Can you really get something for nothing?

Well, I feel the answer to that question is not really. There is always a cost. Sometimes that cost is a little, sometimes a lot.

Greg and I recently went to a home show here in Nashville. Since we are going to be building a new home within the next year we thought we would go to get some ideas. I was less impressed with the event, but that may have something to do with my being a girl and not really caring about many of the booths that were there. I wanted to see displays, etc. And all I got a lot of contractors, stone sellers, and one lasik surgeon. Yeah, I don't know why a lasik surgeon was at a home show.

One thing that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the show was the freebies. Free samples of lemonade, coffee and even kettle corn. Free pens, bags, brochures. All kinds of lovely stuff.

And don't let me forget the sign ups. Free trips were being given away, free siding, romantic dinners and you can believe I put our name in each and every one of those.

We had won a free trip when I went to a bridal fair when we were engaged, and even though it was free, it cost us 2 hours watching a cooking presentation along with an attempt at getting us to buy the cookware. We were strong and got our free goodies and ran. And we enjoyed the free trip on our one year anniversary.

So, I was not surprised when, the week after the home show, my cell phone was ringing. Mostly people were following up on what stone we wanted to buy and when were we planning on remodeling our home, etc. But I was quite pleased when the KIS Country Club called us and told us we won a free three day, two night stay along with $25.00 in free Chick fil A food.

My first question though, was, what do we have to do?

Easy. We just had to sit through a presentation of the KIS Indoor Country Club at Opry Mills. There was no pressure to buy anything and they were really just trying to get their name known throughout the community, yada, yada, yada. Also, if we came in this week (which was last week) we had the opportunity to win a free Caribbean cruise if we got a hole in one.

So, last Friday night we head to the KIS location in Opry Mills. We always wondered what that place was and now we have more information about it than we will ever care to have.

I don't particularly enjoy sales people. In fact, I can be rather rude to them. Especially the harder the sale, the harder I get on the sales person. So, I tried to keep my attitude in check reminding myself that Greg and I were getting a free get away.

So, we get through the introductions and basic information. Then we get to try for the hole in one. Greg tries. Misses. He gives me a couple of pointers and an extra swing and on the third and final try, guess what? I got it! I got a hole in one.

One free cruise to the Bahamas coming up!!

We were very pumped and went through the rest of the presentation as best as we could. We really just wanted our free stuff.

When it got down to the selling point, the guy just didn't want to give. We had discussions, he asked questions, we tried our best to answer them. He even called a more experienced seller over and he did his best to move us over to his side. All in all, they were very nice and the pressure we felt was minimal. They just really wanted to sell us a membership. The meeting went long. We were very hungry and in need of a break.

We finally said we were going to have to go get something to eat to think about it. According to them, we had to make a decision that night in order to get additional bonuses that they do not normally give (yeah, right).

Well, Greg and I briefly discussed it over dinner. The guy had slashed the prices and thrown in a free travel club, which was temporarily tempting. But, once our blood sugar returned to normal we knew what our answer would be....


Now, we had to go back and face the music. We practiced what we were going to say, we did a little huddle, we gave ourselves a boost and told ourselves, "we can do this! We can say NO!".

So, we walk in, practicing our speech, and ask for Nick, the guy who was helping us. Nick was no where to be found. Hmmm.. Nick had left the building. Oh, okay.

So, Trent asked us what he could help us with. We told him we needed to pick up our free gifts. He knew I had shot a hole in one so he gave us our cruise too.

We were out of there in less that 5 minutes. Woo hoo. Free and clear and we didn't even have to give them our spiel!

So, to sum up our Friday night, we won a free trip, with an additional bonus trip, along with a Caribbean cruise. We sat through a very boring presentation and had to say no, ALOT!

Was it free? Not really. Our time is valuable.

Was it worth it?

Oh, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Super Tuesday

Well, today is voting day. The day you get to vote in the presidential election primary. Yep. Don't worry, I am not going to give a big speech on the importance of taking advantage of the freedom we have in voting (especially for women, cause we didn't always have the right). I won't bore you with political dialogue cause I am just really not into that. I am a voter and I think it is important but political science was just not my favorite class.

No, political science and debates are not my thing. My husband and I did vote in the primary today. There wasn't another soul in the church where we are sent to vote based on where we live. That is called a district. That I know.

We must have hit the district during a lull. Lucky for me cause I got confused after I cast my vote for my candidate then the thing popped up and asked me to vote for delegates. Now, see, if you are a republican, you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you voted as a democrat, you didn't get to vote for all those delegates.

(And techinically, I am not republican, politically, I am a democrat but, due to having values and morals, I am unable to vote democratic in National elections.)

Anyway, the nice elderly people were able to kind of explain what the delegates were and the whole electoral vote thing. See, I told you, it really isn't my thing. I get test anxiety every time I have to vote. I think it has something about being enclosed in a small space. Of course this year there was no curtain to shield me from anyone and everyone could see the confused look on my face. Luckily, I was able to raise my hand and ask a question.

But, my post today has very little to do with my voting experience.

What was so interesting today was what happened after I voted. See, if you go vote you get this little sticker. A bragging right. The sticker says, "I voted".

I proudly wore mine all day. Even though Carter wanted it after I picked him up from Weekday school. But I wore it all day. People would ask if I voted.

Well, why else would I be wearing the sticker if I hadn't voted?

But best of all was what happened at the mall. We went out to eat and went to Opry Mills after dinner. I was parusing a shoe store while Greg checked out really expensive speakers at the Bose store.

When I walked in to the store the sales lady did the obligatory hello. She decided to start up a conversation based on my sticker on my shirt. Here it goes.

"Oh, did you vote today?"


"Yeah, I've seen lots of those stickers today (pause, then with much sincerity)....Did they have it at the Convention Center?"

This lady has my full attention. In a split second in my mind I am saying to myself, WHAT??????"

So I asked her.

"What? Did they have what at the convention center?" (Maybe she meant a big political rally...)

"You know, the voting?"


"Um, no, the voting takes place in your district." I am really trying not to stare incredulously at this woman

The saleslady is appearing to feel uncomfortable. It seems she is trying to discuss something she obviously knows nothing about. But how can that be? I know about voting and districts and I am not politically inclined. The woman is an adult at least in her thirties. Obviously, a bit on the airhead side, but she has nice hair. And it is blonde.

"Oh.....yeah. Well, I have just seen so many people today with these stickers and I just think it is so cool. You know, it must be one of the big days to vote."

" um (staring incredulously now because it is the ONLY day to vote. There is no OTHER day. This is it, Super Tuesday. Does this woman own a television? Watch the news??????) Um, Yeah, it IS the voting day" I finally spit out.

"oh, I just think it is so cool. I've seen those stickers all day. People went out and voted and then came and shopped!" (woman laughs uncomfortably and leaves very quickly.)

I just stand there and stare. And then I start to chuckle.

When I have conversations with people like that I feel so smart!