and I moved a few years ago. As part of the settling in process
so many of us know and love, we needed to explore the new surroundings.
Learn the streets. Find some restaurants. Meet the people.
after we arrived, one grocery store chain began running a contest…
you’ve seen them many times yourself, with this particular one
being a twist on Monopoly. I got a little bit excited by it.
that time, we had more or less made a particular store from their
group our regular go-to for shopping. It was clean, prices were
fine, and the weekly sales seemed good enough. And now—added bonus—I
could play Monopoly.
won absolutely nothing that first year. I collected the pieces.
I had the game board. In fact, I had game boards, playing two
of them in case I had duplicates and could not only be a winner
but a winner again.
played. But nothing… from major prizes to small instant winners…
landed in our hands. No massive cash prize. No new home. No free
groceries. No donut and a coffee from the bake shop.
were somewhat established residents of the area, and had learned
a great deal about some different places. One particular set of
grocery stores we really liked, but they were too far away for
mini-trips on assorted one item or mini-list runs. Two or three
others became stops for a variety of reasons… better diary options
at this one, better vegetables at that one, and so on. None stood
out as the automatic default… it was more where we might be physically
when we decided to stop, or if the purchase involved our favorite
that original favorite store was still an occasional stop. We
hadn’t eliminated it. It simply wasn’t the first thought we had
whenever we needed bread or cheese.
turned out that this Monopoly thing was an annual event for the
store. The next year, spring arrived, and the promotion began
again. And I started heading there as my primary store, because
I wanted to collect my game pieces at the register and play.
was a hassle.
get home and toss things into a pile, then forget about them.
It was that place in the kitchen that serves as a catch all—car
keys and spare change and things to remember to bring tomorrow—and
I’d clean it up every few days or once a week or whatever.
longer was I coming home, putting the groceries away, and then
sitting down to see if I was a winner. This time, I’d sort things
out whenever I had a few minutes. I’d look for matching pieces
and discard the duplicates. I might look for the game board and
attach anything new.
didn’t win anything in year two.
three arrived and this game was becoming annoying. It was as if
I was fascinated about collecting pieces, but couldn’t be bothered
to play. I actually found some unopened pieces after the game
period had ended and claim-by-date had passed.
get weekly ads for the store by e-mail. Came with the benefits
of signing up for the shopper’s club. And this morning, the it’s
back announcement arrived.
again. Isn’t that exciting?
morning I saw the announcement and I actually made a face. That
disgusted by the thought of it face. That thinking about all the
scraps of paper that will clutter the table, need to be gathered
up and tossed away face.
easy to say I’d feel differently if I ever won something. Anything.
A free bottle of store brand orange juice. (At least with a competitor
I’m up to ten-cents off a gallon of gas.)
now though, nothing. Not thrilled about playing. Not grabbing
my car keys and the grocery list. The thing I’m wondering is…
do any of my neighbors feel the same way?