Just Heather

We’ve spent a ton of money at Menards in the last few months, for obvious reasons. Last week we returned some extra things we had and bought some new. When we were making the returns, I told the cashier we needed to spend it right away and she said we would be fine. Well, she was wrong-the debits all came through on Monday and the credits were held until Tuesday, resulting in $178 in overdraft fees.

The bank was completely unwilling to waive them even when I had receipts with the correct time stamps. They claimed the problem was on Menards end and they can only refund for a bank error. I was pretty surprised that National City would rather charge $178 that wasn’t deserved than keep a customer. That account will be closed this week.

Onto Menards, where the front end manager said that the cashier was wrong; it takes a couple days to process credits through their bank. She said she should have given us a store credit to use right away. Then she offered to transfer me to the store manager when I asked about getting my $180 back.

He was so rude (and also an idiot!) He said that it goes immediately to our bank and he doesn’t know why our bank would wait. I explained that his service manager disagreed and he didn’t care. I asked if I was just out $178 for choosing to shop at Menards instead of Lowe’s across the street (my exact words). He said “Yep.” I kid you not—the store manager for a company who claims “Guest Satisfaction is our number one goal” actually said that out loud!

I got a phone number for corporate, but he hung up on me when I asked his name. I called back and got it, but it didn’t it do me much good in calling Menards. They do not answer the phone at corporate; they ask for everything in writing and give you the address and fax before disconnecting you.

I sent a letter to corporate via their website, but I also sent the information to our local Call 6 for Help news investiagtion team. I hope to get my money back from someone somehow. In the meantime, I will tell everyone I know how much they all suck!

Dear Mr. Grocery Store Manager:

When your air-conditioning is out on a 90 degree day, the courteous thing to do would be posting a notice on the front door. I would probably have come back tomorrow with my baby instead of roasting both of us, thawing my chicken, and curdling my milk.

Also, you may think it is clever to put a large basket of honey next to the cereal for those who can’t figure out that honey is in the baking aisle should they want some to sweeten their breakfast. However, those baskets sticking out can be dangerous in an already crowded aisle. Case in point, the large bruise I now sport on my ankle caused by said basket snagging my cart forcing it to stop and my moving foot to barrel into its large metal bar.

Dear Mr. Cashier,

You may not have been a math major, but trust me when I tell you 5 times 2 does, indeed, equal 10. Thus, the coupon you are holding that states $1 off 10 baby foods with the big black and white picture that says 2-packs=1 unit means I only have to buy 5 of the aforementioned 2-packs.

Also, that spinning bag holder was intended to go the other direction, which explains why you had to remove my smashed over-filled bags every 30 seconds when they got jammed in between the bag holder and the big metal bar on the other side.

Finally, a 4 pound bag of sugar may not seem like much to you but to my now-smashed bread that’s a whole lot of weight.

Dear Fellow Shoppers,

I am sorry you got stuck behind me in an un-air-conditioned building in 400 degree heat. Next time, don’t ignore me when I turn to you and say “I have a lot of coupons with this.” I’m not bragging. I am simply trying to warn you that although it appears as if the cashier has already rung up eleventy hundred items and there are only 2 on the belt, he hasn’t even started on the coupons.

Also, rolling your eyes after each coupon scanned does not make the time go any quicker. Yes, I do have a coupon for each item. No, I don’t think it is a waste of time. I spent 20 minutes clipping coupons this morning while watching t.v. I just spent an hour in the store. My savings today? $115.05.

I work hard for the money, but I think $100 an hour is pretty darn good considering I get to keep my clothes on.

My brother is getting married in 6 weeks. This, of course, means I need a new dress. Though I am not normally concerned with things like fashion and vanity, I am incredibly concerned about how I will look for the wedding. My two sisters are bridesmaids, my children are flower girls, and my father is the best man. I cannot stand next to my dressed to the nines family and look like the frumpy big sister.

Originally, my little sister—AKA fashion queen—was supposed to shop with me. She hasn’t made it here yet so I actually picked out my own dress, which I am ordinarily not allowed to do because I apparently have horrible taste in clothing. I keep waiting for my sisters to sign me up for What Not To Wear, which I would only pretend to be upset about since it includes a whole new wardrobe.

I found the flouncy, sexy $98 little dress for $24! Twenty-four. Dollars. The sales lady brought me the Oprah bra, of all things, to try on with the dress. The dress looked fabulous and then I found the most perfect shoes in the clearance room. Yes, they have an entire room dedicated to sale shoes.

All this means I had money to spare in my “find the perfect outfit” budget, which brings me back to the Oprah bra. My irritatingly large breasts looked amazing in this bra. They were perky like they haven’t been in years. They stay where they are supposed to, there’s no jiggling, and it is actually comfortable.

I had to have this bra. I needed this bra. A quick look at the $5000 price tag—okay, $62—indicated I should probably run the purchase by hubby. I only had to say “My boobs look amazing” twice before he said to buy it. I am so in love with my awesome boobie bra that I now need it in all 3 colors of all 4 styles.

I will wear this bra until the day I die. And then I will be buried in it so my callers can see how amazingly awesome my boobies look even in death.

Today, for the second day in a row, I actually remember that I, myself, need to eat lunch when I feed my little ones. I reach into the fridge to grab my leftover chicken noodles only to discover they are nonexistent. Apparently, he decided he was more worthy of the meal than I even though I just spent $22 on 15 meals to stock the freezer for him.

Never mind that it trashed my rule of “nothing over a dollar” when I did my grocery shopping this week, thereby completely throwing off my savings calculations for the month. Never mind that since I knew he would take them to lunch every day I didn’t bother to get a single meal I would actually eat myself. Never mind that I am a nursing mother and in desperate need of nutrition. By all means, eat what you like. I’ll just grab something else.

Except we all know that once my original idea went out the window I got distracted and forgot to eat again. (Look! Something shiny!) I guess I could just be happy with today’s news that I’ve lost 25 of my 34 baby pounds. Not that my failure to eat lunch really has anything to do with it. I generally make up the calories with a giant bag of potato chips or these yummy, generic oreo cookies. Not to mention the great deals I’m finding on Christmas candy, which—let’s face it—will never actually last long enough to get in the stockings!

For such tiny things, babies sure need a lot of stuff! When I first found out I was pregnant, I made about 10 different lists—stuff we need, stuff I want, things to do right away, things to do before she’s born, and on and on. I’m a list maker. Spencer’s a list follower, which works out well. The big list of Stuff We Need was rather large and expensive. It included all required baby paraphernalia (Brenia used a lot of Stacia’s old things and they were not looking fit enough to last a third child) and a van. Yes, that’s right, I’m joining the club.

I think I’m the last mom in the county who does not drive a mini-van or suv. I resisted for so many years. Alas, it seems resistance truly is futile. State law still requires Stacia to be in a booster seat and no way are 3 carseats fitting in the rear of my Cavalier. Rommie’s cute, but she’s not so big. Here’s the one I’ve picked out. Saturns make me feel safe, plus this one comes with a DVD player standard! They call it a Family Utility Vehicle so I can still cling to the hope that I will not, in fact, own a mini-van. I’ll call her Serenity. He’ll call her our FU Van. Either way she’ll be large enough to hold all those kids, and the stuff that comes with them.

It’s really too bad we hadn’t already bought one, though Spencer is holding out for the ’06 model that comes with an iPod line-in for the stereo. We sure could have used it on my Toys R Us shopping spree! I had heard of some great clearance baby deals that coupled with some in-store coupons meant huge savings. Some people actually managed to get highchairs and travel systems for free. Since I was, of course, still asleep when the store opened I wasn’t quite that lucky. I did manage to find a few much needed items for a much smaller than budgeted price.

We are now the proud owners of this highchair, travel crib, carseat/stroller system, and bouncing seat all for the bargain price of $200, which I’d like to point out to you is less than the original price on the carseat system alone. Shopping is fun! Of course, there is still a lot on our list of baby needs, but this helps a lot and gives us more budget room for the smaller things. Is it bad that my list for #3 is longer than my cousin’s list for their first? I’m sure it’s just because she doesn’t fully grasp the concept of how much crap these little things need!

I set the crib up that night because it was the last one and had no box. I wanted to be sure everything was in working order. The kids were so excited. I took it back down and packed it away last night. All day, Brenia has asked “Where’s Rory’s bed?” Having baby stuff around makes it so much more real to a 2-year-old. I’m thinking we need to seriously get to work on that Stuff To Do Before Baby’s Born list. Having the room all setup and ready a month or so early would really help with the adjustment. She’s such a routine child. When something changes, it takes her weeks to get settled—which unsettles the whole household. It will be unsettling enough to suddenly have more kids than I have hands. Anything we can do to speed up her adjustment process ranks high on my list of priorities.

We just returned from the store where I paid—gasp—full price for a Kit Kat. As I handled my checkout on the U-Scan register, I asked Stacia to make sure Brenia didn’t touch anything, as she is wont to do. Not 30 seconds later, I hear “Mo-om, Brenia opened a candy bar!” I yanked the bitten into candy away from the toddler, instructed them both to hold onto my cart and do not move, and proceeded to scan the offending candy.

For some reason, my daughter failed to grasp the concept of why she would not be allowed to eat the candy since her little sister had a bite. Hmm, let me think, should I reward her for ignoring her sister when she was specifically told to watch her? Somehow I’m guessing you know my answer on that one.

So here I sit, eating the candy bar that cost a grand total of:

  • $.56 plus tax
  • 5 straight minutes of tears
  • 2 time-outs
  • 4 red poker chips
  • 1 massive, splitting headache

One more thing via Silly Old Bear since I wrote this message in my head all the way home in effort to drown out the chorus of “no fairs” and “I want candy”:

If, as you live your life, you find yourself mentally composing blog entries about it, post this exact same sentence in your weblog.

I giggle at one aisle every, single time I shop at my favorite grocery store. Yet, somehow I just keep forgetting to pass it on. They have recently reorganized the store and gotten all new signage. One sign—above the aforementioned aisle—reads:


I just returned completely empty-handed from a 30-minute trip the grocery store for much needed milk, meat and produce. As I’m sure you all know, I buy nothing that isn’t on sale. So I spent my time walking through the store with a toddler gathering the bargains. I get to the checkout only to discover that my handy dandy Kroger Plus card is not attached to my keychain since it was loaned to my husband in order to save money on our Family Fun Day at Indiana Beach. The cashier says “I’m sorry.” So I politely asked if there was a store card she could swipe to get my discount.

“No, sorry. We don’t do that here.” Then she starts scanning my over-priced groceries. What?! Like I would pay full price for anything. She actually looked stunned when I told her I didn’t want any of it. Then she looked around completely clueless while I left my cart exactly where it was, gathered my munchkin and left the store, passing a manager who barely glanced my way much less noticed me as an extremely unsatisfied customer leaving without my groceries.

If I didn’t have a free $20 gift card to go back and get the stuff tomorrow, I would definitely not be Krogering any time soon. At least I can revel in the knowledge that they won’t actually see a penny of my money.