I can not believe there’s no false advertising when it comes to those dollar stores. Seriously, I’m SHOCKED. Everything’s $1.00. This weekend is Visiting Day, so yesterday I went to Dollar Tree to load up on crap for my kid. I’m still broke from paying the camp tuition, so I skipped Target because as we all know, Target is a sham. We think we’re saving money by shopping there, but in actuality we spend ten times more than we ever expected.
My Husband: “You spent $312.00 at Target? Whadju buy? I thought you were just going to pick up a few packs of basketball cards for the kids.”
Me: “I know. I know. I got carried away. You should see what goes on all the way in the back of the store. There was a ton of shit for the backyard. I found this little table; I couldn’t help myself. And…. I picked up some other accessories. I thought we could use some more wine glasses. And I found this cool serving tray. Oh, and I lost one of my hats last week so I grabbed two new ones, but they were on sale so it was a good deal. And feel this new sweatshirt. It’s yummy isn’t it?”
My Husband (sighing): “Lemme have the basketball cards.”
Me: “OHHHH FUCKKKKK! I forgot the cards.”
So as I was saying, I bypassed Target and went right to Dollar Tree. I had never been there before. Okay wait, that’s not entirely true. I was there once when my kid was a baby. I had been looking for party favors for his 1st birthday. I walked in and walked right out because at the time, I didn’t know any better. I was that Mom who spent eight million dollars on an infant’s birthday party because I thought he had to have a big, fancy theme with the big, fancy invitations and favors for every kid (and their siblings) with their names personalized on it. Clearly, the dollar store wasn’t gonna cut it. To take it one step further, I was that Mom who made my husband wear matching Elmo T-shirts like my son and I wore so we could all get into the party spirit.
What the fuck was I thinking?
Wait, it gets worse… Apparently, I didn’t think coordinating outfits just once was dorky enough so I made everyone do it again for the third birthday too.
Again, I ask you: What the fuck was I thinking?
Boy oh boy, how things have changed. To give you an idea of just how much, this year for my younger son’s birthday, (which I practically forgot about) I took him to Chuck-E-Cheese on a Monday afternoon. There was no party; There were no favors; There wasn’t even a birthday cake. I brought a box of cookies that I grabbed from the supermarket and left them on the table where I parked my ass down while he played arcade games. Surely I didn’t send invitations ahead of time in the mail. I couldn’t even be bothered to spread the word by way of an Evite. I sent an unpolished text message to a few local peeps a day or two ahead of time and mentioned I was having a “non-party” for my six-year old. I told them not to bring a gift because there would be no favors but if they had nothing else to do after school, I’d be happy to give their child a few tokens and a chocolate chip cookie! Suffice it to say, the “non-party” was a hit.
My kid was happy as a lark and I didn’t have to hire flying Superheroes. Those days are O-V-E-R. You live and learn.
Anyway……. Back At The Dollar Store
Yes, there was definitely a weird smell in the dollar store; Yes, it was definitely on the skevie side in there; And YES, it was definitely strange that two whole aisles were dedicated specifically to foods like bread and other bakery items.
I mean, I’m all for saving a buck, but how long have these loaves been sitting on the shelves that they only cost a dollar? Thanks, but I think I’ll stick to high rolling it at the grocery store for my refrigerator and pantry needs.
Oddly, cleaning supplies were also only a dollar. I’m not sure if that means the Fabuloso won’t smell as fresh as the $4.90 bottle I normally get at Publix, but hey it’s a worth a shot. Actually, it’s only worth a dollar, but whose counting?
When I finally made my way to the aisle that they should just rename, “JUNK AND OTHER CRAP THAT IS THE BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY, BUT WHO CARES CUZ IT’S ONLY A DOLLAR,” I proceeded to go crazy! I threw in whatever shit I could find and then grabbed an extra heaping handful so I’ll have enough stuff to give to the other campers in the bunk.
Yah, apparently it’s not ridiculous enough that we have to reward our kids with gifts for letting us spend every last cent to send them to sleep-away camp, but now we have to reward the bunkmates also.
FAN-FREAKIN’-TASTIC. More money to waste! Yay.
I was still skeptical that everything in the store had a $1.00 price tag and if that were true, the number of items in my cart should end up equalling the final dollar amount I’d owe. Because of my skepticism, I purposely counted every article that I placed onto the belt at the checkout counter. The unpolished part of me was secretly hoping the numbers wouldn’t add up correctly just so I could have a debate with the lady behind the register. In my head I had already started the argument:
“How on earth did you arrive at two hundred dollars? I thought everything in the store was only one dollar. That’s what your sign says out front. I know I didn’t have two hundred items in my cart. I had a feeling this would happen. Let me see that receipt!”
My imaginary feud was interrupted when she said, “Uh Ma’am? Your total is $49.70.” “WHAT???” I exclaimed. “You’re kidding me? I’m shocked.” “Why?” she replied. “Did I ring up something that wasn’t yours?” “NOOOO, not at all,” I said. “I just wasn’t convinced everything in here would really be a dollar. I counted forty-seven things so with tax and all, that sounds right. I’m surprised, but so happy that I don’t even care that you called me Ma’am.”
Susan, the Sales Associate gave me a look that I knew meant she thought I was a wise ass, but I didn’t care about that either. I gladly paid the bill, dumped the bags back in my cart, gave her a wink and went on my way. Once I was in the car, I had to sanitize myself with Purell but it was well worth it for the amount of loot I scored all under fifty bucks. To boot, when I passed Target on my left as I drove out of the shopping plaza, it felt as if I had just hit the jackpot considering it would have cost me six times the amount had I gone in there. I couldn’t help but to think to myself, “Sorry Target, there’s a new bullseye in town!”
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… I had a great unpolished idea. It would be soooo awesome if Dollar Tree sold T-shirts that said: “MY PARENTS CAME TO VISITING DAY AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT! I’m imagining how my kid would react. He’d go nuts! It would be so cruel but I’d be that Mom cracking up until I knew I had him punked and then I’d give him the enormous bag of Visiting Day junk! For a buck, would you buy it? Not for nothin’ but I think it’s a ONE (million) DOLLAR idea! Don’t you?