I Don't Want One

I keep thinking I see spiders. Large spiders. With many legs. Tall legs. They turn out to be fuzz balls or pieces of tape left over from a birthday banner 6 months ago or I realize that I’m not a redhead and wake up. Although the one 4 inch long leg that was in the shower, all alone and obviously missing his 23 other sibling legs, that was totally real (verified by a real person not in my dream) freaks me out and somewhere in the house there is a large, hairy arachnid walking slightly off center and pulling to the left.

It may be time to look into medication.

In the grocery store checkout, I become aware that my club card is in my other purse or at home in the drawer. I’m the type of person that never gives them my real phone number because I’m paranoid that way, so there is no way to just type in my number. I decide to try Joe’s number. When that doesn’t work, I try random other people’s numbers that are in my phone. Obviously, they are all too smart to use their real phone numbers as well since none of them work. Meanwhile, the four people in line behind me begin to get restless.

I’ve been that person, the one behind the person writing the check and using 16 coupons. In fact, I’m that person a lot. And honestly, I don’t want to be this person, the one who wants to save the $14.27 and won’t give up until we find a club card solution that works, even if that means getting a new card and watching as you all slowly decide to weigh other options and take your chances with the longer lines where the woman at the register doesn’t have to void out the first check and begin to write a second one with the actual ACTUAL real REAL amount on it and ask for a tissue because I still have a cold and now my nose is starting to run. Yes, I am THAT woman.

The bagger boy, about 18 years old, whom I can’t seem to make eye contact with because he’s so busy whipping the groceries into the sacks says, rather too loudly, ‘How’s your day?’ ‘Fine.’ I say and make an attempt at a smile even though my chapped lips crack and the pain makes it look more like a grimace than a smile and my eyes begin to water. ‘And how about yours?’ I ask in return. With a hearty laugh, arms flying by with the eggs, he says, ‘Well, really great! I just heard great news!’

Now, on the one hand, I really don’t care why he’s so happy and his voice is so loud. I just want it to stop and I want to get out of there and go home, take some pain-reliever capsules and rest my head for a nap. But, by this time, all the other people behind me have left, the cashier can’t get the new club card to work and has left to go get a manager to come and help him and so, why not ask? ‘What’s your great news?’ He brings his voice low and leans in, ‘Well, you might not think this sounds great, but I just found out my best friend broke up with his girlfriend.’ His face looks gleeful. I know my line. ‘I guess I would have had to know the girlfriend, right?’ He laughs and goes to the next bagging station at checkout 8 just as the cashier comes back with the manager. He demonstrates how the card is not working. Then the manager gives it a try and declares that it is, in fact, not working. ‘Well, at least we know I’m not crazy.’ I say. They exchange a look that says they might be inclined to disagree. Then the manager inputs the secret code into the register that only the apostles of the grocery store know, and we are back in business.

Now comes the part where I have to rewrite the check because the first amount wasn’t right and did NOT reflect my club card savings, and then the part where the machine won’t take my check and we have to get assistance again and then the part where he wants to see my drivers license again but I can’t find it because the last time he handed it back to me I put it in the wrong pocket. Let’s just fast-forward through all of that to the part where I say to the cashier, after he hands me my special store coupons and the entire transaction is complete, ‘Are we friends now?’ ‘No!’ he says without skipping a beat. ‘No soup for you!’ and he smiles. And that, dear reader, made the whole horrifying experience ok.

I’m slightly notorious for forgetting club cards and having to get new ones because OH MY HELL I don’t want to be told that I can only get a better price if I do the little monkey dance. If the corn can be sold at four for a dollar, then sell the damn corn at four for a dollar. The result of that is I have over 30 club cards, a couple of them senior citizen cards from when my parents were in town and I continue to drive Joe a little crazy because he is the kind of guy that has had the same 3 club cards for over 5 years and they are always in his wallet in the same slots. But he also carries around 500 keys that he doesn’t need, so whatever. The entire club card religion is why I try to always shop at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I’m willing to pay slightly more to not be asked if I have a club card. Except for when I’m broke. Like right now. And that $14.27 savings means a whole lot. Now, if I could just find a movie theater that won’t ask me if I want a combo and a department store that wont ask me if I want a store card. And then smile and ask me again. And then smile and ask me if I’m sure. Because I could get 10% off today’s total if I’d just be willing to charge it and pay a 21% interest rate. What? Why wouldn’t I want that?

5 Replies to “I Don't Want One”

  1. Amen, sister. Price is a price is a price… why do you need to give anyone DNA sequence to save fifty cents on asparagus??

  2. Funny thing those club cards. Mine is tied to granddad’s phone number, and has the name of my dad’s fiancee…. granddad died two years ago, so I don’t know who’s phone number that is now! They always stumble over the name and say it as a question when they say “Thank you, um Ms. Abati?”
    OR… if I use my credit card to pay, they’ll notice the name on the cards don’t match, and they want me to change it, but it takes too long and I like that they don’t know exactly who I am.


  3. “somewhere in the house there is a large, hairy arachnid walking slightly off center and pulling to the left.”

    That’s a CLASSIC! I hope to see that on the masthead someday.

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