The Life of Bon: Tragedy strikes at Wal-mart

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tragedy strikes at Wal-mart

Lately I have become pretty proud of myself for being quite the, dare I say, THRIFTY, shopper?  I get a coupon in one hand, double it because it's Tuesday, price match everything at Wal-mart, and boom, I'm saving $20 to $30 bucks a week on groceries. Yes, ma'am that's me, Extreme Couponing, here I come.  I often excitedly relate my triumphs at the grocery store to Hubs.  He is less interested in coupons than I am, but he tries to humor me. "That's great, hon, I'm glad you got my lunchables, fruit gushers, and Dr. Pepper much cheaper this week than you did last week."  Yes, that is what Hubs eats.

Back to Wal-mart.  I venture over once a week, and try to make it snappy.  No more than an hour.  In and out, thank you very much.  Set the stopwatch, and let's begin.  Some people say their husbands go shopping with them, but in my case it has been a lone journey from day one.  It's Hubs least favorite chore, and I don't trust him with the whole price matching thing anyway, so we're both happy that I go alone every week.  Ice cream, bread, milk, gushers, soda, celery (ok fine I never buy celery), check register and we're out of here.  However, due to my recent obsession with price matching, the cash regiester part of the whole shopping extravaganza has become quite the ordeal.

Yes, I am that woman in line.  The woman who has a different price for everything.  Who insists that the checker rang up something wrong.  The one who takes forever to just pay and get out of there.  I am she. She is me. She and I are one.

Last night, Wal-mart was a-hopping.  I don't know what it is about Wally's on a Monday night in Orem, but I couldn't move that cart anywhere.  I was surrounded by single FHEers, Polynesian groups of women with huge binders full of coupons, (and let me tell you, those women could certainly teach me a thing or two about saving a buck!) screaming babies, (my constant plea to Hubs: "please tell me we don't have to get pregnant yet" to which he sweetly responds "No, Bon, we don't have to have kids until we want to.  Stop stressing."  And I do.  Until my next trip to Wal-mart.) and women with their doting husbands pushing the carts for them.  I was shoving my way through them all, making it quick, grabbing my food, working hard to beat my last week's grocery store time.  (If you make it a race, somehow it all becomes a lot more fun.  That is competitive Bon speaking again)  (And, WHOA, talk about excessive parantheses in this paragraph!  If this were one of my students' papers, I would certainly tell them to cut back! on the dang parantheses!)  I was in line after only having spent 38 minutes in Wal-mart.  Not bad, Bon, not bad.

Unfortunately, due to the surge in population at Wal-mart last night, I waited in line for 17 minutes.  This sometimes happens during your grocery store race, and when it does, you just have to accept that you lost that week, hope for better lines next week, pick out a trashy celebrity magazine from the aisle, and enjoy your 17 minutes of peace to indulge in reading you would never get to enjoy if it weren't for long grocery store lines.  So I did just that.  After a quick 17 minutes, it was my turn at the register.  I organized the groceries so that all the normal priced ones went first (Makes it easier on the grocers you know, I'm looking out for everyone!), I was so proud of myself for how professional I was being about the whole thing. 

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.  "Oh, that one's price matched.  That milk is only $1.75."  Cashier Joel types in new price. Disgruntled customer behind me sighs.  "The Capri Suns are $1.50 each" Joel types in new price.  I can tell the crowd behind me is getting antsy, but I waited patiently, so can they!  Plus, don't they care that I'm saving $20 here? 

"The avocadoes are .88 each" Joel does his thing.  And so forth. And so forth.  Approximately 7 minutes later, we are done. (Not a bad time, FYI)  "$43 dollars is your total" informs Joel. 
"Oh, I've got some coupons."
Joel raises his eyebrows.  "Great."
Beep. Beep. Beep. "Your new total is $38"  I dig around for my wallet thinking all the while, 38+17+7= 62 minutes... a little over an hour spent at Wal-mart.  Disgusting.  Digging around thinking, "Next week I will have to choose a better time to come.  Maybe right after school instead of 8:00 at night," Digging around thinking, "I wonder if Hubs is done with his rehearsel" Digging. Digging. 



And that's when it suddenly became all too clear. 

I'd left my wallet... home.

I could feel my face turning red.  The cheeks were hot.  Burning hot.  And flushed.  I suddenly felt weak.  I needed to sit down.  I looked around.  The people behind me were none too patient.  Joel looked bugged.  Or bored.  Or amused.  It's hard to tell with Wal-mart cashiers these days. 

"You'renevergoingtobelievewhathappenedIleftmywalletathomeIamsoembarrassed" I spewed out all at once, just like that.  
Joel didn't seem too phased. "You can just go get it and come back and pay." 
"But I live fifteen minutes away... it would take me half an hour to get back here to pay for these." 
"Well, what do you want me to do, ma'am?"

And that, I suppose, was the question.  What did I want him to do?  Babies were screaming behind me, impatient mothers were rolling their eyes, Joel wasn't going to let this conversation continue much longer, "I'll put your basket right here and if you come back to get it, it'll be here for the next hour and you can just pay on this register we'll have everything saved."
"Even everything that I price matched?"
"Yes, ma'am, although I don't know that that should be your primary concern right now."
Wow.  Touche, Joel.  And I shuffled out of the store.

These were the thoughts going on in my head at that exact moment at 9:12 last night, leaving Wal-mart, grocery-less, knowing I had to come right back: "Who goes grocery shopping without a wallet?  Are you 70?  You go to a store to  buy something, you take money to buy the thing with.  How do you forget that?  Now you have to drive all the way back.  And you spent 2+ hours in the car a day, and now you just made an extra 30 minutes of driving for yourself.  You're an idiot"

I drove home, grabbed the wallet, (just hanging out on the kitchen table, cool as can be) and hurried back.  32 minutes of driving to get back to Wal-mart. 

Groceries were still there. 

Joel was not.

Instead, David was there.

"Uh, hi David... these are my groceries in this basket here... Joel rang them up for me.  I had to run home to grab my wallet.  But I"m here to pay now.  You know, like a good, honest, society-contributing adult."

David checked around on his register.  Made some phone calls.  Typed a bunch of buttons.  No record of the transaction anywhere.  Which meant.... get back in line. Wait.  The trashy magazines no longer posessed the allure they had earlier in the evening.  Hubs was texting "Where are you?  I'm home."  Nine minutes waiting in line.  Eight minutes to redo the price matching (Oh you better believe after all this hassle I was not about to pay full price for a dang thing.  It's hard being this stubborn sometimes, it really is.)

At this point my ice cream was completely melted.  Coming-out-the-sides-melted.  But even I have a little bit too much pride to ask them for a different carton.  So I just wheeled it away with me and the rest of my precious groceries.  Fifteen minutes driving back to the apartment, and finally, I was home. (38+17+7+32+9+8+15=126 minutes)  Two hours. Six minutes. Grocery shopping.

I collapsed on the couch, demanding Hubs put all the damn groceries away and don't ask. (So sorry, mom, if you ever read this blog. Which I know you don't)  He did it, and did it without saying a word or complaining.  I watched him, ready to pounce when he whined about having melted ice cream, as he pulled out the disgusting, soggy carton.  But he just put it away silently.  And when I was finally ready to admit to him what had happened- that I am an idiot and left my wallet at home, Hubs just laughed and said, "Thanks, Bon.  You're the best for always doing the grocery shopping.  I love you so much."

It almost made me feel better.