August 04, 2006

Grocery Store Craziness

The kids and I went to the pool for a couple of hours yesterday. We had a nice time, everyone played, laughed, and enjoyed the company of friends. On our way home from the pool we stopped in at the local HEB. For those of you outside of Texas, HEB is a great grocery store. Good prices, good selection, minimal service, but I can see where they are trying to improve that in some areas at our Abilene location.

I swore off shopping there once when my twins were babies and Derek was 2. I had bought a cart full of groceries, was on my last nerve, and they didn't ask me if I needed help to my car. I could have asked for help, but it was pretty obvious they didn't want to help, and I didn't want to grovel for grocery assistance. I was sure that if I asked for help, I might start crying, and a crying mother with a full grocery cart, 2 babies and 1 toddler, I did not want to be.
I walked to my car that day, forever swearing off, my most favorite coffee in the world, Taste of Abilene, Violet Crumble,(a candy bar that I used to eat in Australia, that only they carried), and low, low prices.
It took me about 3 weeks to go groveling back with my tail between my legs, good thing I hadn't written an ugly letter (it was politely worded), or waved my fist in the air saying, I shall not return, upon my last exit. My grocery budget just couldn't stretch to meet the grocery stores with great service, and I would rather eat my foot than go to Walmart on a regular basis.

Yesterday we were picking up some ingredients for yummy crusted herbed chicken for Rob's birthday. As we were walking through the store Derek is already thinking about Buddy Bucks. Buddy Bucks are a toy dollar bill that the cashiers give the kids when you go through the line that work in one of the machines at the front of the store. I quickly head Derek off at the pass, we are NOT going to accept Buddy Buck's today.
Fifteen minutes later we find ourselves in the line to pay for the groceries, and the nice cashier starts handing out Buddy Buck's to my kids. I say, "Oh, I am sorry, we don't want any Buddy Bucks today." He looks at me with a quizzical look on his face, and politely took back the bucks he had already passed out.
At that point I felt the need to explain myself, “Those Buddy Buck’s drive me crazy, you hand them to my children, then they have to go wait in a line of crazed buddy buck kids at the one machine in this whole store, I have to stand next to them with my raw chicken in my grocery basket getting warmer by the moment. We finally get our turn, the kids play the game, then they win a little container that only opens with a hammer smashing it on the ground, all to get a sticker of a number 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 on it. My kids don’t need a sticker with a number on it, so that is why we are not playing the Buddy Buck’s today. “
This twenty something male cashier, named Mike, looks at me with a grin on his face. At the same time I am telling him this story my kids are continuing to ask for something we passed at some point in the store, candy, gum, cereal, fruit chews, and I just keep non-chalantly interjecting the word “no” to them as I continue my rave on Buddy Bucks. His grin continues to where he is almost laughing at me, not with me. He says, “I know it seems like I am laughing at you, but this is all kind of funny.” I smile back and tell him someday he might have several children in tote when he goes to the grocery store and it wont seem so funny then. He then says, he is ready for children, and he can’t wait to take them to the grocery store and tell them “no.”
So I am glad I could help him have a warm fuzzy in his heart about future parenting and the grocery store outings that are to come.
The best part of my kids starting school soon – grocery shopping alone.


Sarah said...

Yes!! I wouldn't mind the Buddy Bucks, I wouldn't mind standing in line for Buddy to proclaim (as Riley likes to imitate), "Looks like we have another winnaaaaaaaaah." But what's the deal with getting the sticker holders open? Give me a break!! What sort of explosives do they recommend for getting into those! I'm glad your disdain of the whole Buddy Bucks system provided a smile for Mike. Oh -- and you should have told Mike that they need to have better prizes than sunscreen to save your sticker points for, according to my children.

jessica said...

Last time we went one of the machines was down and there was a line of 10 children waiting at the other... I put the bucks in my purse and told the kiddos they had to wait... maybe I'll go in the middle of the night and do it for them...

Amber Joy said...

We were never allowed to go to the grocery store with my mom... Still aren't.

holly said...

We have often collected buddy bucks and not stood in line to play the game. I figure the fake dollar is just as good as the number sticker. (I've also been know to hide from the man walking around the store handing them out)