Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stay Away From the Books

Today I went to Target. It sounds harmless enough doesn't it? Well it's not when you're as financially challenged as I am. I NEEDED a few things, you know, for survival purposes. My budget is extremely low so I made a list to ensure I wouldn't spend too much. My list was as follows:
1) Notebook (for Cheryl)
2) Pens
3) Clicky Pencil (this is the scientific term for Mechanical Pencil)
4) Folders
5) Shampoo
6) Loofah (yes that's a necessity)
7) Laundry Detergent
See just a nice simple list. As I drove over, I told myself Stick to the list! Stick to the list! And no matter what, do NOT go down the book aisle. I had a plan, I was going to stick to it.
I walked confidently into Target and picked up a basket (notice just a basket, not a cart...budget tactic number one). I chose a route which would take me directly to the school supply section bypassing clothes and shoes (budget tactic number two). Unfortunately on my way over to the school supplies something shiny caught my eye. And yes I am that pathetic...something shiny...like a moth to a flame. It was the jewelry section, but more importantly the watch section. I needed a new watch. The ten dollar cheapo watch I had purchased a week before had successfully worn away the skin around my wrist and so naturally I needed to upgrade to something more classy like a $15 dollar watch. It was just a tiny added expenditure. And so the first item to enter my basket was $15 worth of "not on my list." After that I was right back on track. I headed straight to the school supplies. Just stay away from the books I repeated to myself. I found myself standing in an aisle filled with folders and notebooks and overflowing carts manned by women arguing over what to cook for dinner. These women were standing between me and Cheryl's 3 subject notebook. Not wanting to be rude, I slipped back out the way I came and attempted to cut around by way of the next aisle over. But when I turned to go down this particular aisle, again I was met with arguing women and overstuffed carts. I jumped over another aisle...same thing. Without thinking I turned down the next aisle over only to be met with shelves stacked with...you guessed it...books! "How did this happen?" I said aloud, a wide grin spreading across my face. "I'm not supposed to be here," I whispered to the books. I looked suspiciously around. Don't touch them! I tried to walk away, I did. But then the Shopaholic Series was staring me right in the face. I'd heard good things...I wondered if I'd enjoy them...just needed to read the first page...I reached out...I picked up...dammit the book was in my hand. I read the first page and laughed out loud. I wanted it, but there were so many of them. No! Wait till Christmas! I put the book down. Hurrah! Good job me. I continued to walk down the aisle, and then I saw it. My eyes lit up like they do when someone sets a package of oreos and a glass of milk in front of me. There in front of me was none other than The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro. "Mine!" I proclaimed, picking it up without thinking and depositing it in my basket. Then right next to it another Laurie Notaro book, I Love Everybody (and other Atrocious Lies). Again I reached out and grabbed it up, but my reason rose up for one last stand, keeping me from depositing it in my basket. No Bridget...too much money. I flipped the book over, $12.95. I quickly grabbed up the other one from my basket and flipped it over $11.65. $25, no Bridget you can't afford that. You can buy it cheaper on Amazon.com. Yes, I could buy it cheaper. The books start to gravitate back toward the shelf and then the crazy half of me rebels, But if you buy it used for $2.95 is that really supporting the author? Laurie needs our support. Buy her book for real! Dammit. Laurie is my hero, she's so damn funny, I have to help her. And into the basket the books go. That's $40 of "not on my list" floating around in my basket if anyone's keeping track (not including tax!). I gathered up the rest of the items on my list (minus the detergent because my basket was too full for that at this point) and I'm almost to the checkout when I realize how hungry I am. I'm suddenly convinced that I will perish before ever reaching my apartment again if I don't eat something in the next 5 minutes. I rush over to the snack aisle and pick up a little 97 cent box of Honeynut Cheerios. Good investment. Unfortunately I exit the aisle on the other end which backs up to the coolers. I just scan over them as I walk toward the checkout, and then I notice the little tiny pizza in there. Mmm...pizza. I don't even like frozen pizzas, but I suddenly felt the NEED to have this one. I picked one up ($5 of "not on my list") and scurried for the checkout. That's $45 dollars of "not on my list." Somehow this hasn't even registered in my head as the innocent cashier tells me my total. My face takes on a psychotic look of dismay as she asks for $72 dollars. I just stare back at her. Oh holy geez. It's not all for me, I try to comfort myself, as if Cheryl's $2 notebook was what had sent me soaring over my $20 budget. "You owe me big Laurie," I mutter out loud as the cashier gives me a strange look. "Real big."

2 comments:

Ryne said...

This sounds like every one of my 'trips' to ebay or a clothing store.... money=satan

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