe we’re like distant cousins or something…


  10. Did get 10% off a pair of sandals by a designer called Anita Moser yesterday because the silver paint was a bit scratched. It was still a load of money to pay for cork and old rope but they are beautiful and guess what, I can walk in them.
    Talents, -don’t think I have any,except apparently I can always find an answer to everything. Got that from my Father who should have studied law.

    Hey Diru,
    10% off doesn’t even hit my radar screen – we don’t go near anything that’s less than 40% off. Although, I do have this amazing shoe place I used to go to – my last good find there were two pair of Italian leather (soft like butter) loafers for $15 each. That was a gooooooood day. πŸ˜‰ But well done on finding designer shoes that you can actually walk in – that is a win.

    Oh the answer for everything gene – I seem to have that one too – I know because my Ma always used to say, ‘you have an answer for everthing, don’t you?’ πŸ˜†


  11. Oh I got me one of them bargain genes too! In fact I’m so good at it I think I got too…oh and I think I picked up a recessive sleep in one aswell πŸ™‚
    Cheers, Kelly

    Oh yes, I know that you do. Someday you have to come over here and we can terrorize the bargain shops together. Talk about your fun weekend. πŸ˜†


  12. i can only assume i got the overdramatic woe-is-me gene from my mother. i could have used something else, believe me.

    You know Reggie, I may have a touch of that one myself. πŸ˜‰


  13. Real good at the food thing, but in my early 20’s a flat i lived in didn’t have a stove, and i sorta lost my mojo, but i’m starting to get it back now, cuz i got 2 roomies i cook for.
    HATED HATED HATED shopping w/mom, cuz i’d want to go, and she’d say, “OK” we would walk (I swear) 2 feet and i’d lose her cuz she’d see a “bargain” on a rack….(I made a lot of COME ON faces as a kid) so honestly i don’t like shopping, i’m kinda man style…you know..need shirt…go to store…get shirt….go home.
    I think the best thing i got from mom was budgeting gene. I CAN BUDGET really well. So even though i don’t have a lot of expensive things i have everything i need and am not in the poor house having gotten it.

    Yeah, I guess the shopping gene passed right over you. Although, Dad told me once that Ma used to be an artist and that she was really talented. Maybe that’s where you get all your crafting talent from? Oh yeah, she had the budgeting gene down pat.


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