Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: EMBARRASS(ED) (11/03/16)
- TITLE: Buy One Get One Free
By Claire Cottrell
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“No,” she said. “Is it a good sale?”
“Yes! Here.” I handed her the Winn Dixie sale paper. “See for yourself.” As she scanned the paper and oooed and ahhed over items pictured there, I said, “I’m going tomorrow. You see I’ve circled what I want. Do you want to come with me?”
“Sure. Let’s buy together and split the discount.”
The following day we went to Piggly Wiggly, putting two of each coveted sale item in our baskets.
“Isn’t it amazing how few people there are here?” Bethany asked. There might have been a dozen shoppers in Piggly Wiggly that day.
“Yes,” I said. “When I worked the night shift, I would stop at Winn Dixie’s sister store in Hattiesburg and take advantage of the Buy One Get One Free sale every chance I could. Even early in the mornings, the store was fairly crowded.” I shook my head and tossed in two bags of cheddar cheese. “I don’t know what’s wrong with these Wiggins people!”
Finally, our buggy full, I pulled out my Winn Dixie card, since the paper said purchases were invalid without it. I handed it to the cashier and said, “I have my card. I’m taking advantage of your Buy One Get One Free Sale.”
Bethany and I began loading the items on the conveyor belt.
The cashier looked at the card blankly, then started shaking her head.
“We don’t do that here,” she whispered.
“But I checked the dates,” I said. “The sale isn’t over yet.”
“We’re not trying to ad-match,” Bethany added.
The cashier smiled in a way that meant, Let’s keep this confidential. She shook her head again.
“I wish we did have a Winn Dixie here,” she said. “I would love to take advantage of that sale.”
Suddenly I could not breathe. I looked from the cashier to my Winn Dixie card. My daughter and I looked at one another. A wave of intense heat spread from my head to my toes faster than the speed of light. My daughter looked as if she was reflecting that intense heat. She burst out laughing.
I did not feel like laughing.
Instead, I whispered to the cashier, “Can we go put what we don’t want to buy back on the shelves?”
I raced the buggy around the end of the conveyor belt, past the Customer Service booth and back to the safety of the two walls of the aisle where flour and sugar were shelved. Bethany followed, laughing all the way.
“Mama, your face is so red!” she said, as she wiped tears from her eyes.
“I could just cry, I’m so embarrassed,” I said. “And your face is red, too!”
“You need to lighten up,” she said. “That can happen to anyone. Just think about it! I read the same paper you did and never realized we were going to the wrong store!” She started laughing and wiping her eyes again.
“Your father is going to really think I have Alzheimer’s now!” I muttered as I returned the extra bag of flour to the shelf.
“Even Jake didn’t catch it when I told him what we were doing,” she said, still laughing. Jake was her husband. “And neither did Dad! He was right there when we were talking about it. There's not even a Winn Dixie in Wiggins!”
I grinned. I felt air returning to my lungs. Putting my arm around Bethany, I said, “I just love you! You can always make me laugh!”
So, both of us laughing now, we returned the unwanted items back on the shelf. We made sure we went back to the same cashier’s line to finalize our purchases.
“Thank you so much for being so nice and not causing a scene about our mistake,” Bethany told her.
She nodded her head and smiled.
“I could see you were embarrassed,” she said with a smile. “I once went to the Popeye’s take-out window and ordered tacos and burritos. The entire staff was rolling in the floor laughing at me.”
I smiled at Bethany. She was right. It was time for me to stop taking myself so seriously.
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