Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Gourds

I went to the grocery store last night to pick up two things. Those two things, if you must know, were fresh green beans (for 79 cents a pound! Yippee!) and cream of chicken soup (which I evidently already had at home). But that's neither here nor there.

The point is, two things are all I needed. But if you know anything about me, you know that I did not come away with two and only two things. I'm easily distracted. I love sales and shiny objects. I'm a puppy. I get it from my mom.

So as I was walking into the grocery store, I noticed they had gourds next to their pumpkins. I had bought a $3.99 pumpkin for decoration a week or two before, but wasn't interested in the gourds at the time. They were kind of ugly, after all, and it was kind of a waste of money for a decoration that was going to rot on my front porch. That is, until I saw that the price had dropped to 39 cents. 39 cents isn't bad, I thought! I could spend 39 cents on another Fall decoration. So I grabbed three.

I did a little more shopping and came away with a few more than two things (I went a little crazy on the canned food aisle), but nothing we didn't really need. Except the gourds. But they were 39 cents. And that made me smart. Thrifty. A great shopper.

I headed to the open express lane, trying to count the cans of vegetables in my basket and wondering if each can counts as one item, because if so I had more than fifteen items, but if each type of item counts as one item, then I had less than fifteen items. And then I thought if I had just gotten the two and only two things I had come for in the first place, I wouldn't have the express line guilt.

The checker didn't seem to mind my possible express lane rule violation, so I began putting the cans on his conveyer belt. I placed my thrifty gourds on the belt and the cashier grabbed one, set it on the scanner, and typed in the code as he chatted pleasantly and complimented my blouse.

And that's when I saw it flash on the screen. $9.

For one of them.

That's right, folks. I had failed to notice that that 39 cents was indeed 39 cents per pound and evidently the green one I had randomly selected was 23 pounds.

I stared at the screen as he weighed the other two, adding another $4 and $2, adding up to a hefty $15 for three gourds. Gourds that were meant to sit on my front porch to possibly get stolen and smashed by some kids or, at best, rot into a disgusting mess I would remember to clean up and throw away only after they were mushy and falling apart.

As he made polite conversation, I contemplated telling him I didn't, in fact, want the 23-pound gourd (was it filled with gold or something?), but at this point there were people in line behind me and I could tell they were judging my express line rule violation. They were counting cans.

I went with the "pretending I didn't care that I was spending $15 on large decorative fruit (and yes, I did Google that and Mr. Wikipedia did, in fact inform me that a gourd is a fruit and not a vegetable) and tried to send out my best "What me? Be upset about spending 15 freaking dollars on gourds? No way. I spend this kind of money on non-essential and frivolous impulse buys allllllllllllll the time" vibe.

And it worked, evidently, because now I own $1.17 worth of $15 worth of gourds. And those trick-or-treaters had better enjoy them.


aggieonboard said...

Fabulous. Just fabulous.

El said...

That's rough. I would have been getting rid of that 23 pounder. You're too nice!

Mrs.LifeAccounts said...

haha, I would have just marched over to the customer service desk and said I wanted to return them because I thought they were .39 a piece not per pound. Not like I have any experience whatsoever in doing this..... :)

Mandy and Jack said...

Ha. Yeah I don't know why I didn't do that! I'm usually not all that shy about things like that. I'm a couponer for crying out loud - I don't have a lot of shame! ;-) But I think the friendly cashier plus the express line plus the people in line behind me threw me off. Next time I'll read the signs better.