Balancing The Books

So I did the most incredibly dumb thing last week, and you’re the only one I’ve told, because it’s so embarrassing, so don’t say anything to anyone, okay?

A couple of Sundays ago, I was in a hardware store in the next town to buy some white spray paint and other odds and ends. I’d recently purchased this very cool antique wicker chair and side table, but they needed freshening up, and just like I prefer hem tape to actual sewing, I also will spray paint literally anything if it means avoiding using a paint brush. I got up to the checkout and paid for everything, then went home, but when I took my purchases out of the bag and saw the receipt, I realized that it said 2@$9.99 instead of 3. I felt a little guilty that I’d gotten a free can of spray paint, but whatevs, am I right?

But then, after the incident at the fabric store last week where I got away scot-free with the right sized foam cushion in direct defiance of the “No Foam Exchange” policy, I started to worry about the can of spray paint and maybe that I should go back to the hardware store and pay for it. And no, this wasn’t me trying to be morally superior—this was me believing very strongly that by circumventing the laws of economics and physics (you may be wondering why I said ‘physics’—here is the explanation: up until the moment that I looked at the receipt, I had a can of Schrodinger’s spray paint, in that I had simultaneously paid and not paid for it. I would have made a great physicist because I’m very good at explaining made-up sh*t.) and it occurred to me that I had just double-dipped into karma and maybe it would come back to haunt me in an unpleasant and costly way.

Anyway, I happened to be going by the hardware store in question the other day, so I decided to stop and pay for the spray paint:

Me: Hi there. A couple of weeks ago, I bought three cans of spray paint here, but I was only charged for two. I’d like to pay for the third one now.
Sales Clerk: That’s fine. Just take the third one.
Me: No, no—I GOT three but you only charged me for two. Is there a way I can pay for the third one that I DIDN’T pay for?
Sales Clerk: Take it up to the front. I’ll explain it to the cashier and she can figure it out.

Since I didn’t have the can with me, I went to the spray paint aisle but they were sold out of white so I took a can of black spray paint to the front:

Me: Hi there. A couple of weeks ago, I bought three cans of spray paint here, but I was only charged for two. I’d like to pay for the third one now.
Cashier (whispers): It’s okay, hun. You can just take it.
Me: NO, I want to pay for it. But it’s not the right colour—will that affect your inventory?
Cashier: What?
Me: I don’t have the receipt, sorry—is there another way you can get the right code?
Me: I don’t want THIS spray paint. I just want to pay for the one I got that you didn’t charge me for two weeks ago.
Cashier: Oh! Seriously? If it was me, I would have just kept it. No problem, here, just give it to me.
Me: But this isn’t the can I got! The one I got was white! Can I just give you the money for it?!
Cashier: Sigh. Give me a minute. I can grab the bar code off the shelf. (Leaves then comes back with tag.) OK, with tax, that comes to $11.29. Do you want a bag for the spray paint?
Me: This isn’t my spray paint.
Cashier (confused): Okay, have a nice day.

So I was finally able to restore balance in the universe, even though it was in an absurdly random, Monty Python-esque way. Or so I thought. Because two days ago, I was tidying up and saw a receipt sticking out of a bowl on one of the kitchen shelves—it was the original receipt for the spray paint. And it said 2@$9.99, just as I remembered. And further down, after the cleaning supplies and the belt I’d bought as a gift for Ken, there was a third charge. For $9.99. For the third can of spray paint. Which I had just paid for AGAIN. So now the universe owes me.

And on a lighter note:

This Facebook ad made me remember a recent conversation with Ken:

Ken: Hey, can you pass me one of those…those…tooth knives?
Me: You mean a ‘serrated knife’, such as one might use for steak?
Ken: Yeah, one of those.
Me: Okay, but you realize now that you can no longer make fun of me for referring to the hedge trimmer as ‘shrubbery scissors’, right?
Ken: Fair enough.

39 thoughts on “Balancing The Books

  1. So the universe owes you a can of spray paint and you’ve said you will spray paint anything if it means avoiding using a brush. I suspect you will even find a way to use spray paint instead of sewing something. Probably not a quilt but someday, somehow you will spray paint fabric. And you will get that paint free somehow. There’s an explanation for this but I can’t say what it is because I’m not very good at physics.
    The fun part will be when you ask Ken to hand you the spray paint and you’ll call it the “clackety-clackety shhhh stuff”.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. LoL……I got such a feeling of “kindred spirit” when I read this….lol…..that is so me…..and something I would have done too. I once did my grocery shopping in a town that is about 35 minutes away from my home. I had bought 3 big bottles of some sort of fancy schmancy EXPENSIVE juice, inspired by reading some article about how it could “change your life”… yada yada yada. Well, when I got home I started putting the newly purchased groceries away and suddenly realized with a sick feeling in my stomach that my expensive juice was no where to be found. This particular grocery store is always a “treat”, because after they bag up your purchases, they send them outside via a conveyor belt and then some nice soul loads them into your car. When I couldn’t find my juice, I of course immediately assumed the person loading my groceries forgot to include that bag and now they were still sitting back there…….too far to go back again. So I called and expressed my displeasure….nicely, of course….and they reimbursed my credit card with that amount. Several days later, I happened upon one of the grocery bags that I had immediately just put out onto my side porch because when I was carrying them in, I glanced and saw some items that belonged out there on the porch. BUT, upon further examination….there ALSO IN THAT BAG were my 3 bottles of juice. Oh my………did I feel foolish….lol. So I can definitely identify with your experience!!! LoL. Thanks for sharing…….it helps validate one’s own sanity………or not…….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely love that you described your situation in a Monty Python-esque kind of way. 😎🤣
    You balanced the universe in the most honest kind of way, and now since it owes you, you can get away with something naughty next time, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The sociopath would never consider karmic debt, only one bound by an altruistic albatross. In the end, the only person we have to live with is ourselves. In my mind, being owed is a far better position than the alternative. Imagine if we all felt like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are soo lucky! I once ordered a bathing suit online, and it was taking wayyyy longer for it to arrive than I thought, so I believed it would never arrive, so I canceled the order–and then: it arrived. I tried it on. It was super cute, so I told them I wanted to pay for it–after they had already refunded my money. Not only did they make me pay full price, they tacked on extra charges, which I also paid. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh no. Well paying for the extra can of paint makes up for the no-exchange foam in a way. So perhaps you’re even with the universe. All you have to do now is convince the cashier at the hardware store to go to the fabric store and buy something. Then the world will be in total alignment. Just try explaining it to her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tears of Laughter are squirting out of my eyes. It’s never dull around yer place, is it? It sounds familiar. I ordered a book for a class on zoom in September. It left the book place on 9/3. Okaaaay. Didn’t arrive, arrive arrive…echoing here. I decided, after tracking my package, to call the USPS line on undelivered items locally and got nowhere. There was no one to answer the line anymore and the voice mail was full.
    Yup, the tracked package had arrived in Minneapolis Station somewhere and sat there through September. I signed up with an account to be able to communicate with the USPS. Sent a nice little email. Got an apology and yes, my package had arrived, but the sender had mailed it at the lowest rate possible. ((SO What?)
    But there was no time line on when it would be unearthed and delivered. Soo, during September I wrote 2 more inquiries. Answer was very apologetic. Still no book arrived in October. I had contact with the bookstore and explained what happened. They decided to refund my money, which was nice of them. Then last week first week of November, I sent one last message saying I still hadn’t received my book. Voila, on Monday this week. The book arrived. yay. I had already ordered another one in September.
    Of course, I sent an email to the book seller and told them I finally go the book. Haven’t heard from them.
    that’s all folks!

    Liked by 1 person

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