I am wracked with guilt and shame over a penny these days. When I stop at the deli some mornings, I pay $1.49 for a 20-ounce soda I’m not supposed to be drinking.
If I have two dollars on me, I’m okay. But when I have exactly $1.50, the problems begin. One might say I have plenty of problems with the penny of shame.
Now if I stay for my penny return, do I look greedy? Like who needs a penny, right? The lady behind the counter won’t meet my eyes because I’m a greedy slob who wants her penny.
If I wave my hand and tell her to keep it, or I reach across the counter to plunk it into the penny jar, I look like I am giving charity. I swear I’ve seen her roll her eyes. Her creed is not a penny saved is a penny earned in this case.
I think they wonder what I am doing at the deli after 9 am. I mean, most people are at work, right? After all, they’ve been up since 4 am to have the deli open by 5 am. I’m a worthless gob of humanity with too much money that I don’t need to work if I hand that penny back.
This reminds me of the new slippers I bought this season with the cushioned gel soles. Never mind that I got $20 slippers for $5 and change! It was pure genius. Never mind that the truth is I work my butt off every day, but I do it from home.
No, let’s focus on the fact that I slipped up and told the girl I wear them all day. What did that say to her? It was clearly written on her face. ‘This waste of humanity is a non-working sloth who wears slippers all day. The same slippers I spend hours shelving and straightening.’
So what a conundrum this penny has been. I’ve tried to just leave $1.50 on the counter and she yells after me that I’ve got a penny returned. Suddenly it’s okay for me to make my own decisions about the penny? Not likely. See, if I tell her to keep it, we go into the charity area. If I come back for it, well then we have a greed situation.
One would think I would give up soda or never use exactly $1.50 again. I think I should just find another deli with a different price. I don’t think you run into the same problem with TWO pennies, do you?
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My liver still thanks you.