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June 15, 2012 / Jess

“Do you know how many Batman comic books there are?”

To the readers of this blog: I often feel like people who don’t have any connection to the military don’t understand a vital part of who I am now; I’ve changed so much in the last year. Apparently, I don’t give my friends enough credit. Liz came up with the idea for our adventure and decided to write a blog post all on her own. Thanks for being awesome, Liz!

Dear Army,

My friend Jess has a boyfriend who is currently serving in Kuwait. He also likes comic books. I have wanted to put together something to send to him for a while, so when Groupon recently had a deal for $30 worth of comic books for only $15 at a local comic book store, I was all in. I coordinated with Jess, who also purchased the Groupon deal, and we set a date for a nice low key evening of comic book shopping and ice cream.

But Army, instead of a low key evening of catching up and having fun with a friend, I instead got a firsthand look at how the Army can make the simplest task – like shopping for comic books – seem insurmountable.

We set out on our adventure the evening of Flag Day (how patriotic!). The evening even held the promise of being epic when Jess checked the store’s website and found that they were having a magic gathering that evening! Well, Army, there was no magician. Apparently a magic gathering is some kind of card game where you sit around a table trading cards. I’d much rather have seen a magician.

Before Jonathan deployed to Kuwait he took Jess to a comic book store to educate her on what he liked so she would know what to  send to him. With this knowledge, we were educated consumers on a mission, and armed with twice the buying power thanks to our Groupons. This should have been simple … but it wasn’t.

We knew that Jonathan liked Batman comics so I found a bin of those to pick out a few that I thought he would like. Do you know how many Batman comic books there are? Batman & Robin, Batman Incorporated, Batman Dark Knight, Batman Chronicles, Shadow of the Bat, Batman Confidential….and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the different series they had, with each series having multiple books each. Paralyzed with all the choices, I did what any girl and non-comic book expert would probably do and picked the ones with the prettiest and coolest looking covers. I even found this perfect one that had Batman and an American flag on the cover!

We had what we thought was a good stack of comic books that we were satisfied with, then we realized we were pulling from a bin that was all 50% off. We really had a lot more to go so clearly, we were going to be there forever.

We tried to be strategic in what we chose, trying to get as much of a certain series as we could, but eventually gave up and just grabbed a stack full of Batmans and started picking them by price. “Okay, so here’s a $4 comic, so that’s $2, and here’s a $3 one so that’s $1.50 … no let’s get a $6 one because that’s $3 and then we have $5 worth of comics.” However, when we got to the comics that were $2.25 we got stumped because it didn’t divide evenly. I’m normally someone who is good at math – I took Calculus for fun and I work as a research analyst and deal with numbers and statistics all day long – but this just stumped me. I got so frustrated that I whined in pain “THIS IS HARD AND I LIKE SHOPPING!” Jess responded by just breaking out into a sweat. Relying on cell phone calculators and finger counting we made it through the daunting task of selecting all the comic books our Groupons could buy.

Yet math failed us again when we got to the register. Jess rang out first but her total didn’t meet the voucher so she had to go back for even MORE COMIC BOOKS. When it was my turn and the same thing happened I took an easier route and just grabbed something random on the counter to add to my order. So now in addition to a massive haul of comic books, the troops will now be getting a Hello Kitty pin! I selected the particular pin because Hello Kitty is wearing a lot of bows in it. When we got to the car Jess looked at the pin closely and said “Is she flipping me off?” In hindsight, perhaps I should have gone with the Care Bear keychain…

So Army, there is a massive haul of comic books and a potentially offensive Hello Kitty pin that will be on their way to Kuwait soon, and I hope your troops enjoy and appreciate them. But they did come at a price – they made me question my love of numbers and shopping, and that is just not cool.

(Not) Love,

Liz

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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Tracie / Jun 15 2012 1:18 pm

    Too funny 🙂

  2. Brian / Jul 6 2012 2:10 pm

    Liz,

    I’m a vet from Afghanistan. Thank you for your blog. I’m going to send a link to my wife as soon as I’m done typing. Would it be possible to get the address for your boyfriend? I’d like to send him some comics. My brother, also a veteran, owned a comic book store. When he died we ended up with 1000’s of comics. I’d like to pass some on. If you can’t get me the address. Maybe you have a po box or something that I could mail them to you and you could pass them on. If not, well then that’s ok too. Love the blog. SSgt. Brian

  3. Jess / Jul 6 2012 2:42 pm

    Hi Brian! I’m so glad you like the blog. I’m Jess, this is my blog. Liz is a friend of mine who wrote a guest post for that one entry. My boyfriend had a blog too, before he mobilized. I’m sure you can relate to it, your wife might find it helpful as well. It’s http://www.withabibleinmyruck.blogspot.com. You can also contact SGT Raab (my boyfriend) directly on Twitter. His handle is @jpraab.

    If you’re not comfortable contacting him directly, I can give you an address but I don’t want to publish anything publicly. My email is j.r.nicastro@gmail.com. Thanks!

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