Now we get in line to pay. I mentioned the store is crowded – and the checkout lines are no exception. There are six people in line in front of us, and within minutes there are four more people in line behind us. Half of the people in line with us look like hoodlums … baggy pants, tattoos, hats on sideways, talking loudly, buying booze. Were they gang members? I’d say at least one was – the others probably not … but I was uncomfortable with the whole scene. What about Mom? How is she handing the GHETTO GROCERY CHECKOUT? Well, to my surprise, she reaches into her purse – and pulls out a crisp, clean $100 bill. Mind you – we are six people back from the checker … so pulling out any cash or a checkbook is fairly premature in my mind (ghetto store or no ghetto store). So I whisper to Mom, “Mom – please put the cash back into your purse.” She looks at me, and says that she wants to be ready to pay when she gets up there. Okay – I didn’t want to draw any attention to either of us … so I just quietly asked her to not flash the big bill. We get through the checkout line … Mom pays with the big bill … we get out to the car … get the groceries loaded … no problems, thank goodness!
We get in the car, and I tell Mom that I didn’t think it was a great idea to pull out any cash whatsoever prior to the checker giving her the total … and that flashing a $100 bill in that line at that grocery store at that time of night with those other people around was like shouting out “EASY MONEY IN THE GHETTO”. She told me that she liked to be ready to pay – and that is why she pulled the money out early. I asked her if maybe next time she could use a debit card instead … as that is less risky than flashing cash, much faster than writing a check, and more secure if stolen. She said she didn’t believe in debit cards … huh? I told her that I could show her how to use one … and that once she got in the habit of using them that she would be impressed with how much faster and easier they are compared to writing checks. [I know she usually writes a check at these stores … and everyone knows that checks take a long time compared to the other payment options.] She said she would have nothing to do with using a debit card. I was thinking again to myself, “huh”? Okay – I dropped the idea … I didn’t want to argue with Mom, and from way she stated her aversion to debit cards, I’m sure I would not have convinced her otherwise.
So what do I do now? I don’t know! If I ask her more details about what she does or how she does it, she’s going to feel like I am putting my nose a little too much into her business … so that is no good. Should I go shopping with her again? Maybe – but I’ll be sure to pop a Valium first. Should I do her shopping for her? No - I think she enjoys doing her shopping herself – at least for now, while she can still drive. I am open to all ideas here, people. ;o)
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