Shopping and Teens

Yesterday was the 15th. I got paid. This was a particularly tight month for me and I’ve been living off pennies and foraging for food for about a week, in order to make it to the 15th. My mood was high yesterday.

I left work with lists. I knew I needed to hit Target (out. of. everything.) but Target is a challenge, it is so, so, so, easy to drop money in that store and never quite realize how it happened. I also wanted to get some Christmas shopping out of the way. My goal is to be done by Thanksgiving. I am close, only one person to decide on, and two gifts left to get. Then I’ll use December to wrap (I won’t start to wrap until my tree is up, otherwise, where do the presents go?). At any rate, I had a specific list for Target, complete with expected prices.

I only bought one “luxury” item and it made me laugh. I splurged and bought Christmas Kleenex. That is now what I consider a splurge. My, how my life has changed. I needed Kleenex anyway, but I usually buy it at the dollar store. Now I was spending more per box, for smaller boxes, just because they were holiday themed. But I did it anyway.

I also figure I might have been the only person in the state of Minnesota running around without a coat last night. It was COLD. Mostly because it was fiercely windy and that biting wind chill made it feel like it was about 25°. No coat. I’m clearly a genius. I actually considered going home to get a coat before running errands. But as the stores are midway between my work and my house, that seemed stupid. I toughed it out.

Fine, so I got what I needed at Target and didn’t spend extra. I was proud.

Then, my next stop was a fun one. Kohl’s sent a $10 gift card in the mail. No minimum purchase. If you spend $10 exactly, the item is free. I decided to pop in and see what I could get for free. Then, I found a coupon online for 15% off total purchase price, that CAN be used with the gift card. So, shopping I went. I found a Halloween table runner I had been eyeing since before Halloween. Normally, it is 24.99, that is WAY too much. I’d never pay that. It was 75% off! I got it for 5.99. I was thrilled! I also found a flameless candle for Halloween that was 5.99.

I was going to take those two items and go, paying only about $2, but something made me wander through the Christmas area. (My mom is groaning to herself…she knows my weakness). But, I managed to find a Christmas gift I had been looking for, and it was on sale! Got it for $6.99. Finally, I saw this pillow (pillows are another weakness, visit my house, I’m one girl with 4 pillows on my bed, 3 on the guest bed and roughly 20 decorative pillows) and it is a Christmas pillow. It looks like Santa you know what, never mind.

St. Nicholas Square Santa's Belt Countdown Decorative Pillow

How about I just post a picture of it? (courtesy of Kohl’s website). Isn’t it kadorable? And the belt MOVES so it works as a countdown calendar. I. LOVE. IT. Plus, it is so soft. And it was on sale, 50% off!

Long, long, story summed up, I got all the above items for $15 after discounts. That’s pretty good bargain hunting.

Next, it was on to the grocery store. I won’t bore you with the details, except to say, I got every item on my list, picked up ingredients for a dessert I want to make (not on list) and still left $15 UNDER budget, which made the Kohl’s trip practically free.

How’s that for a successful shopping trip?

Literally bursting with pride in my self and my restraint as I left Rainbow. So much so that I considered blogging about my random, boring, Tuesday night.

However, what happened next pushed it over the edge. (As you can tell, because you are READING the blog about it…)

I was pushing my cart out to my car. I stopped and unloaded all my groceries. My parking karma was on in full force that night and I got a spot right up front, near the door. I remember from my youth, that my mom used to park in the row nearest the exit at Cub, AND right near the cart corral. I don’t do that. I do park near a door, but unlike Cub, you can enter/exit through both doors.

So, I unload all my groceries into the backseat and I think I was shivering. 25° is cold when you ARE wearing a coat. And I wasn’t wearing anything warm. I had long sleeves, but my shirt was thin, I was freezing. So, I start pushing my cart out from between the cars, already dreading how far I have to walk to deposit it in the cart corral. I’ll do it, though, because I think it is beyond rude and self-indulgent to leave your cart wherever so some 16 year old at minimum wage can hike around and clean up after you.

I turned the cart the right way and stepped behind it to push, when a teenage boy appeared. He was coming out of the store, carrying something small in his hand. (it was dark, I couldn’t see) He was passing me and reached out and grabbed the side of my cart. I looked at him and he said, “I’m headed that way, I’ll put it back for you.”

No kidding, this boy was 16-17, tops. I was a little stunned. People just aren’t usually that nice to strangers, especially teenage people. I smiled at the boy and said, “thank you, that’s very kind of you.” He smiled back and said, “no problem, there’s no reason for both of us to make the trip.”

I climbed into my car and as I was backing out, I saw him climbing into his car, a few spots back from the cart corral. As I was driving away, I thought to myself, I hope his parents know how well they’ve done. That is a nice young man. Then I thought, I wonder if anyone ever thought that about me? I wonder if, when I was a teen or a child, anyone ever thought I was so kind and helpful that my parents deserve praise? I hope so, that is the kind of person that I strive to be, the kind of person my parents raised me to be.

But this boy, well he made my night (and it was already a good night!). I wish the world weren’t such that we don’t expect things like that, I wish we just expected kindness and generosity because that is all we knew, but since the world isn’t like that, I’m happy to find little pockets of it wherever I can.

Last night I did. And today I wore a thick sweater, just in case.


2 thoughts on “Shopping and Teens

  1. I am so proud of you for sticking (mostly) to your budget! LOVE the Santa pillow. I was also at Target last night, Christmas shopping as well, and I also splurged on Christmas kleenex…hehe. I still park by the exit and the cart corral, and I do wear a coat. I too, hope that young man’s parents know what a nice son they’ve raised.
    And thank you again for rescuing my purse:)

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