Today I redeemed the 320 stickers I’d saved up to get my FREE Rachael Ray ™ dishes at Shaw’s grocery store. For those of you scoring at home, that means I’ve spent $3,200 at Shaws in the last 2.5 months. And that’s JUST at Shaw’s. That does not include anything I spent at Whole Foods, the quickest eighty bucks you’ll spend next to a hooker.
I thought it’d be pretty simple to get all the dishes once I’d saved up the required stamps: Pick out my stuff from the display; bring them to the check out line; cash register lady would count up my cards, with six free items per card; she’d make some type of mark on the used stamps so it was clear they’d been redeemed; then she’d count my dishes and off I’d go. Not so much.
First of all, even though I had two cards filled with EXACTLY the number of stamps for twelve free items, the cashier had to COUNT each of the free items per card. Then she just crossed out, with a huge X, all of the “used” stamps and recorded my free items at the bottom of the card.
Okay, but then after she’d counted all the free stuff I’d earned, she had to SCAN. Every. Single. One. Of the dishes and plates and bowls and mugs. (Did I mention there were a total of sixteen?) Right about now, I should probably also tell you that I was in the EXPRESS lane. On Patriots football day. With the game starting in about 10 minutes. So…
I promptly apologized to the guy behind me (who ELSE is in the EXPRESS lane on a SUNDAY besides a GUY buying a half dozen items to accompany his game?). I said to him something like, “I’m really sorry. I didn’t think this would take so long. AND I DEFINITELY HAVE MORE THAN TEN ITEMS! HAHAHHAHA” <Nervous laughter on my part.> Then, “I hate having more items than you’re supposed to in the EXPRESS lane. It gives me an anxiety attack. People in this town will kill you if you have too many items.” I didn’t really say that last sentence, because people in this town only assault you if you fuck with their deli line.
ANY-WHO…I apologized to said guy, the cashier continues her ENDLESS scanning, I bag my colorful take. Then the cashier has to scan some bar code to make each of the sixteen items free (they were worth $102, for those of you keeping track at home). To be clear, she does not scan the bar code in ONCE and then push in x16 on her keypad. She SCANS THE BARCODE SIXTEEN SEPARATE TIMES.
Okay, I think I’m good. Everything is free AND bagged, and then I ask the cashier if I can have my partially filled out card back, because it has about 10 UNredeemed stickers on it. (The Kid wants the olive oil dispenser.) That’s when she tells me, “I HAVE TO GIVE YOU A NEW CARD AND RESTICK ALL THE STAMPS THAT WEREN’T REDEEMED ONTO THE NEW CARD. ” Ruh roh.
I didn’t look at the line, because it was too much tension to bear, so I just watched her. Remove each sticker and REstick it onto the new card. And, BECAUSE THESE ARE STAMPS THAT STICK, that wasn’t happening so quickly.
FINALLY. Done. The cashier hands me my newly, painfully-stamped card, I look at the line — now about 8 GUYS deep — wave my new card up in the air and exclaim, “SORRY PEOPLE IN THE EXPRESS LANE!!!!!!!!” The guy who’d been right behind me smiles. I begin to crack up. My daughter starts to crack up. My son is MORTIFIED. We leave AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
EPILOGUE: When we got home, the game had already started. Whoops!