Tuesday, May 7, 2013

You're All Mixed Up Like Pasta Primavera

Let me tell you a story about (a man named Jed--I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself)--

Let me try this again.

Let me tell you a story about (not Jed not Jed not Jed!) karma.

About a month ago, Griffin signed me up to make cracker candy to sell at a fundraiser called Relay for Life. The night before the event, after my weekly Friday coffee outing with the kids, I walked over to Publix from Starbucks to buy the ingredients: butter, brown sugar, crackers, and 2 bags of chocolate chips. I also bought pizza dough for that night's dinner.

It was pouring like crazy, and I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but nobody (but me) has any idea how to drive in the rain, so the 3-mile trip home from Starbucks/Publix took about twenty minutes. Between the rain, the so-called drivers who for some reason seem to not understand that the gas pedal is on the right, and Keifer being his usual charming self, I was in a horrible, frustrated mood by the time I got home. As soon as I walked through the door, I dropped the paper grocery bag on the counter (nothing had to be refrigerated since the butter was going to have to soon be melted and the pizza dough had to sit at room temperature for an hour or so) and went upstairs to Griffin's room so we could watch an episode of Mad Men. After it was over, I went downstairs to start prepping for the cracker candy; naturally, the first thing I did was empty the bag. Out came the pizza dough, the two bags of chocolate chips, the box of crackers, and...nothing else. The butter--the goddamned fucking butter that I just paid almost 4 dollars for and absolutely could not make the cracker candy without--was not in the motherfucking bag.

I wanted to kill.

Now, before I go any further, I should tell you that there's a Publix closer to my house than the one where I'd bought the butter, and it would have made a lot more sense for me to go to that one, but I was so incredibly angry, I wanted to do nothing but take out my wrath on the people at the Publix that fucked me. Plus, I planned to not only get the butter I wasn't given but also a full refund for the butter because of my trouble. Since I had my receipt, I knew getting the butter wouldn't be a problem, but I wasn't so sure about getting my money back at a scene different from the crime. So despite the rain, the bad drivers, and the fact that my kids were waiting for me to bake them a pizza, I got in my car grasping my receipt and my fury and drove off to a Publix where I didn't need to go.

I know from the description I just gave, you probably think I stormed into Publix screaming like a maniac, but that's not true. I was a waitress for 7 years and worked in retail/restaurants for 2 years prior, so I know better than to talk to people the way I always hated being talked to. I calmly went in with my receipt, walked up to the customer service department, and explained my situation. When I said I wanted a refund for the butter, the woman behind the counter told me she couldn't do that and would need to call her manager; I said fine, and when  he came over, I repeated the story to him.

...and I don't just want the butter. I want something for the trouble of having to come back in the rain because somebody here made a mistake.

What do you want? We'll give you the butter.

Of course you'll give me the butter. But I want something else. I'd like the butter comped.

Are you sure you left the butter here? That it didn't fall out in your car? Nobody reported any butter being left.

I was, in fact, sure the butter didn't fall out in my car. First of all, I got a paper bag, not plastic, and once you set one of those suckers down, it stays pretty much the way you  put it. Second, before I left the house in a huff, I had Griffin check my hatch. Butter was nowhere to be found. Did this man really think I went home and drove back in the pouring rain to try to steal not even 4 dollars and a few sticks of butter? Mister, please.

Yes, I'm quite sure.

Okay, I can do that for you.

About 45 minutes after I left my house, I got back to it. I walked into the kitchen and, having decided to make the cracker candy in the morning because I was in no mood to make it that night, I went directly to the refrigerator to put the butter away, and I know you know what I'm going to say, I know you know that I'm going to say I'm the biggest fucking idiot, and I know you know that I actually am the biggest fucking idiot because the first thing I saw when I opened my refrigerator was the goddamned motherfucking piece of shit butter. It was right there on the top shelf like it had been all fucking long.

Apparently, not only am I bitch, I'm a stupid bitch, and not only am I a stupid bitch, I'm a stupid, thieving bitch. A stupid thieving bitch who had (still has since she only used one stick) stolen butter in her fridge.

My initial instinct was to get in my car and return the butter. I called my sister and told her the story, and she told me that I absolutely could not do that. It's just butter, she said. Yeah, it might just be butter, but I'm not a thief. Still, I let the butter sit.

For the next week, I told the story of the butter five or six times. I'm not entirely sure why--I guess maybe I thought the more times I told it and the more times people told me it wasn't a big deal, the better I'd feel. And it worked. After a few weeks, the butter incident just kind of disappeared from my mind.

Until yesterday when it came back.

Last week when I went grocery shopping, I was looking through my receipt on my way to the car and realized I was charged twice for some item (I don't remember what it was) of which I only bought one. After I put my bags in my car, I went back into Publix with the receipt, told the manager I was charged twice and got my money back. It was 3 dollars and change. Probably right around the same amount as the pilfered butter.

Yesterday while I was standing in the kitchen eating a hard boiled egg, I picked up the receipt from this week's trip to Publix and noticed that I was charged 3 times for prepackaged mahi-mahi even though instead of 3 packages, I'd bought 2.

My immediate reaction was annoyance. Why was I too dumb to look at the register when I was being rung up? Did I really have to go back to Publix to get my $7.99? And what if the manager was the same one from the previous week? Would he even believe me? What was the likelihood that something was rung up an extra time for the same person two weeks in a row? Why the fuck did things like this keep happening to me?

And then I knew.

It was (the Dukes! It was the Dukes! God, I'm sorry--I just cannot stop doing that)--
the butter.

The motherfucking butter.

Karma had come.

The first time it came, the price was right around the same as the original price, but too blind to see what was really going on, I swatted it away. The second time it showed up, the price had doubled. I knew if I went back and got my money for that motherfucking fish, next time the price would be even higher.

I didn't go back.

We think the things we do won't catch us.We think we can outrun them, outsmart them


We're wrong.


  1. Not trying to laugh at your misfortune or anything, but all of this was really hilarious!

    1. Yes, well--I'm a surprisingly hilarious person :)