Last week I took Boy 1 to the grocery store with me. Wait, maybe I should start at the beginning to give the story texture. After a few days of pure torture, (of me at the hands of the kids, mostly Boy 2) I said I was going to the mall by myself and Boy 1 looked forlorn and sad so I said he could come along. Boy 2 was serving time in his room for being rude to me and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember now. When he heard we were leaving and he couldn't come along he screamed, "I hate you." I thought, "You better hope I don't die while I am at the mall - you will never forgive yourself." Then I thought, "No, probably not. You would just call me stupid for dying." I only share that peek into my brain so you understand the emotional place I was in when I left the house.
So, we are in the produce department and my keen eye spots a pile of money on the floor. There were 4 or 5 crumpled up $5 bills. I said, "Oh, Boy 1, LOOK!" and as he bent to pick up the bills we notice a $20 bill lying beside those bills. He grabs that, too and hands the whole wad to me with that wide-eyed, "I can't believe this is happening" look. As I take the money and turn around to see if I can spot any people checking their pockets frantically, the produce stocker clerk pops up from behind the pineapple, grabs the cash from my hands and says, "I will just run that up to the front desk and announce that we found it. It is a lot of money and someone will really appreciate that you have returned it. When they get to the checkout they will check their pockets and be so upset. Blah, blah, bunch of other crap." Direct quote. When I retell the story, I say "I didn't want to make a scene in front of my son" but really, it happened so quickly and I am so desperate to be liked that I let produce stocker clerk take our pile of money and walk away. I should have responded appropriately and punched her. We walk to the end of the aisle and I start to steam a bit. I think, "I can't let this go." It was probably what Boy 1's cub leader calls the "never-ending spiral of hate." Boy 2 hated me so I wanted to hate the clerk. It's all Boy 2's fault, really. I went up to the desk and asked if my son got to keep the money if no one claimed it. So, the woman took our number and said she would call if no one claimed the money. I am pretty sure she had her fingers crossed when she promised.
As we finished our shopping, I heard two announcements that sounded like, "If anyone has lost any mmamnafdsynak, please hdasjfdsslj." I couldn't shake the idea of produce clerk and customer service lady winking at each other as they made their pretend announcement. Then, when they saw us in line, headed towards them, they took off! On the way home, as I got angrier and angrier, Boy 1 said, "I hope the people that lost the money are rich so I don't have to feel like I am stealing if I get the money back." Dear child. How did he turn out so well? And he didn't get caught in the hate spiral. I should examine that thought further when I am done ranting about the money.
So the next day I went back. A new lady at the desk couldn't find any notes or envelopes of money. Weird because staff is supposed to log it in the system.
So by Day three of the saga, between venting to PHD and telling the story to others that aren't legally obligated to listen, I have spent approximately 30 hours of time and $20 of gas driving back and forth to the grocery store, where I corner any worker that will listen to my story of the lost/found/stolen $45. I then called the manager. He explained that the money was now in the system. They have a policy that lost items stay in the system for 90 days then they will return it to us if no one claims it. Fine. At least I feel I have been heard.
Then, on Saturday, two days later, they call and say they will make an exception and return the cash to the honest little boy that turned it in. Very nice - Boy 1 got his $45. So, what is the moral of the story? You can choose your own:
1. Karma works - Boy 1 did the right thing and was rewarded.
2. People are jerks and you have to make them do the right thing by driving them utterly nuts until they do.
3. I should see a psychiatrist, if those are the guys that can also write prescriptions.
This feels unfinished without me choosing an ending and I hate leaving things unfinished so I will tell you one more thing. Under the category of "I'm pretty sure I am having a stroke", one day when I was trying to say goodbye on the phone I said something like "Pot pie", instead. My family has made so much fun of me over this that we now say "Pot pie" instead of goodbye.