Ruby Ridge

Belle Ringing

So, darlings, if you see any typos in my column, don’t be surprised as my fingers are almost worthless stumps due to frost bite. “What would cause such a horrendous and painful thing, Ruby?” I hear you asking. Were you camping out on the pavement in front of Lane Bryant for their door buster specials on leopard print bras? Well yes, petals, that is a definite possibility, but no, not this time. In a frenzy of Christmas spirit, I was volunteering as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army outside my local supermarket, and let me tell you it was freezing! The way I see it, my act of semi-charitable selflessness completely restores my karma balance for the year. Two hours of wearing an unflattering apron and ringing a bell more than makes up for all the times I aim at children in cross walks. So weighed in the balance of cosmic justice, I think I must be about even. Most of the people were lovely and donated a little here and there, but while I was ringing my little hand bell into a percussive frenzy I did make one interesting observation. Albertsons must make their entire corporate profits from beer! Holy hops and barley, cupcakes, I have never seen so much beer flying off the shelves as I did last Saturday. And it wasn’t a little six pack or two of Corona, it was those honking great cases that you can use as coffee tables. It was amazing!

Oh speaking of supermarkets, cherubs, do you ever use those frequent buyer programs at Smiths and Albertsons that track your purchases? I was a little bit leery about them when they first came out, but eventually I recanted and let big corporate brother record the intimate details of my spending history. After all, lots of people buy Nyquil and Cheese Whiz in five gallon jugs, so I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. But, kittens, I must tell you about the oddest ghost in the machine moment I had a few weeks ago at Albertsons. I had just bought a cart full of groceries – you know the usual suspects, fruit, veggies, milk and meat, that sort of thing – and as I went through the checkout, I got one of those coupon thingies printed on the back of my receipt. Now typically, these coupons are for things that I purchase a lot like ice cream, blue cheese dressing, tortillas and what have you. And if I could ever remember where I put them for safe keeping before they expire, I might actually use them. However! Guess what the all-seeing, all-knowing computers at Albertsons prints up for moi? A coupon for Always feminine pads! I KNOW! I KNOW! AS IF! I was so indignant at first, and then I started getting weirded out. If something as benign as a shopping rewards program can get so demographically screwed up, then just what the hell is going on with the important stuff like insurance, mortgages, payroll, credit cards, etc.?

You know me, darlings. After a while I started to obsess (hmmm … what are the odds?). Eventually I realized my angst was overblown and that maybe some woman’s rush to the store for a pack of absorbent essentials with wings simply got transposed onto my records. But I will tell you this: Come New Year, I hereby resolve to watch my all of my bank statements, bills and credit cards a whole lot closer. And mark my words, if I get a coupon for Midol at the market I will just FREAK!

Happy Holidays, babies!

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