Everyday life is at times so absurd that you just have to shake your head and laugh. And then, if you're like me, you have to write about it, so that the next time you're tempted to think that everyday life is achingly wearisome, you have a memory haphazardly crafted with words to remind yourself to keep laughing.
I decided to stop at the grocery store on my way home from work late last night so that I could throw together a lunch for today. I grinned to myself at the odd assortment as I approached Pinky, the cashier (yes, her actual name), with the contents of my basket: 1 gallon of milk, 1 tomato, 1 2-lb brick of medium cheddar cheese, and 1 bag of fun-size Kit Kats. (Don't worry, Mom, my lunch consists of more than that.) I had grabbed just my Visa when I ran into the store, and so I informed Pinky that I had a Fresh Values card, but it was in the car. She said no problem, I could enter my phone number. I did. No go. So then she entered my phone number. No go. Then she entered my phone number again, as if punching the numbers harder and to a different rhythm would somehow yield a new and satisfactory result. Still no go. So she asks me a series of questions about my card, which I answer while trying to remain calm. With shrugged shoulders she informs me that she doesn't have a dummy card that she can just swipe through so we can get on with things, and so I sigh and ask her to set my things aside while I run out to my car, determined to get my fresh values. I'm halfway through the revolving door when I realize I had the card on my keys--in my hand--the whole time. (This is indicative of my brain this week.) I swing back around, sheepishly thrust my keys at her with a mumbled "I'm an idiot" and successfully receive my $4.38 in savings.
With my receipt Pinky hands me that red-striped coupon strip that, after plumbing the depths of your demographic profile and spending history, invariably gives you coupons for the last thing you'd consider purchasing on your next trip to Dominick's.
I snickered on the way to my car as I surveyed my "special offers." The first informed me that I had earned ten cents for the school of my choice. All I have to do is make a trip to the school to turn in my receipt, and all they have to do is log onto some website and enter a TWENTY-FOUR DIGIT redemption code, and in 12-16 weeks (for processing) they'd get their 10 cents. That is less than half a cent per redemption code digit, and I just imagined the school secretary silently cursing whoever dropped of the receipt and expected her to enter 24 digits for 10 cents.
The second offer was a coupon for Always maxi pads. The part that really got me was that under the "Save 2.00" it says, "May we suggest" and then goes on to describe the proffered pad (with or without wings, of course). Okay, hold up. When did grocery store print-outs decide it was their place to offer recommendations on feminine hygiene products?!?
Sometimes you've just gotta shake your head and laugh.