So it’s been a while, eh? I admit I’ve been squirrelin’ around with some side projects. One in particular is a big one, that I hope to have wrapped up and ready in a few days, a week at the most. It’s pretty big news (for me), but I’m going to keep it under wraps for now. (I know, I know, I hate it when people hint at something and then don’t tell you. Or put some cryptic status on Facebook like, “My life is over.” Then crickets. I really don’t want to be that person; I promise I’ll divulge more information soon.)
But let me get around to my real reason for posting. I need to vent for a moment, do you mind? Thanks. During an afternoon lunch with my momma a few weeks ago, I casually glanced around the restaurant as I waited for my order to be called. I noticed a man sitting to my left with a water cup. Filled to the brim with…soda. I know people do this. He’s hardly the only one who does. In fact, I’ve dined with people who have done the exact same thing, but it always makes me get a pit in my stomach. It’s just that it’s, well, STEALING.
It bothers me so much, that over the years, every time I’ve witnessed this “unethical frugality” it’s seared into my memory. Especially the memorable ones.
Like the time I went to an all-you-can-eat place here in town called Fresh Choice, and sat down near a couple who were finishing up their meal. At least I thought they were finished. Until the man left and returned a short time later with an overflowing plate of muffins, pizza and cookies. But the next part is where I had to hold up my jaw, to keep it from hitting the floor. This guy pulled out a top hat (Yes! A top hat!) out from under the table. He lined it with paper napkins, and swiftly shoved the cornucopia of food into the hat. He then bent over, lowered his head into the hat, wiggled it on snuggly, slowly stood up, and WALKED OUT. Like Abraham Lincoln, with a week’s worth of food on his ‘noggin.
…or the time my husband and I were at Taco Bell, when a lady in a shiny new Range Rover pulled in to the parking lot. She walked into the restaurant with five kids. The woman orders ONE large drink and 5 water cups, and then proceeds to fill the kids “water” cups many times over. She must have filled up that large soda 3 or 4 times before they left.
…or the person who will remain unnamed that keeps a fast-food cup in their car and stops in for “free” refills for months after purchase.
…or the person who will also remain unnamed that steals the towels from hotels, clears out the sweetener packets at the coffee station, and stuffs rolls of toilet paper into their bag.
One last one, okay? The friend of mine who purchased a space heater at the beginning of December, and then returned it to the store at the end of February, just before the 90-day return period was up. She was bragging to me about her “free” space heater. Aye, aye, aye.
The craziest part? Some of these people actually think they’re some sort of frugal genius, who has found a “creative” way to save money. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You’re not saving money! You’re not “creative”! You’re a straight-up THIEF! I get being frugal, of course. I’m all about saving myself a few bucks. But if you’re so cheap that you’re crossing over into the land of the unethical, that’s just WRONG. Does this bother anyone else?