My name is Heidi and I’m a crazy bag lady.
I’m a crazy bag lady because I recently returned six cans of tuna fish to Save A Lot. I pulled six cans out of my enormous purse, stacked them in front of the cashier and shamelessly asked for my money back.
Henry squawked. The people in line behind me squawked. Ohnoshedidn’t. Tuna fish in a purse? Those cans better not be opened.
I was that woman. The one who plods into a bargain basement grocery store with a baby on her hip and a purse full of tuna fish.
Upon pulling the cans out of my purse, I explained to the cashier (and to anyone behind me muttering bag lady under their breath) that I had mistakenly purchased albacore instead of chunk light.
Ten dollars is a lot of money for tuna fish your husband won’t eat.
I never felt more like my grandmothers, although I’m pretty sure even they’d suck up $10 and move on. Not me. I was the penny-pinching old bat; the one who wears her hair in a babushka and carries change in a margarine container.
“There’s paperwork,” the cashier said flatly, handing me a form on which I had to write my name, phone number and address.
Seriously? I thought. Paperwork? Fine. Bring it on. If I’m not too proud to return the fancy kind of tuna to the poor kind of grocery store, then I’m not too proud to create a paper trail.
This should come as no surprise to you: I don’t live large. Never have.
I come from blue collar stock; the kind of people my husband describes as “salt of the earth,” which is ironic given the metaphor comes from Jesus, whom I was raised without.
New money. Old money. It’s all someone else’s money to me. Writing, though I hoped it would one day catapult me into a new socioeconomic stratosphere, has yet to buy me a Stephen King-sized house or a J.K. Rowling-sized movie deal.