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Some Days, You Just Can't Win. Saturday May Have Been One of Those Days

Posted Sep 12 2010 12:00am

We wait all year for bonus time, and Saturday was the day. And I had big plans for the bonus. Pay off a few bills. Get new tires on the van.

And go to Costco.

I like to live dangerously with my money. Seriously. No to vacations for us, no trips, no jewelry, no Coach handbags, no interior decorating or $100 jeans. Yes to bags of chicken, cans of veggies, 10 pound bags of pancake mix and a case of grape juice.

You just WISH you were me.

So, Saturday dawned and it was magical. At least in the beginning. You ALL know how TIGHT I am with plans. We go Waaaaay back, me and plans. My sister took Gabe and Emma to the waterpark for the day, Mackenzie had plans to go to the mall with her girlfriend, Allegra was babysitting and Nik was at school, and then on his way to work.

I looked around and it was just me and Riley. I don't know if we've EVER been the only two at home, and so I decided to talk it up. She does really well when we have plans and know exactly what we are doing, and so I gave her the layout. We'd go to Costco, get our membership, and have a whole bunch of yummy samples for lunch while we bought food. We'd probably be finished in enough time that maybe we could go swimming - she was pretty bummed that she didn't get to go to the waterpark with the other kids.

We got in the van at 12. We were both pretty hungry, but looking forward to the sample goodness of Costco. We drove the 25 minutes to get there, got out of the van and walked in. And I realized I'd forgotten my wallet.

So.

We drove home. I got my wallet. My husband asked me to drop something off at a store right down the street from Costco. A store with so many people waiting to be helped that, when we arrived, we were #43 - and they were on #2. So, I called him, we bagged, and went to Costco. We were both REALLY hungry, and by now it was past 1 p.m. We got to Costco. We waited in line for 25 minutes. She was so good the entire time. No fits, no crying, no complaining - just hanging out. She chatted about the samples she hoped to have, the pizza I'd promised if the samples weren't yummy, and what type of drink she'd get from the soda fountain - for it was a really special day for her and I'd agreed she could have a small soda.

And when we got up to the front, it was to realize that Costco only takes American Express.

I may have forgotten to mention that the bonus comes on a prepaid MasterCard.

Not only that, the employee was rude. And mean to my kid, who merely put her hands on the counter. Hadn't complained about being extra hungry, because she was 3 hours behind schedule for lunch, had stood quietly in line and was a model child.

So, we left. And, I'm not gonna lie, we were both disappointed. It was close to 2 p.m. and we were hungry and tired and there was no way we were going to be able to swim - we hadn't yet bought one item of food. What a bust of a day so far, and I knew I was on borrowed time with her. I was not enjoying a good feeling about this day.

What to do, what to do? I looked around for a minute at our fast food choices, and we decided it was a Boston Market kind of day. Because there is no day that is so bad it cannot be rescued by Beef Brisket and  Sweet Potatoes for me and Macaroni and cheese (for there is no other choice) for Riley.

And then we drove 30 minutes the other way and went to Sam's Club. Where we encountered EXTRA helpful people, enough samples to fill a 6 year old - bacon, vanilla yogurt, apple cider, veggie lasagna, pizza, taco chips and cookies - and filled not one, but one and a half flats with food. My girl walked the entire way, did not cry once, did not ask for ANYTHING, did not throw one fit, and was an absolute joy and a delight to be with. She picked food from the shelves, stacked it on the flat, and helped me decide between several choices.I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. The crying to start, the screaming to commence. Nothing. She picked a treat for each member of the family and was so excited to be able to give it to each one. She sang songs, danced in the aisles and made up stories. She even pushed a half full flat behind me as we left the store, and helped to condense it to one, and then happily loaded the van - and then UNLOADED it at home.

In short, what I was convinced was going to be a rotten day because of the way it began turned out to be a lot of fun.

So now we are broke again. But, man, we have a lot of food in this house.

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