The Frazzled, Harried Shopping Day with No Money


Yesterday I was busy, squared.  I planned my whole day around running down to Dublin before 4:30 to get some free samples from my sister’s doctor. Sis is in the doughnut hole for meds with Medicare, which means they are expensive.

On the way down to Pleasanton, I got a call from one of her doctors. On the way back I got a call from another one of her doctors.  Three doctors in thirty minutes. It’s a good thing she’s got me to handle all of this. Everybody needs a person to take over when they can’t do for themselves anymore.

It was 4:15, and I had two hours to kill before chorus.  I stopped at my favorite thrift store, where I planned to shop for more homeless stuff.  When I parked and reached for my purse, I realized I’d left it at home.

The Wells Fargo was in the same parking lot. I grabbed my car title, insurance card, library card, and other stuff and headed to the bank. The teller listened to my sad story and said that I couldn’t withdraw any money without a photo I.D.

My purse was fifteen miles up the freeway and then it would be fifteen miles back again to chorus practice.

I must’ve looked:

  1. Sad
  2. Old
  3. Pathetic
  4. Harmless

because she went to get her manager.

Two weeks ago I forgot to go to my hair color appointment.  The gray stripe on the top of my head might’ve worked in my favor, for once.

The manager came over and asked me to enter my PIN number.  Then he asked me about a monthly check that I deposited, asking who wrote the checks. I answered correctly. Then he asked me about the monthly check that I write. To whom do I write the check? I answered correctly. He nodded to the teller, and she asked me how much money I wanted to withdraw.

She gave me $100.  My shopping hour was saved. I was back in business. I didn’t have to sit in the car reading a library book in the cold.

I walked back to the thrift store and found more stocking caps for the homeless, college logo t-shirts (another project), and random stuff that seemed reasonable to buy with a 30% off Tuesday senior discount.

When I got to the register, I told the young check-out dude guy that I only had $100, and I divided my pile into the must have and the wanna have stuff. I pulled back the Sponge Bob lunchbox, and together the young checker and I watched the bill climb closer and closer to $100. In the end I only had to pull out one more item and closed out my sale at $99.54.

By the time I loaded the car and drove across the street to the church where chorus would rehearse, it was 5:30. I only had half an hour of reading in the car before the program stuffing would begin. When I walked in, there were already a dozen people there to help.

I usually hide a credit card in my car for those purse-less days. I’ve had more and more of them this year. Sometimes I have so much other stuff to bring that I forget the most important thing.

You can get a $250 ticket these days for not having your driver’s license with you while driving.

I wonder if I’d been stopped if I could’ve gotten out of a ticket by looking

  1. Sad
  2. Old
  3. Pathetic
  4. Harmless

Gray stripe or no gray stripe on my head, probably not.

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