Dearest Rachel –
It’s one of those things that I’ve never really gotten a good handle on, despite having had the need to since your absence. Usually, if I’m going shopping, it’s just for one or two things in particular, not a whole list of them. And, as I’ve pointed out before, I usually find myself buying a whole bunch of other things that I never thought of – and probably didn’t need – while I’m out. The idea of putting together a list – even for the one or two things that I know I need – barely manages to occur to me.
But on a day like today, when I expected to take a half day off of ‘work’ because Kris was supposed to come over and clean the house as she does, and I have a whole raft of Meijer coupons to use up before they expire, I need to come up with a list of things that we need, so that I can use them all.
I’m also of the understanding that I need to make however many grocery purchase as I can while I can, because apparently, there is the expectation of a railroad strike, which may lead to empty shelves and increased prices by the weekend. So I’d better get cracking.
I even gave Daniel a call for input on my list; if nothing else, he might make sandwiches more often than I do, and might want a say in what lunch meat I bring home. But he really didn’t offer any suggestions, other than something for me to pick up for him for a late lunch on my way home, which, of course, isn’t from Meijer. Not that I mind that he’d rather have something from any one of the local establishments; inflation or not, we’re doing well enough that it’s not a problem for us, after all. At worst, it’s just another stop or two.
Turns out, the weekend deadline was the least of my worries (and to be fair, that’s assuming a strike does take place, which we won’t know until Friday. On the other hand, this could still result in a panic like the one we had a couple years ago about toilet paper – fortunately, we’re well stocked, although we’ve long since used up the lot you bought prior to that chaos). It hadn’t occurred to me to check, but the coupons were actually expiring today, rather than on the 15th as they usually do.
Now, you might ask, why should that make any difference? Well, it shouldn’t, but the computer decided otherwise, giving me an ‘Assistance Required’ warning, and refusing to process my coupons. Technically, it makes sense: if the coupon expires today, it could be interpreted as meaning it’s no longer valid as of today. That certainly seems to be how the computer saw things. But when today does it expire? At the beginning of the day, or the end? Most of us humans would assume at the end of the day, meaning I have today to use them. Thankfully, the checkout staff can be counted among ‘most humans’, and although it took both the staffer and her manager, I got checked out with all four coupons processed, even though they had to be recorded manually (and I couldn’t tell you how much typing the manager had to do on that screen in order to get everything processed correctly).
So, that was a little adventure. By comparison, stopping at Panera and the smoothie place for Daniel was ridiculously simple.
There’s an old Bill Gaither song from my childhood that talks about ‘won’t bes’ and ‘will bes’ in heaven, complete with a verse for the kids listening to make of lines of their own. I don’t recall having the creativity to come up with anything that I was looking forward to missing out on once I made it to where you are now, but this experience is one I’d be happy not to have to deal with again. Granted, I’d be hard-pressed to compress that sentiment into the appropriate length of syllables to fit the lyric…
Anyway, until next time you hear from me, keep an eye on me, and wish me luck. I’m going to need it.