3% or three percent

If you saw a checkout ad that said: "3% off your next purchase if you pay with a debit card"... what would you expect? A coupon for 3% off your next purchase? Hey - me, too! Not so in the land of IKEA... perhaps discounts work differently in Sweden?

Scout and I were purchasing a dresser (to store lil blue onesies for the lil dude) at the famous "build your own furniture with nothing more than a tiny pseudo-tool" store, and after hauling the heavy boxes off the 60 foot high shelves, loading them onto our cart the size of a small car, and rolling it to the register ourselves, I opted for the "self-check" lane. It only seemed fitting... also, there were only two registers with actual humans working them, with about 45.7 people in each line, while there were 8 self check registers open, with nobody in line.

I start scanning the items when I notice the sign offering 3% off your next purchase... well, we were planning on paying with our debit card anyway, so that seemed like a good deal. Then I surveyed our items, 3 items for $9.99 each, and 1 item for $299.99 (what a deal, saving that penny off $300). And JUST THEN... I had a brilliant idea! If I purchased the smaller items first, I could get the 3% discount to use on the big ticket item.

Of course, I had already shot the items with the little "beep" red laser gun, so I had all the items on the screen. At a self checkout line. After flagging the yellow shirt guy down, I explained to him what I wanted to do, cleared it with him that I could use the coupon today, for a purchase 10 seconds from now... he confirmed, and voided my big ticket item. Yay!

A swipe of the debit card (isn't it magical - it practically seems free!), a spit up of the receipt, and I was ready to save 3% off my $300 dresser. Except... where is my 3% coupon? Nooooo... there IS NO THREE PERCENT COUPON. What I got was this: a statement at the bottom of my receipt saying that I could get $0.98 off my next purchase. WHAT???? So, my savings was really 3% of my current purchase that I could use towards reducing the price of my next purchase. IN WHICH CASE... I would have made my purchases in the OTHER ORDER... HAD I KNOWN! I opted not to try to void the whole transaction (mostly cause Scout was glaring a hole in my back), and decided to just make the next purchase.

Here we go: scan box of furniture, scan bar code on the receipt offering a whopping ninety eight cents discount, and... nothing. Well, except an error code asking for Yellow Shirt assistance. Sigh... another Yellow Shirt guy shows up, and tries to enter the code for the discount... over... and over... and over... again. He just can't figure it out. Scout is now growling and frothing at the mouth, and says, "can we just leave for 98 cents?" And I said, "NO! It is the principle!" (Plus, I was pissed that I had been foiled by the 3% discount misleading advertising). So we got a Yellow Shirt girl to come over and enter the discount. Which amounted to a .33% (don't miss that period, it says POINT three three percent) savings on the dresser. So, now I have $9.73 to spend next time I go to IKEA... and use my debit card.... and get another 3% "discount"... and as the King says: "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera"!



Scout, Crush and I took a trip over to the in laws house last weekend. They were hosting a retirement party for a family friend, and we went to help... um, and enjoy the party - it was a win/win. They live about 2.5 hours away - over a couple rivers and through the woods (if you consider grapevines "woods"), and past one speedway. On Sunday, there was a huge race (so I hear, not that I know anything about car racing), and we thought we would be stuck in traffic forever. We couldn't take the back way (because the giant puppy gets carsick, and giant puppy means giant... well, just imagine). Turns out, everyone must have already been grilling and chilling in the parking lot at the speedway, and we flew right by it - no traffic at all.

Cruising home, I was thinking: oh, this is going well... no traffic, I didn't have to stop a hundred times to go to the bathroom, dog hasn't puked (yet). We are nearing our exit, and I see a white car parked on the side of the road... with a guy standing pointing something at me... then we pass... then he gets in his car... then I mutter some nasty words... then Scout starts looking for insurance papers and my license... I pull over one lane and pretend that maybe he is going to pass me... he doesn't buy it, and flashes his lights at me. Crap. So I pull over (underneath the sign announcing my exit in 3/4 mile). I pull off the side of the road reaaaaallll far, so maybe he'll notice my consideration for his safety, and tell me that I am a fine upstanding citizen, and to slow down a little.

He walks up to the car on Scout's side, and my darling husband immediately hands over my paperwork. The guy takes it and says, I'll be back with these in a few minutes... and LEAVES! That was it - no "Do you know how fast you were going?", "Where are you going in such a hurry?" (which I had a good response to - "I'm 7 months pregnant, officer, and I reaaaaallly have to go to the bathroom, and I am almost home."). Just walks back to his car, grabs the clipboard from Poncherello, and starts writing. COME ON! I don't even get a chance to cry? Stupid state budget... if it wasn't so messed up, maybe he would have listened to my lame excuses, and maybe - just maybe - I would have gotten off with a warning. But noooo... Arnie needs money, and I was an easy target. (Yes, I am the victim in all of this, never mind my breaking the law).

Officer H walks back and hands me the ticket, checks off a box on his quota for the state budget reform worksheet, and I am free to go. Scout says nothing as I berate him for handing over my cards too quickly, ruining my attempts to cry my way out of it. Then I start complaining about how I am so annoyed I got a ticket, and make a comment about how I can't harass him about being the last one to get a ticket. He starts laughing, and says, "This is why you're so pissed, isn't it? It's not about the ticket, it's cause you are now the last one to get caught, and you can't make fun of me." Damn him and his mind reading. He laughs some more, good and loud. I inform him that his entertainment is going to cost us money, but he writes it off and says that this will be a bargain for all the times I have gotten away with speeding.

We make it home safe and sound, 5 minutes from the scene of the crime. I pull into the driveway, shift the car into park, lean back on my headrest, and hear the dog puke. Yep, she made it the whole way, and then puked while we were parked in our driveway. Sigh... maybe if there had been more traffic at the speedway, I wouldn't have had to make my own speedway.


doggie day care???

Princess Puppy is at doggie day care right now... Yes, doggie day care. I never thought I would type that, let alone live it. I am not sure which road I turned down that led me here, or which turn I missed, but here I am. With a dog. At doggie day care.

I can rationalize it in my head... we aren't actually PAYING for doggie day care today. We got one free session when we bought our training classes. Kind of like when you buy fancy Air Jordans, they come with a "free" set of laces. And we aren't sending her there on a regular basis. She is there today so that when we drop her off for overnight visits (should we have a desire to jet off to Paris one weekend), she is familiar with the place. See? It all makes sense when I explain it like that... but still!!! Doggie day care?


closet cleaning

Since the little dude is going to be arriving in a few months, we decided to clean out the guest closet. He'll need someplace to store all his diapers, onesies, and stuffed animals. And eventually, his rocks, bugs, frogs and other collectibles (I don't need to include worms in that list, since we already store those in the garage).

Here are the treasures we found in the closet:
  • 4 sleeping bags
  • 6 mats for camping (yes, for 2 people - you never know what thickness you are going to need)
  • 3 suitcases
  • 1 wetsuit
  • 5 blankets
  • 3 quilts (they all landed in the space saver bags, which resulted in me blowing the fuse 3 times while shrinking them down)
  • 284 baseball cards that are actually my sister's, but my mom thought they were mine, so she sent them to me. Yes, my sister wants them back, and was pissed when she found out I had them... she could make millions!
  • 5 backpacks
  • 4 duffel bags (one from my high school basketball team with my name embroidered on it... I brought it camping, and my friend actually "booed" me when I got it out of the car... yes, high school rivalry apparently lasts 15 years)
  • 1 messenger bag
  • 1 guitar (I have never heard the strings strumming in my house)
  • 1 wedding dress in a box

As we were emptying out the closet (and promptly stuffing all the crap in the OTHER guest room closet, so we can postpone actually organizing until we have the next kid), I yelled to Scout from the hallway, "Don't forget my wedding dress - on the top shelf!" He pulled it down, looked at it, and said, "Did you actually wear this? It looks so small..." (then he looked at me, my mouth agape) and continued, "...I know I can't save this comment... I love you very much." We both started laughing, and I reminded him that this was not a good time to be making remarks about size, and maybe he would like to sleep in this guest room tonight? And he says that I open my mouth without thinking...



Since the dawn of time (8.5 years ago), Scout and I have used different toothpastes. He uses Crest (gross), and I use Colgate. We have had two toothpastes (say that five times fast) in our bathroom forever, since neither side will back down in the toothpaste war (just doesn’t have the same ring as “cola war”).

Last week, I went to Tarjay to purchase some household items. Now, I love Tarjay, but one of its flaws (not MY flaws, it is an unwritten rule on the door) is that I have to circle the entire store in case there is something I need along the way. As anyone who has found themselves in the cross hairs of the red target knows, it is a LONG way around the perimeter of their acreage. So by the time I got to the toothpaste section, I was tired, cranky, had to pee, and wishing that I had a cart instead of a basket laden with “necessities”.

I turned down the toothpaste aisle, and was confronted with a dizzying array of tooth cleaners by my beloved Colgate. Did I want: whitening? brightening? cavity fightening? As I looked at the collection of products – no less than 10 feet long, top to bottom shelf full – I wondered: which one do I have now? I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t even remember if I had paste or gel, which seemed like a pretty basic factor. At least I would be able to eliminate half of the products. And seriously – what is the difference between cool mint, clean mint and crystal mint? Will the minty sparkle make my canines look like they are all dolled up in stripper glitter? I’m not sure that is the look I am going for…

As my bladder screamed and my patience waned, I decided to just buy regular, plain old original Colgate. I scanned the rows, and found an empty section with a Sale tag sticking out, taunting me. Since I could not handle making this life altering decision, I headed to the checkout line with a huff, resigning myself to Crest clean teeth. It seems easier - it is already in my house, next to my toothbrush, and although I don't like it, I just couldn't decide which of the 32 (yes, THIRTY TWO - I looked it up on the Colgate website) varieties should come home with me.

So, we are now a onepaste house.