Fuel Points….It’s a Disease

You all know those fuel point things we get when you shop at certain grocery stores with their magically special shopping card. I won’t get started on the “special cards” right now because that will make for its own blog post…since it’s so “special” you know.

Anyway, back to the fuel points….
They are a nice perk which mean you will get a lower price on your gas when you shop for groceries at that store and then buy your gas at their store as well.  It’s a win-win.  Or so it seems until you are witness to the special kind of crazy these fuel points create in normally sane people.

I am one of those innocent victims (although the phrases normal and sane may be a stretch).

It started out innocently enough, I bought groceries and I got a discount on their gas, and life was good. Then, after continuing on in this normal manner for a short time, I needed a gift card for an occasion of some sort that I can’t remember now, so I just picked it up while I was at the grocery store. Sounds good so far doesn’t it?  Saved time and gas by getting it while I was already there.

Then it happened.  I looked at the receipt and saw how much was going to be taken off my next gas fill up from buying that innocent little gift card.  It didn’t happen right away, I just noticed it, thought, “that’s cool”, and moved on with my life.  But the fuel point gremlins started whispering in my ear and without realizing it was happening, I became “Fuel Point Crazy”.

What is “Fuel Point Crazy”?

Fuel Point Crazy – a disease which causes a person to become irrationally obsessed with building up their fuel points to save just a little bit more at the gas pump.

Yep. And let me tell you what a person does when infected with this disease so you will know if you or anyone you love has in fact been infected:

-You will buy gift cards only on the weekends because you get FOUR TIMES the fuel points on these days.

-You will suddenly find yourself reading your grocery receipt for pleasure.

-You will become obsessed with making sure you use all of your fuel points prior to their expiration.

-You will force all those in your household of driving age to line up behind one pump so you can fill all the cars you or your loved ones own with your fuel point savings.

-In the advanced stages of the disease, before going to shop at other stores, you will feel compelled to make an extra trip to your grocery store first just for the purpose of purchasing a gift card for the store you are going to shop at that day…so you can get the fuel points.

My friends, I am sad to announce, I am in the advanced stage and there is nothing I can do.  It has taken hold and it will not release its grip on me.

I will now bow in admiration of the marketing genius behind this insanity….

What is the furthest you have gone out of your way just to purchase something for the end result of increasing your fuel points?

Why Must You Write A Check at the Grocery Store?

Today I attempted to make a quick run to the grocery store for just 2 items. That’s it – only 2. Thus, I made a bee line for the Express Lane expecting it to be the quickest.  Why do I think this?  I do not know.  I’m am pretty sure that the Express Lane has never been express in any sense of the word. Ever.

Most of the time, you get behind those people that apparently cannot count to 15…really how hard is that for an adult…and insist on pushing their baskets which are full to overflowing, and not even remotely close to 15 items or less (you know who you are).  Why?  Do they think that sign is for everyone EXCEPT for them!  Really?!?  This just really irks me.

Other times, you might get lucky like I did today and get in line behind someone that actually has less than 15 items – Yippee!  Its a red letter day!  But not so fast!  it only looks good.  Right up until the lady in front of me separates her items into 3 different transactions….Seriously!?!  It is maybe $15 worth of things….just pay for it all at once for crying out loud.

But wait, the fun has only just begun because then comes the dreaded action for anyone that has ever been in a line at the grocery store….she whips out the checkbook.

Are you kidding me?!?  Did you drive here in a covered wagon?!?!?

I think that there are really people, like this lady, that have no idea what a debit card really is.  It looks like a credit card so they think it is a credit card.  News flash people!!  A debit card is just like a check only the people in line behind you don’t have to wait an eternity for you to slowly (check writers are always the slowest writers on the planet – am I right?) write out every line of your little antiquated check and then write it all down in your little check register.

On top of everything else, these rogue check writing people wouldn’t know what time management is if it slapped them in the face (which did actually flit through my mind. Briefly. I resisted).  Do they start writing everything out on the check except the amount while the checker is running the items through?  Oh no!  They have to wait until the checker is completely finished with the entire transaction before even so much as writing the date on their check – the date will hopefully be the same before the transaction began as it will be after the transaction although in the situation I now find myself that may not be the case…..

I am not known for my patience but this was ridiculous!
To make matters worse, if that were even possible – yes,  you guessed it- she wrote a check for all 3 transactions!

Please go get a debit card.
Thank you.
I’m better now….

My Salad Garden…Epic Fail

I decided I wanted to be able to walk out in my yard and pluck up the ingredients for a delicious salad because I thought it would be very “earth-mother”-ish of me and very organic. Thus I trotted off to the local plant store and bought all the necessary ingredients; lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell pepper and, just for fun, I also purchased some strawberry plants.

I gathered together various sized containers grabbed my soil and started planting.  Once I had finished it actually looked somewhat like a salad garden and now all I had to do was water love them.

A few weeks later things were starting to happen and it looked like the lettuce was big enough to start using.  My son, my husband and I all took a little taste of the lettuce to see how it was, all hoping that it was a wonderful organic experience. This was our hope, but the reality was a mouthful of bitterness which my son and I immediately spit out.  My husband, being the sweet guy he is, ate a couple of bites telling me that it wasn’t that bad and he then proceeded to pluck a whole bunch of the lettuce off to make himself a salad for dinner.  He asked if my son and I wanted some and we passed – that one bite was ample for me.  At dinner he dutifully ate the entire salad and the three of us decided that it was the part that had the more pointed leaves that was the most bitter to us but, again, my husband said it wasn’t that bad and I was doing a great job with my garden.  (Sometimes lies can actually enhance a relationship, just saying….)

A couple more weeks go by and we have all three decided that we didn’t want any more lettuce and we began to notice that the section with the more pointed leaves was getting really tall.  Another week or so and I have decided it is time to trash the lettuce plants and as I uproot it, I have a chance to get a close look at the now very tall pointed leaves section and a tiny thought pops into my head – that doesn’t really look like lettuce.  Well, as I fold it over to fit into the trash bag the realization hits as “milk” oozes forth from that odd section of “lettuce”.

I have fed my family a milk weed!!!

We all survived, including my sweet husband who ate an entire salad of it, but I have now officially retired from gardening.  You’re welcome….

PS.  The strawberries and bell peppers never grew and the tomato plant produced 4 small tomatoes before its untimely death.

I Want My Hair Cut to Look Just Like Hers

Why do I do this to myself?!?
And don’t pretend you haven’t done the exact same thing.

I see a photo of some actress or super model with a great looking hairstyle and I decide I want my hair to look just like that.  Then of course, there is that tiny voice, I try to deny, is there whispering in my ear, “If you get that hair cut, you will look like her….”  What magical part of my mind actually allows the rational side of my brain to think that might be true??  I cannot make it stop.

So, off I go to the local salon with the photo of my new haircut grasped tightly, along with all my irrational dreams, in my hand.  I sit down in the fun little “lifty” chair thing and my stylist asks me, “What would you like done?” at which point I eagerly show her my photo with my eyes full of hope and trust.  I wonder how many times a day the average stylist has to stifle a giggle or the urge to ask, “You are kidding right?” I’m sure my stylist has to do that a lot because there I sit with my limp, thin, awkwardly wavy shoulder length hair asking for a hair style that is thick, board straight, full of body and actually longer than my current hair. Of course what I’m really asking my stylist without saying it or really even thinking it, is:  a face lift, a tummy tuck, collagen injections, botox and possibly some facial reconstruction. However, the magical side of my brain is now in full control and I am fully convinced that this haircut will change everything and I will magical look like a super model when my stylist is finished.

In complete excitement and anticipation, I go off for a shampoo and then the cutting begins.  Mind you, a really experienced stylist can sometimes actually make my hair look like the hair in the photo given enough time and enough products.  Thus, by the time I am done I am happy and only slightly disappointed that I don’t look exactly like my photo and, of course, my magical mind will never inform me that it is because I still look like me and not the super model in that photo.  Mind you, I don’t look bad, but I am no super model.  So, I perk myself up with the thought that at least my hair looks pretty close to what I wanted.

This is fun for maybe one day, then it is time for me to try to recreate the magic that my stylist managed with all her skill, tools and products.  Long story short….that is not gonna happen and eventually I will admit defeat and put my hair back up in the twisty, claw thing that my husband probably thinks is just a part of my hair at this point.

After a few days and a few failed attempts to recreate the magic, I cave in and go back to accepting my hair for what it is….mine and not that of a super model whose hair doesn’t really look like that in her every day world either.

What is your favorite reality or fantasy hairstyle for you?

Freelance Writer