I never thought it would be possible to actually hold up a line at a grocery store. But I did it, somehow. It wasn't really my fault, though. I finally got around to using all those stamps I'd been collecting. I was only three stamps short of getting the square grill pan I wanted. The deal actually went like this: for every $10 you spend at the store, you get one little stamp on a card. You had to save the stamps and collect a certain number in order to get the cooking items for free. For the square grill, the MSRP is around $47 or so. If you had 70 stamps, you get it for free. In other words, you get the $50 item of cookware after first spending $700 on groceries. If you spent only $350 on groceries, you'd get the pan for only $13. Going for the half price deal was far more worth it, when you think about it.

Anyway, I had talked to a cashier last week and asked if I could trade my stamps in regardless of whether I met the exact number. She was all, "yeah, we'll just adjust to the ratio and you pay the difference." Except she didn't use the word "ratio."

The cashier tonight tried to get into it with me when I went to make my purchase. He didn't want to ring me up when I was missing only three stamps. Because I didn't have the exact number, he didn't want to fudge and let it slide. And he didn't want to scan it in and add like $5 to the cost, either. I think, if it was up to him, he would have gone all bouncer on me and thrown me out of the store for not following the rules exactly as they were written.

I felt bad because I was holding everyone else in line up. Others weren't able to buy groceries on account of me. But dammit, I really wanted that pan. And the stitches on my head were itching the hell out of me. And when the cashier left to get the shift manager, I didn't say anything. I just let the guy go do his thing.

Five minutes later, the shift-manager-who-said-he-wasn't-actually- a-manager-but-was-in-charge-anyway came over. And he said: "No problem, sir. You're close enough, so I'm going to just ring you up for the $13." I thought finally all was well, but then the cashier kept refusing to scribble some initials on the card, afraid that he'd get in trouble for the shady deal that had just gone down. Because I'm such a criminal, you know. And I wasn't about to let all the money I had spent just to get that damn pan go to waste (oh, I would have spent the money on food anyway, but maybe not at this damned grocery store), and thought that I should get something for all the money and time and effort I put into collecting and saving the damn stamp things.

Honestly, I wasn't thrilled to be standing there having the stupid discussion about the stamps. But since I wasn't the one who started it, I'm glad I walked away with my fabulous new cooking toy. And with that, I will now return to my kindergarten class, where I can continue learning about issues like fairness and compromise with other fellow toddlers, in between naps and play time.