An old Italian woman yelled at me the other day in the citrus section of Russo's. She saw me walk away from the bin with two lemons in my bag when the sale price was 3 for $1 (regular price was 35 cents each, or 3 for $1.05). She demanded to know why I was only buying two lemons when three was clearly cheaper. Was I rich or just an idiot? I wanted to say, mind your own business, Old Lady. Who cares how many lemons I buy? Did I yell at you when you repeatedly left your cart in the middle of the aisle blocking everyone's path? (Yes, I did bring that to her attention, in fact, which is probably why she was so interested in the particulars of my shopping habits.)
But since she demonstrated the same outspoken stubbornness as another Italian woman I remember with fondness, I patiently restated my sale argument for what seems like the hundredth time. The argument goes like this: it's not a bargain if you buy something you don't need. I didn't need three lemons, therefore I would only be buying two. She looked incredulous. How could I manage not to use that third lemon? You put a little lemon juice in everything. Well, I said, I'm sure if I made it my mission to find something to do with all of the hundreds of accumulated sale-priced lemons I would own if she had her way, I could do it just to prove some kind of a point. But that's not the problem. The problem is that I forget about the lemons. I forget all about them, as well as the sale-priced limes, and, before you know it, there's one or more moldy lemons/limes in my fruit bowl threatening to swallow up all of the other fruit into their fuzzy, bluish-green maws. And then I wonder why I wasted the 33 cents on that extra lemon I didn't need.
So now I save that money because 2 pennies and a moldy lemon are worth less to me than 33 cents on a parking meter. That's a solid fifteen minutes in some parts of town. Fifteen minutes that I, for the record, just spent arguing with an old lady about lemons!