The Pull for Power

Yesterday, Gideon and I went to Walmart.  I know a lot of people who love to shop without their kids and while there are times when I love being able to put my car in park and walk unencumbered to the door, I usually miss his shouts about balloons and flags and people in scooters (he points and shouts…slightly embarrassing but I’m guessing we have a few years before he understands why I am pulling his hand down and telling him that pointing is not nice). Once the second kiddo has arrived, I’m sure things will be very different, but for now, Gideon and Mama shop together (don’t get me wrong, we aren’t going to the mall or anything. I avoid that place as much as humanly possible.  We’re just talking groceries here). 

While walking to grab some bananas, we pass a giant bin of pumpkins. As soon as he sees them, he starts squealing.  He’s in love with pumpkins.  He wants all of them – the big ones, the little ones, the white ones that cost a third more than the orange ones, even the gourds.  I pick out one of the three dollar pumpkins from the pile.  It looks like half of the pumpkins in there, medium sized and poorly shaped. I place it in the seat with him and Gideon side hugs the pumpkin while I pick out bananas, loads of cleaning supplies (how did they all run out at once?!), and coffee creamer.

We have under 20 items, so we qualify for the express checkout and walk directly up to the counter. I put the items on the counter, leaving the pumpkin until the last thing, so as not to incite a toddler riot. He’s starting to understand that we have to put things on the counter at the store and though he remains calm, he doesn’t let the pumpkin out of his sight. 

Everything is rung up and in the sacks, just sitting on the round turn style bag thing when I notice that the pumpkin price is listed at $4.17.  I politely tell the cashier that the pumpkins are three dollars.  She looks at the pumpkin and says “The big ones are three dollars.  Not this one.” 

“This one was in the three dollar bin with at least eight others that were exactly the same.”

“Well, this one is $4.17”

“Then it can stay here.  We don’t need it.” I say this without malice of any kind, but with the understanding that if I told her the Roberts milk was on sale at HyVee for $2.50 she could easily adjust my milk price to match it.  She has the power to do it. She is choosing to make this an issue.  I refuse to the play the game.  She doesn’t really know what to do and stands there with her mouth slightly open. I hand her exact change and tell Gideon we’ll get a pumpkin somewhere else.  He raises his eyebrows and nods quickly.  Even he knows that you can’t negotiate with crazy.

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  1. Good work Kim! She probably stood there not knowing what to do because she’s not used to people having limits on how much they’ll spend on something…let alone leaving something at the checkout because it wasn’t the price you wanted, (er, THEY posted). Sheesh. Keep up the good grocery fight. Those crazies are everywhere.

    • Zan
    • October 9th, 2008

    Thank you for giving me yet another reason to avoid Wally World…
    “the big ones are $3.00,” but a medium one cost $4.17. Oh sure, that makes perfect sense. I bet the little mini pumpkins cost $6.00.

    • Kit and Luke
    • October 10th, 2008

    When you said you had a pumpkin for $3 I was going to respond right away with a big “WHAT?!!” I had to pay $4.28 at Walmart for a pumkin this year when in years past they’ve always been $2.98. So I’m actually not suprised she didn’t let you have it for $3, apparently pumpkins cost a ton more this year, like everything else. I bought some anyway though because I can’t resist. I love pumpkins too.

    I probably need to go back to my miserly shopping ways again, but maybe it’s harder now with the extra kids 🙂 Also Luke has become very embarrassed when I go to the service desk to get the 19 cents they overcharged me on raisin bran.

    • Allison
    • October 14th, 2008

    Pumpkins are free now. I see them sitting out on porches everywhere, just grab one. Some of them are even already carved!

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