It's not about the house.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Day 19, Project 8: Up The Down Staircase

I knew before I was dressed that it was going to be an up-and-down day today....

See, I pulled on my jeans only to remember about the whole button-falling-off-them-thing that happened (definitely down). So I went into the closet for the other pair and, well, apparently this Puritan Manifesto thing is agreeing with me because the other jeans don’t fit me anymore -- they were just falling off, and they had all their buttons (up!)! So I got the step stool, dug through the top shelf to see if my skinny jeans might fit me, and… I couldn’t find them (down). But I did find this completely other pair that I’ve no idea what they are or where they came from (odd). They say they’re the same size as the falling-off-me ones, but when I tried ’em on they fit me, so voila (up)! They’re kinda skinny, too, no matter what the label says.

I realized at work that before I went spending my free money at Ace Hardware, it would probably be a smart idea to check the other two Stop & Shops in my area to see if maybe one of them would have the $100 grill I tried to buy for Johnny yesterday. Except for that one of them is like halfway back home from where I park the car, and I knew that if I went there and they didn’t have it I’d just keep right on going until I was feet-up on the couch in my pajamas watching Happy Feet. So I worked out a compromise. Stop at the one that’s on the way to the hardware store, and if they don’t have it then try my luck with Mr. Helpful.

They had it (up)! But it wasn’t on sale (down). And I wasn’t about to spend my actual (read: not free) money to make up the difference in price, especially for some cheap-ass, made-in-China thing from Stop & Shop.

Ace Hardware had a billion grills of all sorts of sizes. But the only one in my price range was so small you’d have to rock-paper-scissors for first dibs on cooking your hot dog. Down. But here’s a good tip: Ladies, when you’ve decided you don’t want something and the pushy salesman just can’t seem to let you go, tell him you have to talk it over with your husband. Up! I don’t care if you’re single, or gay, or if your husband doesn’t know the difference between BTUs and BLTs -- just say it. He’ll never know and I’m telling you, it is a magic word.

Me: “I think I better talk it over with my husband before I make any decision.”

HHM: “Here, take him a brochure.”

And I was outta there. My bell jar rings a little at the thought of it, but I tell myself I’m like a kung fu master, using my enemy’s own strength against him…

I was dreading the idea of having to tell Johnny that I’d failed again --

Actually, that’s a total lie. He would neither care nor blame me. It’s obvious the retail gods have a vendetta against me and unless I’m prepared to kill a goat or something I’ll just have to wait until they tire of me and go mess with someone else.

What I was actually dreading was having to do something else around the house, because buying a grill was supposed to be my only job today, and I hadn’t yet made up a rule about what happens if I try to do something and fail. Would I have to come up with something else to do instead? I was afraid I might -- down, down, down -- and I knew for sure I would tomorrow, when my job was supposed to have been putting the grill together…

Neither of which, Prudence, are exactly home-improvements.

Back off, Goody: my Manifesto, my Rules.

But suddenly I remembered that third grocery store! The one on the way home! And guess what? They had it! Up! Just the display one left, but I didn’t care. Maybe I could get even it cheaper!

When I asked the guy if I could buy the display one he said he supposed so, but he did still have two in boxes right there on the shelf (where I, of course, had never thought to look -- not in the first store, either). Up. And then he put it on a wheely cart and wheeled it up to the register and all the way out to my car for me! Up! And when I opened the hatchback, all the empty cans and bottles that I’ve been meaning to return but haven’t quite gotten around to doing came crashing out all over the parking lot. Down. So we put it in the side door. Or, rather, he put it in the side door. I, Grasshopper, slid the front seat forward for him.

Oh, I forgot to say I also got the clothespins. Grocery store number two: $3.99. Up.

And when I was almost home, the bridge went up (down) and I got stuck for a half an hour listening to Hamas-talk on NPR (down-down). It was either that, creepy old James Taylor, or creepy young Justin Timberlake (both way down, and ooh, is it a coincidence that those two creepies have the same initials?).

Day 19: Accomplished (is so if I say so)
Time: 1:10
Cost: Hmm, now that I’m looking at my receipt it looks a little fishy. The sign said “$99.99 with your card, regular $149.99” -- but my receipt says I paid $103.99 (plus $5.20 tax) and the regular price was $129.99. Hm. Either the sign was wrong or I bought the wrong grill. Which do you think is more likely? And how likely do you think it is I’m gonna do anything about it now? Anyway, minus the $100 Johnny gave me, plus the clothespins and tax on them (which I really ought to put in yesterday’s column but I don’t feel like it) it comes to $13.38.
Spending An Hour And Two Days Driving Around To Buy The Wrong Grill At The Store Two Miles From My House That I Probably Could Have Gotten The Right Grill At Yesterday: Brainless. But at least I got a new pair of jeans out of the deal.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

poorly planned?