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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Going to Atlanta

This is not about a frugal trip to Hotlanta, going to Underground, or any of the other joys I have ever experienced in Georgia. Nope, my tale is a different kind of parsimonious/silly joy.

About twelve years ago I had to go to Atlanta for a week of training for a new job.  I was so exhausted after the sessions that all I wanted to do was go to my room. The young people hit the lounge area, buying expensive drinks and food. I think I stayed at the Hyatt, not sure.

On the second night everyone was broke. I got wind of the hotel van taking a group to the grocery store and threw up my hand. I got aboard, becoming claustrophobic because of the tight fit and anxious because of my control issues.
Everyone on the bus was in high spirits, so it was sort of fun. No, it was not fun, just not as horrible as it could have been. At the grocery store we all spilled out and hurried  into the store, each person or group with their own mission AND a deadline from the van driver. Then, we all gathered at the counter at about the same time to pay for our purchases. All the young people gasped at my purchase. If I had been less self-assured, I would have cried after their remarks. Maybe I would have yelled at them. Or, treated them like the idiots they could have been mistaken for.

Is that what you are getting?
Why did you get that?
What are you going to do with it?
Then, there was giggling and eye-rolling. They exchanged knowing glances and puzzled ones. You have to understand, they were half-lit anyway.

I am going to eat it.
More laughter. "Without cooking it?

Of course I am going to cook it before I eat it!
Lots of murmuring behind hands occurred.

The same way I always cook it!

Tonight? You are cooking rice in your room?
No, I just cannot find this in Alabama! I am taking it home because this is the closest place to buy it.

People looked sideways at each other. People rolled their eyes. Some giggled into their hands. I was tolerated for favoring to buy food, real food, good food instead of alcohol.

My fellow passengers were training for a different job than I, but they saw the benefit of keeping lots of booze in the motel room. Some had spent $100 on drinking and treating others the first night.

All I wanted was some Uncle Ben's Brown Rice because I could not find it any closer to my home in north Alabama! And, I had five of the two-pound bags. I am soooo cool that way!

I love Uncle Ben's Brown Rice. At that time, I could go to Mobile, AL; Nashville, TN; Memphis, TN; Jackson, MS; or Atlanta, GA to buy rice. I live in the center of those places. So, going to Atlanta and getting paid the federal government rate for mileage and being hauled around in a free van seemed like the ideal time to buy my rice.

Many times when I cook rice, I chuckle at the younger people's dismay at a person wanting food not booze.

Okay, there was not really a strong point to the story. It just always makes me smile.

Your turn
Tell me a funny story. Got a comment on this story I told you? Do you ever find yourself temporarily in the company of people who just don't get it? Are you easily embarrassed?


  1. This reminds me of how I now plan trips to Chicago to include grocery hopping for things we can't find here or have to pay dearly for if it was available.
    Nobody really " gets" it I find;)

  2. I will think of this story every time I see Uncle Ben's rice... or someone paying for a large booze purchase ahead of me at the grocery store.

    It seems as though the people in my life who "just don't get it" are particularly focused on the subject of food; they'll try to disguise judgments about coupon use or stockpiling or store brands with uncomfortable jokes and frequently tease and chide anyone who doesn't go out to eat as often as they do. I try not to get embarrassed when I'm the target of that but sometimes it's so unexpected that I turn crimson anyway.

  3. Linda,
    I often look to see what Kroger and Publix have on sale when I go to Huntsville. Sometimes, I can pay for the gas to get there with the savings on deals.

    I think of this everytime I cook rice. Just think--the old lady (compared to them), the white lady, the professional, and she buys rice not booze. In our town I could not even buy booze!Yes, it was the unexpected nature of the teasing that got to me. I had no idea that the people on the van were going for booze. I figured they wanted snacks for their room. They did not plan figured they found out hotel food was too expensive. ???

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