Monday, September 7, 2009


I must have looked frazzled. And I will admit that Millie looked like she had been rolling around in a dust bin.

Thinking it would be a nice family outing to the store. You know, the one where the girls each get their own mini grocery cart, and each parent guides one to different items. Divide, conquer, in, and out.

Once in the 15 items or less lane, I remember the deli meat that I had a coupon for. Which was supposed to be free. And thinking this was worth it, I left Clin, the carts, the girls, and the food for meat.

I return as Millie attempts to shower the conveyor belt with candy, Ellis clambers for daddy, and then Millie's showering erupts into screams. I take the girls and wait for Clin to pay.

That is when all conquering came to an abrupt stop. The cashier laughs at my coupons, saying I can't use a buy one get one free, when they are already buy one get one free. So then I say I don't want the meat.

And the girls are pushing their carts full of bags in circles, bumping customers. And Ellis laughs. And Millie cries.

Upon closer look at the bags, someone purchased lime flavored mayonnaise and jalapenos. Neither on the shopping list. Clin is the first to claim innocence. But he was the one with the wallet. And as he returns the items...

The woman who was behind us in line approaches:

Woman: Are you okay?

Me: (now thinking that I must look really angry, or frazzled, or desperate, or like a dust bin) oh, yes. fine. we just brought the girls shopping too late in the day.

Woman: Oh, we are doing the same.

Although I don't see any children with her.

Woman: I wanted to tell you that there is a co-op, where you can go to get food once a month. And it is half off.

And she gave me the website.

I didn't say a word. Only to think that if I nod long enough she will go away. Because I'm sure we wouldn't qualify for a co-op. Nor do we need one.

But our daughters did look harried. It was 7:00 PM, and dinner had not yet been served.

As I usher the girls out to put away the carts, the woman returns.

Woman: I was also thinking...we have a peach orchard. Not large, but I don't sell them and we never eat them all. You could come and take them for free. Do you can?

Me: Uh, sometimes.

Although not really. I didn't truly lie because once I canned peaches with Clin's Mom. But it was only once. And not by myself.

Now I was just trying to nod and answer questions as quickly as would allow this situation to pass.

Woman: Well, where do you live? Can I contact you? I just live behind this store.

So I wrote down her name and number. Clin returned, the crying returned, and we were on our way.

I wish that I could have said, we are fine. really. our cupboards are full. and you are generous. i am just a cheap woman who really likes a deal. and attempts to use coupons when I'm told they work.

But what do you say to someone who is trying to help?

I am beyond.




Drifthegamer said...

lolololololol--someday you will laugh. Today..... I did!

Clin A. Eaton said...

I still find it really funny. What would you use lime flavored mayonaisse in? I didn't notice any food going down the conveyor belt because Millie was grabbing every box of Mike-e-Nikes she could.

Arianne said...

Did you take the peaches? I would have. I love peaches.

Sherry Carpet said...

so, wait. you turned down free peaches? i would have groveled in rags for those!

but you do tell a great story. loved it (for the comedy, not the humiliation) and hope you're feeling better.

Sherry Carpet said...

and please don't experiment with the mayonnaise, or if you do, don't blog about it. just tell me you threw it out and we'll all be happy.

Mary said...

Your SL Trib cheap chick has updated her site, saying others have run into the same problem with the meat coupons. She's nice -- she really tried to help me out when I had trouble with another one of her links. It was a coupon for two for one at the Children's Museum. Then I yelled at the teen behind the counter when she tried to charge me for the parking validation.

Anyway you really do tell a great story.

Tanya Dow said...

loved reading every second of that! You paint the perfect picture of a typical shopping trip for me :) only I have 4 kids...and don't usually have my husband with me at the store. Schools in...yeah for with only 1 child!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jacks said...

Hey Mary - I saw the update of the Cheap Chick website when I got home from that visit. I in no way blame her. I would have talked to the manager, or attempted to make it work had there not been a line or screaming babes. I really like her site - it has great tips.