Old math. New math.
Start talking numbers and my mind disappears into a black hole. But the other day, I realized there’s another math — one you won’t find in a classroom — and I’m quite good at it.
It’s “girl math” taught at a mother’s knee.
A lesson occurred this week when my daughter, Tiffany, and I entered “shoe heaven.” The sign on the gateway to row after row of women’s shoes described the store in exactly that way.
There, for as far as the eye could see were hundreds of new spring sandals adorned with ruffles, ribbon-wrapped pumps, embellished peep-toes and floral stilettos. Fluffy feminine appeared to be the look this season.
“Oh mom!” Tiffany exclaimed from the next aisle. “You’ve got to see these shoes. They’re to die for!”
(No wonder they called this place heaven.)
I ran to her side as she slipped on the sandals. The soft leather flower petals decorated the top of her foot; the chunky cork platform heel stood camouflaged as an artist’s colorful canvas.
I gasped then nearly shouted, “They’re gorgeous!” while my mind raced ahead, envisioning these cute wedges with capris and bare-legged summer dresses. Then stepping out of my reverie, I nearly kicked myself for asking, “How much are they?” as I held my breath.
Ka-ching! Reality tiptoed in on the price tag.
Together we sat, our knees practically touching as she eyed her beloved shoes, the chill of despair clinging to her tootsies. But then our “girl math” came into play.
“Wait a minute!” she cried as she dug through her handbag, “I’ve got a 20-percent off coupon!” Still when she worked the numbers, it wasn’t enough.
Like an anxious teacher, I urged her to think beyond the minor savings, “But if you think how much you’d pay for the same name-brand shoe at the upscale department store, you’ve already saved another 25 percent!”
Tiffany’s lips curled into a smile as the light began to dawn.
“Yes!” she exclaimed. “And I can get double points today so they’ll send me a $10 voucher for my next visit!”
And didn’t she have a stack of business forms to return for a refund at another store? If that was the case, this fabulous purchase was a shoe-in with only 50 cents ending up on her VISA.
Singing hallelujah with a spring in our step, we joyfully told her dad about our heavenly shopping trip — and the incredible savings.
But instead of rejoicing as we explained our numbers, Bill grimaced and then firmly announced, “If you’d stayed home, you could have saved 100 percent!”
Well, there you go. That’s “guy math.” And obviously he was in a different place.