This afternoon, I decided to visit a more expensive grocery store than we usually go to, because we had a $10 coupon that expires today. During the car ride to the store, I was feeling proud of myself for finally remembering to take with me the earth-friendly grocery bags that have been sitting in my pantry for months. Then, right as I exited my car, I realized I had forgotten the coupon.
I weighed my options (go back home and get the coupon, shop without the coupon, or forget the grocery shopping altogether) and decided to go ahead and get a few things without the coupon. I was feeling pretty irritated with myself, because I chronically forget things like this and I don't know why.
As I walked toward the store, I saw two kids throwing bark from the store's landscaping at a passing car, a woman with Down Syndrome stopping to tie her tennis shoe, and several bags of roasted green chile peppers sitting outside on a display table covered in that crushed grocery-store ice.
Then I entered the store and saw all the lovely stacks of fresh produce and fruit. I bought some red organic tomatoes on the vine that were on sale. I took a number at the seafood counter and, when the guy punched the machine twice instead of once, causing it to skip right over my number, I waved my little #17 paper in the air and said, "You skipped number 17." With a straight face, he joked that he was just checking to see if we (the customers) were paying attention. Then he gave me the more expensive salmon at the price of the one on sale.
I wandered over to the bulk section and filled a clear plastic bin with roasted almonds so fresh they practically pop when you chew them. I filled a brown paper bag with whole coffee beans that I am looking forward to grinding and steeping in hot water in my French press tomorrow morning. I stopped suddenly mid-aisle to turn my cart around, not noticing the man behind me, who pulled back his cart to make room for me and said, "I brake for pretty girls!" (It's always nice to receive a completely unexpected compliment.)
By this time I didn't care anymore that I had forgotten the coupon. It's a privilege to be able to shop at such a nice grocery store, to be able to buy good, fresh food and bring it home. I left the store in a great mood.
As it turns out, I was able to have my cake and eat it too, because my fiancé and I stopped by the same grocery store again later this evening, on our way home from the dog park, and this time I remembered to bring the coupon.