Thursday, February 25, 2010

Every Wednesday the mail box is crammed with flyers; all those colorful ads announcing specials at the grocery and big box stores for the coming week. I think bargain hunting and snagging the steal is part of my genetic makeup. My mom had a nose for a sweet deal and so does Jill. It’s an ongoing personal challenge to not pay full price for anything.

My friend Roxie, (the one I told you about last month who can eat a full meal without disturbing her lipstick) is always looking for a good buy too. She asked her husband, Jack, to pick up a chicken on his way home from work one day. He bought some kind of special organic chicken on sale at the local grocery. I’m not real sure what organic chicken means or if it’s any different from free range. I think they must eat pesticide-free bugs and do yoga.

Roxie said it was the best chicken she had ever eaten. When she called the store phone number on the receipt, the butcher explained the sale ran two more days and assured her there were plenty.

The next day her last stop on the list of errands was to pick up several chickens. She looked everywhere in the poultry department, but there were no plump organic chickens, just skinny, sad looking ones. She rang the buzzer for the butcher. When he came through the swinging metal door Roxie started in on him. “You told me when I called yesterday there were plenty of organic chickens. I don’t see a single one. The chickens out here are pitiful and you assured me you had dozens but nope ... zero chickens.”

The butcher looked a little puzzled and apologized over and over offering a rain check. She took the voucher and sulked out of the store feeling a little silly for getting in such a tizzy over raw poultry.

That night she replayed her frustration when she told Jack about the empty chicken display. “That happened at the Country Mart down at the interchange”, he asked surprised.

“Yeah, and that’s not like them, is it?” she answered.

“Roxie, I got the chicken over at the Country Mart on Highway 248,” he grinned.

Oh, I wish I could say I’ve never done anything like that, but it would be a lie. We all do it; make assumptions on one small piece of information. Then we make felony-like accusations over misplaced items and misunderstood conversations. Tempers flare, feelings are hurt, relationships are damaged.

Emotions fluctuate faster and more often than airfares. It seems both are running high these days. Saying exactly what you’re thinking is like eating too many Oreos dunked in milk; it feels good until you realize what you’ve done.

Next time an overreaction is coming on, stop, take a deep breath, and think about a flock of organic chickens.

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