Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Mystery and the Strawberry Puddings

In the past three weeks, I have spent over (OVER!) one thousand bucks on preparations for J's entrance into junior high school. This doesn't include any sort of books, notebooks, pencils, fancy rulers. Just the basics. I don't want to start weeping again, but basically this preparation consists of a school uniform, gym clothes, special shoes to be worn inside the school, special shoes to be worn inside the gym, small sticker to place on his bicycle helmet to let everyone know what junior high he goes to...etc. etc.

The school sent us several notices full of lists and directions and prices and dates and times and 'don't forgets'. Scary shit.

One notice had the different shops that sold their unique uniforms along with a price list.

So, we're running around trying to get all this done, and this is where the mystery happens. We go to get J measured for his uniform and I off-handedly show the guy at the shop one of the papers to make sure I have everything on it. It is insane how difficult they make this.

I notice right off that his eyes kinda go all sparkly when he sees this handout, this divine paper of papers the school is distributing to all its incoming students with its graph of shops and how much more a vest is there than it is here. Stuff like that. But he really doesn't have time to read it properly, as I point to items down the list and say "check" or "what the hell is that?" and soon we're done. I fold the paper and stuff it in my purse.

We order everything and go home. Four hours later the dude shows up at my house!! How in the hell he figured out where I live is creepy enough. But he is all apologetic and sweaty and talking real fast saying how he has a new costumer who has come from out of prefecture and they misplaced the list of what to buy (ironically enough, the same one I showed him) and instead of just asking the school for another he says, if he could just borrow mine for five minutes he'd copy it and bring it back. I'm smiling thinking, Man, this guy can't lie very well.

I have already read the entire paper and there is nothing negative about the shops that charge a little more (his store happens to be one of them). I imagine he just kinda wants to know what the competition is charging so he can compete. Hell, works for me.

So I hand it over.

True to his word, five minutes later he comes back with the paper and a box full of strawberry puddings as a thank you. I said, "No you didn't have to do that." To which he replied, "It's okay, that costumer will give me their business now."

I don't know. Maybe he was telling the truth.

Those up there are the puddings. And they were mighty tasty too. I feel sorta indebted, like I should bring something when I show up to pick up the uniform in two weeks. But then my husband made a valid point. He said, "We just paid that man over five hundred dollars!" And I was like, "Oh yea." Pudding really makes me loose all my common sense.