17 August 2007

Kim vs. The Produce Manager

Jeremy has requested that for my inaugural blog posting, I tell you all how I was forcibly removed from a local establishment this morning. As you can see, he enjoys a) having an outlaw for a wife, b) her public humiliation.

I've been purchasing my own groceries for some time now, and generally can distinguish an "expensive" grocery store from "my" grocery store ("my" grocery store has at least three aisles completely in Spanish). However, I've never really known what stuff is supposed to cost - just how good of a deal am I really getting? A gallon of milk... $1? $2.50? Tomatoes... $.30/lb? $1.50/lb? It's an uncharted area of financial mystery which I usually just leave in the hands of the sullen smock-wearing employees with pricing guns. But today was the first official shopping trip of Howe, Inc. and having recently married a bottomless pit of a stomach, I anticipated a pretty sizable grocery investment. So I thought, today's the day. I will know what everything costs and darn it all, I will get a good deal. So armed with shopping list, pen, and paper, I set out for some hardcore research.

First stop, my old reliable supermarket. I've shopped there for the last 2 years and even supplied our wedding with mountains of lunch meats from the deli. I was halfway through the veggie section, noting with some suspicion that red peppers cost more than green, when I felt a tap on the shoulder.

Stranger: "Can I help you?"
Me: "Um... no?"
"What are you doing there?"
"I'm writing down prices. Is that a problem?"
"Yes it is. We can't have people writing down prices."
"Um... I don't understand."
"Who do you work for? Why are you doing that?"
(Feeling hot under the interrogation lights...) "So I can get a good deal? How else should I do it?"
"Show me your list."
I was feeling a little flustered at this point, so I handed over my notebook, though this was clearly a violation of some federal grocery-privacy act. He proceeded to rifle through the pages.
"I'm going to have to ask you to leave the store."
"Excuse me?"
"You're writing down everything in the store."
"I am not! I skipped the whole cactus and lentil section!"
"These things are obviously not all for you."
"It's our first shopping trip! We eat a lot!"
"I'm sorry ma'am. If you continue to write down prices, you're going to have to leave."
Me: "(mumble mumble)...unbelievable!...ridiculous!... (mumble mumble)" But I dutifully put my paper away, albeit with much show of grumbling and stomping about. (As is my fashion.)

Fast forward to 20 minutes later, having sneakily carried on in the deli section, and then not so sneakily in canned goods, and downright obviously in dairy.

"Ma'am. I'm going to have to escort you out of the store."
And that was it. And all in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Was it worth it, you ask?
Well, let me pose to you THIS question: Should I buy those pork chops for $1.88/lb? Those blueberry pints at 2 for $4? Well, should I?!

Heck yes! And now I know! And knowledge is power--take THAT, The Man!


Nellie said...

Ah sis, what a Revolutionary you are. For the record, you should have offered to do something quite disagreeable with the skipped cactus and Mr.Man's purple space. !Viva tratos buenos!

Jeremy said...

Let me say that I could not be more proud of you sticking it to the man than if you asked her if she wanted a punch in the mouth. Rebel Journalism at it's finest.

nina said...

What a grand entrance to the world of prudent wifehood. I wish I could've seen this!
So maybe not a free Powerbook, or even a free stay at the Hilton, but is there anything that could be "won" from this ordeal...? :)

stacy said...

kimberly joy howe, i am so proud of you and still so proud you are my friend! i would say that 1.88 a pound for pork chops is a GREAT deal while the blueberries you could pass on. I love you!!

Jordan said...

kim, i am anxious to meet you, because this was a stellar story. once i was kicked out of a wal-mart for taking picture of an entire shelf (aka four levels) of hamburger helpler. it's a very threatening experience, isn't it?

nunface said...

you are a very cool person. this just makes me want to get kicked out of a grocery store too. all the cool kids are doing it.

kieffer said...

i'm late (again) on the comment tip, but this is such a fabulous story that i can't help myself. next time, i suggest you call a friend on your cell phone and read off the prices to her so that when mr. man comes to try to stick it to you, you can ward him off with an embarrassingly personal and quite spontaneously pretended conversation about feminine hygeine with your girlfriend (that would be me).

allan said...

Good story. I like this blog already.
Keep them coming.

mama k said...

Hey Hon--I've been so zoned with China, school, football and fairs that I totally missed your blogger debut! And what a beaut it was! In all my 30 years of wifely shopping, I don't ever remember being asked to leave the grocery...I dare say neither has Donna...you've one-upped the mom's already!