I’ve always felt that the bouquet toss at weddings was one of the biggest foes of the single girl: the bride’s little joke on her still-single friends. Please line up, and, if you’re not too humiliated to act eager, elbow your way to prime bouquet-catching real estate while I launch this probably-going-to-fall-apart-midair projectile blindly over my head backwards.
But last night, I discovered another, perhaps greater, foe of the single girl: the two-for-one deal.
Yesterday evening I had to go to Costco. Foolishly, I went while hungry. In a moment of weakness – no, let me stress, hungry weakness, which made the idea of stopping at a more appropriately-sized grocery store in addition to Costco out of the question – I passed through the bakery in search of some bread-like foodstuffs to eat with my dinner d’jour (tomato soup) and picked up a bag of bagels and a small thing of muffins. (Don’t judge; it’s just been one of those weeks.)
I like to go to Costco on weeknights because it’s usually much less busy than on a weekend. For whatever reason, though, everyone was apparently trying to check out at the same time last night. So my line choice was based entirely on minimizing line length and maximizing the distance between me and the large man who was yelling aggressively at his little boy.
It so happens that I’m in the cute checker’s line, the chatty one with the cool glasses. I’ve been in his line before. He was super chatty then, too, and since he’s cute, that’s kind of a problem for me. Because, irritatingly, I still blush like a twelve-year-old when a cute guy talks to me. Or when I’m embarrassed. Or when I’ve been startled by something silly. Cute Glasses Checker starts the check-out process, and inevitably the first things he scans are the muffins and the bagels.
“Hey Stace, what did you want to do for your second one for both of these?” he says.
I look at him blankly. Did he really just call me Stace? I put together that he’s read my name on my Costco card and automatically shortened it to the too-familiar-for-strangers-and-checkers-to-use Stace.
“You did know these were two for the price of one, right?”
I did. Blushing begins.
“Well, I was kind of hoping we could just skip the second one. I won’t go through that much food.” This is what I get for ignoring my healthy-eating-conscience and putting that many calories in my cart.
“Isn’t there anyone you can share them with?” he says. I blush deeper. “Mom? Dad? Friends? Boyfriend?” I’m shaking my head to all of these questions, although I am neither an orphan, nor friendless; but my parents don’t live in the same city, and I’m not good enough friends with anyone where I live to randomly show up at their door with Costco food, which is how his scenario was playing in my mind. And, obviously, no boyfriend. My face is starting to feel really hot at this point.
“You do know you’re paying for both of them, right?” he says. I nod; although, in hindsight – if the deal is two for the price of one, technically, one of them is free, right? So if I choose not to take advantage of the free food which I will not use and which I do not want to take, I’m not actually paying more for the single item than I would without the deal. Right? That very clever logical argument did not occur to me last night.
“They freeze really well!” he says.
“My freezer is really small.” And it is. I live in an apartment with a standard, minuscule freezer, which is already at a fullness that requires excavation and juggling prior to extraction.
“There’s really no one you can share them with? You know, you could just give them out to bums.”
And now I’m annoyed. Just let me leave with my guilt and my muffins already! “What a good idea!” I say. “I’ll remember that for next time.”
Except next time, I’m definitely avoiding his line.