I feel like an idiot

I feel like an idiot

moron in aisle five
line snakes through store, makes folks mad
guess who’s the dummy?

I saved $76.23 today. But not in a good way.

I should preface this post by saying that the hubby and I recently discovered Costco. As far as mega big box stores go, it really does seem to have some pretty good prices on things. So the hubby broke down and got a membership for his company. That means, by default, I got a spouse card. Yay.

This morning, the wee one and I decided to go test out the Spouse Card and see what deals we could scrounge up at the local Costco. I even brought a calculator with me to prevent a spree of bulk-buying insanity.

We politely ignored the armpit smell and noxious pizza fumes that greeted us once inside the warehouse. I smiled as I choked down the nausea the smell induced. We plodded our way through the third-world country like crowds and carefully chose each item that might deem us “Smart Bargain Shoppers”.

I had diapers, I had bread, I had about 8 million peanut butter crackers, I had fruit bowls, bottled water… and with every item I hurled into the cart, I knew I was saving money. It was actually kind of fun.

So finally, I looked down at the calculator and decided it was time to stop. No sense in spending a zillion dollars especially when we don’t actually have a freezer large enough to contain a box of 35 hot pockets.

The wee one and I found a line, and unloaded the booty. The cashier rung up the booty in a jolly way… it totaled up to, you guessed it, $76.23. I whip out the trusty debit card and what? It’s the hubby’s debit card. The one with the unknown pin. Not to worry. I slide the card in the card sliding doohickey and wait.

“Say,” I ask, “How to you cancel the debit part and just use the debit card as a credit card?” This doohickey seems to be missing the appropriate buttons.

“Oh,” the cashier responds cheerfully, “You can’t use it as a credit card. You have to use your pin. Or write a check. The only credit card we take is Am Ex.”

All. The. Color. Drains. From. My. Face.

I hear a collective sigh and foot rustling of the growing line behind me. I swallow.

“So, uh, if I can’t remember the pin, then I guess I’m in trouble, huh?” I ask with a strangled chuckle.

The cashier looks at me like a) my hair is on fire or b) I am a criminal who has stolen a debit card. Then he leans closer to me, as I feel myself turn red and shrink before him, and says “You don’t remember your pin?”

It’s not that I didn’t remember the pin, it’s that I never knew it in the first place. It’s that my husband removed my debit card (the pin of which I know by heart) from my wallet and replaced it with the Useless Debit Card bearing his name. Seems the hubby needed to use a cash machine and instead of fixing his debit card, he swiped mine. Wonderful.

So I’m standing there at Costco, a cart full of $76.23 worth of stuff, and no way to buy it. A manager has to be called over. Manager explains there’s nothing he can do. I then have to lower my head in shame, lift my child out of the basket, and leave the store without any of the bulk bargains.

I must be maturing, because a few years ago this would have made me cry. Instead, I called my hubby and hulked out a little. He was very, appropriately contrite.

-sigh- maybe this was jeebus’ way of telling me not to spend money. Maybe HEB placed a voodoo curse on me to never be able to shop anywhere but their stores. Or maybe, before I spend a morning carefully shopping for bargains, I should check my wallet and see what’s inside. Apparently you never know.

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