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Sunday, November 21, 2010

About the size of it

I double check my list as I head from my car into Walmart, barely remembering to push the lock button on my keychain. I listen for the beep, then speed up, hoping to get through the store in under an hour this time. I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart. Without them, I couldn't stretch my dollars so far but because of them, I have a lot of stuff I really don't need (I am a clearance addict).
     I stop in the shampoo aisle and am confronted with fourteen different brands and three different sizes. I narrow down my choice to the brand I want, but which size will suit my needs? It's easy to see which is the better bargain: the small size is 11.5 oz., the large size is 23 oz. I just split the larger size's price in half. Phew! I don't carry a calculator as I take small pride in my ability to do equations in my head.
     I do the rounds toward the baby section, looking for diapers. The jumbo pack has 34 diapers, but we'll go through that too fast. The mega pack has 60--wait a minute. That's not quite double the jumbo. What happened here? I check the club box and am confronted with 96. Ummm, looks like the diaper powers that be can't add. So I stand there in the aisle, squinting at the prices, trying to divide 68 into the price of a little less than 2/3 of 96. Maybe I should carry a calculator.
     I grab the club box and head for the food. I'm looking for Quik (now called Nesquik, though I don't see why they had to change it). There are only two sizes, but I grumble when I see that 38 servings in not half of 72. Why can't they make it easy for us moms? Why do we have to figure out which one is the better deal? Is it that hard for them to find cartons that are exactly double or triple the original size?
     I look at the helpful price tag and see the price per ounce: $1.25. My brain is not so tired as to see that THAT's not right. Thanks, helpful price tag. So I squint at the items again, rounding 72 up to 76 and figuring a little less than half. This time the little one wins.
     The ice cream aisle ropes me in with a great deal on special edition flavors of Dreyer's ice cream. I scan the flavors, wishing I had enough freezer space (and a higher metabolism) for all of them. I grab our two favorites and notice something strange--the container is squattier than normal. I check the ounces and sure enough, they've nocked off 8 more. I shake my head. It's just like them. First they shave off 8 little ounces just to make a buck, then when we've become accustomed to that, they shave off another 8. Pretty soon a half gallon of ice cream will be a quart. But they don't care!
     Or maybe they didn't notice that they shaved off the 8 ounces. Maybe they're just in cahoots with the diaper guys and the Quik guys. Maybe they just can't add.

1 comment:

  1. You remind me of George Banks from Father of the Bride. The hotdog guys are in cahoots with the bun guys... Great writing Judith! It is the truth! I like your line from above, "I tread water and hope for the shore." You are amazing with all you do and doing it all with the little sleep one gets with babies. You are a true superwoman! Thanks for inspiring and sharing!