Lesson Unlearned (Again)


One day, I will learn. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. See, I’ve developed this love affair with saving money. It makes me feel accomplished to reduce my impact on the environment by walking instead of driving, by hanging my clothes instead of using the dryer, and so on. At some point, it moved from “let’s go green” to “I could save $1.50 on this if I did _____”. Why, I really have no idea, all I know is that I have repeatedly screwed myself over as a result.

 

Take last night, for instance. I had to go get a few things, namely diapers and toilet paper, and took my sister along for a walk. Seems simple, right? Not so much. I have a roller buggy, as I’ve mentioned in the past, but along with the “I’ll save ____ on ____” problem, I’ve also developed an “I don’t need that, it’s just 4L of milk” problem. Only, it never is just 4L of milk. Usually I end up laden with heavy bags, collapsing once I reach my door, laughing at myself, and saying “next time… I am definitely bringing the buggy”. It never fails, I forget that statement. Every. Single. Time. Normally, though, I’m only a short walk away from home. Yesterday, since it was Sunday, everything was closed. We found ourselves up at Stuff Mart #1, which is about as far across town from my house as you can get, in that direction. Having decided that I wasn’t bringing the buggy, yet again, I thought that sticking to my jug of milk would be easy. But of course, this is Stuff Mart we’re talking about. So in went the $1 bin summer toys that I’ve been trying to find for the patio, some buns for dinner, the jug of milk, at which point, we reach the diapers.

Oh the dilemma. The small package will be easier to carry (why did I forget the buggy again??). But the bigger box is better savings, and only $10 bucks more. Plus, it’s got a coupon booklet inside for even larger savings! Oh, and then there’s the biggest box for $50, with a $50 coupon book too. Hmm… Well, I could totally carry all of them, so it really boils down to which one I’m comfortable buying. I don’t know if I should do the $50 one, because I still have groceries to buy and payday’s a way off. Ok, that settles it, the almost jumbo box it is! And out the store we went.

I… underestimated how heavy 136 diapers (plus coupon book) was going to be. It had handles, at least, but they were digging into my fingers in a matter of 2 minutes, and we still had an hour walk to go. Meanwhile, my sister began the quiet snickering as I politely asked her to readjust the large bag on top of the box, because the straps were in my face, and I couldn’t see where I was going. Somewhere along the way, the quiet snickering became cramp-inducing laughter, and outright ribbing.

Sis: “I hope the coupon book was worth it” *big grin*

Me: “I don’t want to talk about it, and stop laughing at me.” *chuckle* “At least I didn’t get the one with the extra 7 diapers, for the same price.”

Sis: “You know, it’s entirely possible that the coupon book weighs as much as those 7 diapers, so I really hope you’re satisfied with your savings.”

Me: “I have an elbow cramp.”

Sis: “Oh really? I never would have guessed that.”

Me: “I am kind of glad I didn’t go for the $50 box.”

Sis: “You didn’t really consider hauling that one, did you?”

Me: “Well… yes, actually, I kind of did. I just didn’t want to spend the $50 on it. It had nothing to do with the weight.”

Sis: “I wonder how heavy the $50 coupon book would have been?”

 

About a third of the way there, we had dissolved into side-splitting giggles, and I had to put down my packages because I couldn’t carry them and laugh at the same time. I’m never going to live it down, either. Shortly after that, to my sister’s further amusement, I had to use the washroom. That’s right, I didn’t think to use the washroom before we left the store, and we had just finished chugging a Venti Starbucks. I’m sure someday my brain function will return to normal. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Wait, though, it gets better. As we were approaching the halfway point, my sister suggested that I could detour to my mom’s house and ask my dad for a ride, or perhaps borrow my mom’s buggy. “Oh no!” I said… “The diaper box is too big to fit.” More giggles. On top of that, I got myself into this mess, and since I keep missing the lesson, I’ll do it myself. No ride! No buggy!

“I feel as though it would ruin whatever dignity I have left.” I said. (It’ll be fine! I said… It’ll be fun! I said…)

I ended up having to detour to the bathroom anyway, at which point, my sister enlisted her fiance to at least walk with us. I’m pretty sure she would have passed out from the side-splitting laughing fits that were happening from the mere thought of me adding the toilet paper package to my overburdened self. I’m also pretty sure her fiance had a good chuckle as I dragged it the rest of the way home. I am ashamed to admit that I not only refused the ride, for the sake of my dignity, I also refused help carrying anything except the toilet paper. I did make it home, although my shoulders are still partially numb today… But despite that, I’m positive that next time I go out the door, I’m still going to say “It’ll be fine! I don’t need the buggy! I won’t buy anything!” and have another fun episode.

 

One day, I will learn.

The Handler.

PS: I think that perhaps my dignity was further diminished by the shear stupidity of not accepting assistance. It does make for a tale though.

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