Friday, August 05, 2016

not this weekend

I had half a thought of going shopping (after I mow the lawn today). Not that I NEED anything so very much (though I could use a few more legal pads for stuff at work). Then they said on the news that this weekend is the sales-tax free weekend in Oklahoma and Texas.

And yeah, I could get my legal pads maybe without the 9.75% or whatever it is I would normally pay locally, and maybe I will if I run to the Mart of Wal early tomorrow morning for groceries, but as for going out for "big" shopping (doing things like stocking up on the special laundry detergent I have to use because of my special-snowflake skin), no. Because it's sales-tax free weekend.

(Edited to add: WOMP WOMP. Unless I drive to Texas, I can't get sales-tax-free school supplies. In Oklahoma the "holiday" only applies to clothes and shoes. ARGH. So I maybe will wait until the next time I'm in Texas - which has better choices - for those legal pads. Saving the 9% or whatever TX sales tax is isn't worth the pain, effort, and gas of driving into Texas. But yeah, I admit I feel a little bit: where's the sales tax holiday for people like me, for stuff we buy?)

Think of the Friday after Thanksgiving, but with parents dragging along kids who are both bored and resentful of the fact that school is about to start again soon. And the stores will be slammed. And in my experience around here, the big-box stores (pretty much all we have) tend to bring out bad behavior in people when they're busy.

I don't quite get it. I suppose part of it is I'm not the only one who dislikes crowds and is made uncomfortable by them, and some of the "acting out" may be people who are uncomfortable and unhappy. Part of it may be "scarcity" behavior, as in "Gotta get that particular size box of crayons before they sell out!" (I remember the very prescriptive school lists, and how it was sometimes hard to find one or two particular items on it, and I understand the lists have become even MORE prescriptive, in some districts even specifying brands). Part of it may just be weird family dynamics. But I don't like it.

There's also been some discussion here about "why are we doing a sales-tax free weekend when the state has had a record low year for revenue?" and my reduced paycheck for the summer (and some other stuff; see my meltdown over the stats package of last week) proves that. But also, this is something long-entrenched; parents expect it, stores expect it, so it happens. I suppose it could also lead to a discussion of whether it's really "fair" for working families to pay almost 10% on everything they buy. I know I gripe about it - I pay that nearly-10% on groceries, which feels wrong, and on prescription medications, which feels REALLY wrong. But whatever. I complain, but I also acknowledge that I can afford to pay it. And my property tax is low. (Arguably, it would be more "fair" to the working families or the poorer people to have higher property tax on "rich folk" like me who own houses, and a lower sales tax, but it seems easier to pass sales tax increases than it is to pass property tax increases....we are paying for new school buses, IIRC, through a quarter-penny sales tax)

The "sales tax free" weekend isn't on EVERYTHING (otherwise I WOULD brave the Mart of Wal and load up my cart with canned goods and other nonperishables) - it is mostly on school supplies and kids' clothes, though I have heard the definition of "school supplies" is somewhat flexible and even includes laptops, at least in Texas. I don't know. I don't buy any of that stuff, really, so the sales-tax weekend doesn't benefit me and I know the stores are going to be super-crowded with people who likely would rather not be there but have to be - so I figure I'm better off avoiding it.

(It's also argued it doesn't lead to MORE revenue for stores, just that people hold off buying until this weekend, which makes sense to me because that's how I'd do it. So it doesn't really increase store revenues. Arguably, it benefits the people buying kids' clothing, but as a "let's help the local stores,' probably not)

I do have a good coupon for JoAnn's and admit I was tempted to go down there and just buy a several-yards piece of muslin or other plain fabric to use for sashing/backing on an eventual quilt, but told myself that (a) there will be other coupons other times when you actually want to go (don't buy into the scarcity idea) and (b) It's very likely the fabric you want to buy will be on a 20% off sale, and therefore not eligible for the 60% off coupon....which seems to be a lot of those big craft store's MO's, offer a really generous coupon but then put most of the stuff people really want on a much smaller sale so they can't use the coupon, which means they either (a) don't use the coupon or (b) buy something they don't particularly want (something the store maybe has a hard time "moving" otherwise) because it's 60% off....

But traffic will be woeful this weekend, and it's already bad with all the construction going on, and it's going to be I'm going to mow the lawn this morning and then shower and then decide whether I go in and finish that chapter or stay home today and go in tomorrow, and knit on Raven (I started the chart for the back last night).

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