"You know what? I think I'll just go grab our groceries and then pick up the pizza on the way home. They said, '25-35 minutes' until it's ready -- I can definitely do that." My husband concurred; our pantry is bare.
After adding some hasty checkmarks to the You should buy... pad of paper hanging off the side of metallic fridge, I set my phone timer, tucked my phone into my purse, and hopped into our Jeep to make the five-minute trek up the road to Super Target.
28 minutes until pizza.
I parked in the first spot, pushed the first cart away from the neat rows just inside the store, and reevaluated my timer. Better take 10 minutes off to cushion check-out and travel from the store.
The store's remodeling plan threw a wrench in my typical shopping strategy. The chips were by the Dollar Spot; the freezer section by the candles.
10 minutes until pizza.
PEPPERMINT MOCHA COFFEE CREAMER.
Uncrustables. Uncrustables. Uncrustables.
Cough medicine. But they don't have orange-flavored syrup. $12 on the grape is a gamble.
(Enter heavenly strum-sounding alarm. TIME'S UP.)
The second tier of my time-saving strategy included self-checkout. I bagged the items by storage area at home and even made it to the final item with no additional 'hit the help button' stressors. Well, until, I had to hit the payment button. Credit card, of course. Let me just grab my wallet...
It's gotta be in here somewhere. I just had it at lunch. And then in the car on the way to get the guys. And then...
"Do you accept personal checks?"
"Yes." Yes!!!! Redeemed. Perfect.
The guest services worker suspended the transaction and reentered the corresponding code at a different register to prompt the payment (Might I add, without scanning each item again).
"Here's the check. Thanks, again, for saving the day."
"Can I see your ID?"
"Well, see, that's just it. I must've taken out my wallet at home. I DON'T HAVE IT."
"Well, without it, I can't accept the check."
"Well, that's perfect. I just wasted a half-hour."
And there's my vanilla ice cream melting...there's the juice for breakfast...and the cough syrup which was the impetus for this trip anyway...all together in one nice cart that someone wearing red is now going to have to put back item by item in aisle 2 aisle 3 aisle 7 and then take the chips way over to the makeshift aisles by the Dollar Spot. Which, would not be a fun job, but then again, it won't be fun walking out of this store without my groceries.
In the interest of full disclosure and absolute transparency, what flashed through my mind was the scene in Father of the Bride where Steve Martin's character, George Banks, rants in the supermarket aisle over the conspiracy between hot dog bun bakers and hot dog makers to con innocent consumers out of extra money by not making package sizes consistent. I'm tired, just like he was, although the basis for my exhaustion has less to do with wedding planning and more to do with the fact that it is really just Friday night after a long week...
I bit my tongue and let go of the cart handle. "Thank you."
Five minutes to get to the pizza place.
"Hi, I have a pick-up order. I also have one more question -- Do you accept personal checks?"
The overly made-up teenager behind the cash register tapped her contemporary's elbow, "Do we accept checks?"
"No. Actually we don't. Two days ago the owner made the decision to not take checks anymore."
"YOU DON'T ACCEPT CHECKS?" George Banks. GEORGE.BANKS. "AS OF TWO DAYS AGO?"
My eyes must've done something. Could they see me envisioning the walk of shame into my house with no groceries and even worse, no pizza?
"I can ask the boss if you want."
"OK; that'd be super."
She traveled with the other teenagers behind the gargantuan silver oven to pow-wow with the owner.
"He'll make an exception. Just this ONCE. The total is $18.54."
Date. Store. Amount. Amount in words. Signature. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip.
"Thank you. I appreciate his exception. My family does, too."
Can I please just have my groceries, too?