I didn't have a bedtime for my children.
I didn't have hard and fast rules about cleaning up toys.
I didn't care if things got broken.... some of my *worst* childhood memories are adults flipping the f*ck out at me because I accidentally (and innocently) broke something in their home.... that kind of social embarrassment sinks into the skin of a child and permeates their own 'world view' of themselves.... so I never wanted to do that to my own children, or someone else's.
Other Moms planted gardens..... and it's not that I wouldn't *want* to, it's just that I have *the worst* luck getting anything other than weeds to grow (except for my Lillies) - so that was a bust.
Other Moms bought organic.... play date after play date listening how BPA and pesticides were going to destroy the insides of my children.
I'm sure they are right, I certainly know from experience that eating organic taste's better (most of the time) - but.... having a fully organic menu wasn't in the financial cards for us.
There were a few years where I kept a food budget - and so long as I shopped at Wal-Mart and bought *all* Wal-Mart brands foods: I could feed us.
At first, El Capitan fought me on it - he said it tasted like "plastic" and refused to eat it. RE.FUSED.
He pitched these giant tantrums about how there was no 'way in hell' he was going to eat food from 'Desperation Flats'..... he clearly didn't have a grasp on 'desperate' we actually were. lololol
So in the top cupboard I kept foods from Safeway - the usual brands.... and then in the bottom cupboard behind a curtain where I kept the pots and pans - I kept the main groceries - the ones from Wal-Mart. After eating the "plastic food" for a few meals and not knowing it - and having to admit that it *didn't* taste like plastic.... and that it was just *fine* - he said I could start buying all our groceries at Wal-Mart.
I could make spaghetti: $1.89 for one pound of ground chuck, $1.38 for the sauce and $1.00 for the pasta. That would feed all of us for under $5.00. I scoured Campbells Soup recipe's for even cheaper ways to make meals from their soups - easy to do and cuts waaaaay down on costs on ingredients because you work from their soup as a mainstay.
This all worked brilliantly for months and months until I started having problems with my hands, I would wake up and they would be swollen and it would be hard to grab things for a while. Turned out that I had waaaaaay too much salt in my diet and it was causing the swelling/water retention in my hands. So I cut back on the soups for a while.... but we still had to buy our groceries in white boxes with bold navy letters on them: El Capitan called it our "Darma" food (a Lost reference).
I managed to feed us for $250.00 a month for a looooong time by doing all my shopping at Wal-Mart AND by buying as many of *their* grocery products as I could. Milk, yogurt, cereal, sour cream, bread, chicken, beef.... all of it: Wal-Mart brand.
Last year - we *finally* got out very own Wal-Mart in town. Prior to that it was a 30 minute drive in any direction for me to get to a Wal-Mart... the kids and I went on opening day and literally celebrated... *more* money saved in gas now! lololol
Yesterday the kids and I went to said Wal-Mart to buy groceries and only *after* I had run through $151.22 in groceries (and one rubber spider and one glow worm) - did the check out machine fail but only *after* it had run my debit card.
The kids and I waited in the check out while people stood behind us - even though I would politely tell them that the machine was broken - and then stand there as though I were a complete f*cking dumb ass just trying to screw them out of being in the seemingly 'shortest' check out line... only after several minutes ticked by and then they would march away disgruntled as though it were my fault. Awesome.
We were playing the slap hands game, ispy.... and I was running out of waysto entertain the kids, and the manager couldn't get the register to work, so it was decided that I should head home with my groceries and they would call me to sort it all out once the machine was working again.
Mind you .... this is at *least* 30 minutes into the experience. lololol
I felt awkward leaving with the food and having 'not paid', so I left my debit card and said I would be back tomorrow.
Today, after I went to Barnes and Noble to sign more copies of the book - woohoo.... I went over to the Wal-Mart and asked for the manager. Four of them came over, and were shocked that I had come back - turned out that the groceries were never processed on my card and they just assumed I'd order a new debit card and be done with it.
Wow... people are super crappy in this world if *that* is what they assumed. lololol
The manager the day before said that the register would spit out a "void" receipt and they could just ring that through and charge my card again..... *TODAY*- they informed me that the machine literally shut itself down and when they booted it back up - my entire transaction was gone: so there was no actual accounting of the food I had already taken home and put away.
I stood there for a second - everyone was quiet - and then I asked how I was going to pay them then, if there was no record of what I had bought......?
They all exchanged looks and the lady finally spoke up and said, "Well, you'd have to go through and do all your shopping again - and we can ring it up a second time and have you pay.......?"
It really seemed more like a question than an answer.
So, I grabbed a cart and *from memory*, I carefully loaded up the cart again making sure to choose the same brands and flavors from the day before (so their inventory wouldn't be too far off - I was married to someone in retail you know...... ) and then I met up with the manager again.
As she rung me through, she was *stunned* when it came to $139.82. I couldn't remember what I missing (though I'm suspect that two grubby pairs of sweet baby hands got their mitts on some cookies that I didn't notice or some such thing) ..... so I told her we could just ring through a few more of the spaghetti sauce - but she said no.
Then there was a long pause.
"Honestly," she said, "We can't believe you even came back - AND - than you were willing to go to all this trouble to actually pay for the groceries that you already have at home. I feel bad charging you the $139.82 - so let's not worry about the $12 difference and call it even..... is that ok?"
I guess in retrospect, what had intitally started as a benign trip to Wal-Mart had turned into a near two hour affair over two days.... but isn't that just life? Like - sometimes sh*t goes your way and sometimes... it doesn't. I never understand why people can't do simple things like - wait their turn in line, or (more importantly) wait in line and shut the f*ck up while they do it.
Unless your Christ.... then *YOU* are not too important to stand in a TSA line, or a Wal-Mart line, or well... *any* line. And to that end... Jesus himself would be selfless enough to let everyone else go ahead of him - so... point made.
In fact, while I was waiting for the managers to assemble and standing in from of the Customer Service desk a man dashed up in between me and the counter thrusting out his money order paperwork at the cashier. She leaned around him with her head, gave me the 'apology nod' and said, "Someone will be with you in a second.....".
I quickly, and probably a bit too loudly replied, "Well, I f*cking hope so because I'm far too important to wait my turn in line and I'm shocked you didn't know that already........" To which the cashier started giggling and the man with his Money Order in his hands was looking around all curious like - "Whoooooo? Meeeeee?"
sigh. Stupid, rude people make my brain hurt. sigh.
And, yes, I'm not afraid to drop an fbomb in public, especially for either comedic value, or to prove a point: today it was there for both.
Sometimes I wonder what the world is coming to...... there were times when I really wasn't sure how we would put food on the table - being able to buy food I could afford at Wal-Mart *meant* we had food for the month. What an *AM.AZING* gift that is.... parts of Africa are without clean f*cking water - let alone an air-conditioned grocery store were oddly dressed people often wear house-slippers and push overloaded carts with their plumbers crack showing ..... silly as it sounds, *that* would be a luxury for some people.
For us - it's a funny youtube video.... a way to mock people - and sure: it's funny. I get it, though I have to admit I've always been fully clothed when *I've* shopped at Wal-Mart. lolololol
Why should these managers be surprised - paying for my food is what I'm *supposed* to do - it doesn't make me special or even especially good.... it was just the right thing to do. Plus, doing the right thing got me $12 of free 'plastic' food.... so booyah.... this b*tch will take it!
Mostly though.... I was pretty freaking impressed with my fantastically useless memory that I could - from memory alone - repurchase almost $150 groceries within $12 - that's.... kind of rad.
I mean... there aren't a lot of 'wins' in my world these days (and not usually as awesome as yesterday's) - so I'll take my ability to remember useless sh*t as a win and call it a night.... lololol