They tire of this when they remember the last time we were here they begged for the pink digital thermometers on the end cap. That day I said no. They are only $2.99 apiece so this time I relent. I am sure there will be a plot to reprogram them to hot since school starts in less than two weeks.
Sadly this Kroger is arranged in such a way that we now have to cross the entire store and semi-exit to get a cart. We do this and again set off the alarms, only this time the girls have the thermometers. "Go back!! Go back! Go back! Go back!" I say. "You are holding the thermometers!" The girls rush back into the store while I hurry in with the cart. At this point we are feeling a bit criminal. No one else has set off the alarms.
We proceed to the produce section. Maybe the kids have not gotten out much this summer but they set upon the fruits and vegetables like a virus. Lauren goes off in the direction of the apples. "Mom I want apples. I am going to get 4 apples, one each of my favorites." I hurriedly get her bags for each apple. The checker is going to love us. Helen decides we need to attempt cooking our own beets. They discover purple cotton candy by the melons. We are only a third through the store and I am hungry and beaten down. We are putting every bad choice in our line of sight in the cart, powdered donuts, pink iced sugar cookies, frozen fast food french fries, purple cotton candy and candy orange slices. I have to get those, Grandma Reddy use to keep those in a lovely little candy dish. Maybe I can find a lovely little candy dish. Maybe the beets will offset some of the sugar.
Around the luncheon meat the kids are suddenly done with shopping and start farting on each other. Now I am done shopping with them. I smile thinking, oh boy, this is the last trip before school starts. Hoorah, my Happiness Happens moment of the day, no more shopping with the banshees for the rest of the year.
We head to the checkout where I escape into the People magazine, thankful I am not married to Ben Afflick who appears to have been boinking the Nanny. How cliche. Poor Jennifer. Why can't 40 something year old men just be happy with their 40 something year old wives, especially when they look like Jennifer Garner. Oh crap, I am up, the children are being obnoxious again and this time I really did not notice. I better swipe my card before I hold up traffic, can't wait to get home and break into the candy orange slices.
"Ma'am, your card has been declined." I look at the checker blankly. This is impossible. John got paid Friday. He put money in. I haven't spent any money yet. "That is impossible." I say. "Please try it again." The checker who has just rung up 10 different produce items, one per bag and all the other items tries the card again. "Ma'am, your card is still declined."
Crap, crap, crap. I move over to the side isle, start checking my account which is indeed in the negative. I start looking back, convinced I have been the victim of identity theft. No, I am the victim of John forgetting to put money in my account Friday and me forgetting to make sure there was money in my account before a $200 grocery trip.
This is the moment John dreads. The moment when he is out of town and I bombard him with nasty texts and phone messages. On about the 6th call (he is in a meeting in Manhattan), his admin. picks up. I will say that I did a bang up job not saying one curse word while explaining the situation to Yolanda. I am known in certain circles for dropping uncontrollable f-bombs. I had lots and lots of Captain Kirk pauses where I said them in my head but none came out of my mouth.
Yolanda messaged John, about two minutes later he texted that the money was in my account.
During the 20 minutes I was waiting, texting and feeling mad enough to pop, a woman walked over to me and asked if I needed a ride, she offered to buy my groceries. Lauren was crying by this time and she helped diffuse that. I was too much in angry mode to acknowledge how kind this lady was. I thanked her of course but I wish I had said more because I realized this was my real Happiness moment of the day. Anyone who is willing to approach a situation where another human being is seeping hostility and anger from every pore just because they recognize someone in need deserves to be recognized for their exceptional kindness. She did help but it was by listening. I feel guilty, at least I could have paid back the money, there is no payback for listening to a stranger rant.
I stood back in line. Rechecked out. This time the card worked. Yippee! As we exited the store we set the alarms off for the third and final time, this time, we just rolled with it.