Puff, the Disappearing Greeting Card


© Jeanne E Webster.  All Rights Reserved

Cloudy, chilly with a hint of spring yet an aftertaste of winter still lingered. Echoes of a family situation to a tiny degree…perhaps?

We managed to partake of Italian sweet sausage and eggs for breakfast, with a side of homemade bread, butter and plum preserves. Jake and Molly, our resident cockatiels, placed their order for buttered toast and egg yolks and thoroughly enjoyed their gobbling.

Our trainers, Lacey and Misty, the jaunty Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in our midst, allowed us to walk them for their morning toilet rituals, and upon returning to the mud room, announced their desires for three milk bones with a beggin’ strip on the side, please. After their habitual “You can pet me now” and performing their civic duty of disposing of any and all crumbs that perchance landed on the tile floor under our dining table, they retired to their snuggle beds for a mid-morning nap.

We took their absence to be a good time for an outing away from the “kids,” which amounted to grocery shopping at the local “Wal*M” store. I must add here that we have convinced our “kids” that we are mighty hunters, as they stand in awe every time we return from town with all those goodies. We get respect wherever we can!

Anyway, the shopping spree was truly an outing, as one must walk the entire length of the store (I call it a warehouse) probably four times to gather all the items on the list. My husband usually arranges the necessary items in a list according to how they are on display in the store. This works well until the next time the store performs a redo.

Pharmaceuticals are on the right as you enter the north door, next you’ll find the hardware assortments, with clothes and kitchen and bath supplies stacked on the right, continue left past the toys, photo lab and shoe department, and you end up in the grocery aisles to the right. Up and down the food aisles a number of times, trying to find the items that are there no more, you stop an employee and ask for assistance and are usually referred to the mystery aisle of the day. Upon arrival, you see the longed for item staring at you from the aisle you have passed six times already.

You’ve finally made it to the checkout area and scan for the quickest exit lane, when it dawns on you there is no quick exit today. You would think Saturdays would call for a few, I say, a few more checkout personnel to speed up the process. Naw! Why spoil your fun?

Grumbling, you shuffle to the nearest checkout lane, slap down one of those black separator sticks, and begin loading your paraphernalia on the ever-rolling belt. Your items are hastily bagged and plunged into an empty carriage as you slide your plastic card across the magic black box, quickly review the total cost, and are handed your long, too long white receipt. Whew!

One problem awaits though…you drive the 10 miles home, carry the items into the house, put them away and a little tiny, wee light bulb comes on!

“Honey, did you see the birthday card we bought for Henry?”

“No, Sweetheart, I’ll check out the empty bags.”

Silence blankets the kitchen area while the hunt is on for a birthday card.

“I don’t see it, Dear.”

“Well, check the receipt; maybe it is still in the store and didn’t get checked out.”

“It’s on the receipt, Honey, we paid for it.”

“Well, I guess the checker didn’t get it put into our bags!”

By now our brains have been processing our next choices: drive all the way back to the store and check for the card…or, since it only cost $2.95, we’ll just forget it and next time watch closer when our stuff is packed. Hmmm. I’ll let you figure that one out!

Have a nice weekend and stay warm. Oh, yeah, if you happen to be at that store, would you take my receipt with you …?