Jeff said to me this morning, “You haven’t written a blog in 10 days.” I replied, “We haven’t done anything worth writing about.” He agreed, and went back to slurping his coffee. (I make a damn fine cup o’ joe—Yuban brand, half and half, a sprinkle of cinnamon, sugar, and a squirt of whipped cream. Indulgent, yes, but it’s a pleasant way to start a day.) Little did I know that just a few hours later I’d be writing about something as stupid as buying a bag of ice.
After we finished our morning ritual, we headed out on the bike to the library to return some books, and Jeff remembered that we need to buy ice while we’re out. We go through approximately five bags a week, so we are old hands at remembering to buy ice, it’s that important to us. We are ice using people. One of my favorite things in life is a glass of ice water on my desk all day as I work.
Our favorite store to buy ice is Publix. It doesn’t have that funny, stale-freezer taste that some other stores have. The cubes are the right size and are easy to chew (I’m an ice chewer, but that’s a topic for another day). They are also the right shape, a hollow tube. For some reason that shape seems to last longer.
We could pick it up first thing, as soon as we walk in the door, but that only works if ice is the only thing we’re buying. We’re usually in the store for a while and the ice will melt if we put it in the cart first. So we make that the last thing we pick up. When stores put the ice cooler by the exit, after the checkout counters, we cannot logistically make it the last thing we put in the cart. We have to remember to tell the cashier that we want to buy a bag of ice and pay for it first. Neither of us can seem to do that, no matter how hard we try, no matter how many times we remind each other “Pay for the ice,” no matter how often I add it to the list, or even write it on my hand.
So today, we went to Publix on the way home from the library to buy a bag of ice. I even reminded Jeff, “Hey, this is the Publix that has the ice after the cashier, so let’s not forget that.” After all, we were only there for ice, but figured while we’re there, we’ll get a couple things. Well, we found those things, stood in line, paid for them and got all the way back out to the parking lot before we realized we didn’t buy ice. So Jeff had to go back inside, stand in line AGAIN, and tell the cashier he needs a bag of ice. Thank god he remembered it that time.
Seriously, I do not understand why stores do this. I refuse to believe they’re doing it just to be dicks, so I have to wonder: do they think it’s more convenient? Are they trying to help us? Cuz it’s not and they’re not. It’s like Bank of America telling me that they allow purchases to go through on my debit card even if there’s not enough money in the account, as a “convenience” to me (at a cost of $35 for the overdraft charge). Even after I told them that this is actually an inconvenience, and asked them to please stop helping us, they continued to ding us every time Jeff would just use the card to buy a pack of smokes or whatever nickel and diming he was doing (he was assuming that if there wasn’t enough in the account, the purchase would be denied). So, yeah. Don’t try to help me in ways that disturb my chi. Please.
How ‘bout a little standardization: why don’t you stores all put the ice with the frozen foods, near the end of the typical shopper’s flow, so it’s the last thing we see as we approach the cashiers? And then, if I don’t have enough on my card to pay for the ice, the bank can decline the purchase because otherwise that $2.00 bag of ice is going to cost me $37.00. I don’t need it that badly. I can always pull out the old fashioned ice trays and make my own.
I feel better now, having ranted a bit. Who knows? Maybe this only happened because Jeff mentioned over coffee this morning that I hadn’t written anything in a while and I said we hadn’t done anything worth writing about. Be careful what you witch for, eh?
You know what sounds good right about now? A cup of iced coffee. I’ll drink to that!