by Kyla

Today I hustled up to Costco in Courtenay, an opening statement that itself requires some explanation.
1) I don’t hustle. Like, ever. In fact, I notoriously drive like a granny, if the granny in question is half-blind, has road-anxiety, and is prone to wagging her index finger at those passing in cars. So when I say I hustled up to Costco in Courtenay, I mean to say that I was a passenger in a car (my car, in fact) that was hustling up to Costco in Courtenay.
2) Hustling was necessary because I have a 3000-word paper due, oh, three weeks ago and if I don’t get it done by Monday I am expecting to be, well, even more ashamed of myself than I currently am.
3) Costco in Courtenay was necessary because they sell glasses, unlike the Costco in Nanaimes. My oldest kid is legally blind (fo’ reals. Good eyesight is just one of the many gifts I have passed onto her) and as she’s super sporty (which, obvs, she also gets from me) she tends to run through her glasses fairly quickly, what with taking volleyballs and hockey pucks to the face on a regular basis. I just got her glasses priced out at a local glasses place here and the cost – some $500 – had me in fits on the floor.

It’s not that I don’t want to spend 500 bucks on getting my kid glasses; it’s that at this exact moment in time I actually can’t, but her walking around with glasses held together with hockey tape was getting pretty old, let’s face it.

So my buddy and I hustled up to Costco in Courtenay to see if they could beat $500 for my 12-year-old’s glasses. They could. Lenses and frames for $120. Together, not each! I did a little jig there in front of the 72-inch televisions, and handed over my American Express, the only one of my credit cards with even the remotest amount of life in it at all.

And then, suddenly, as the credit card was leaving my hand, I remembered the other credit card – the new American Express that had come in the mail, the new American Express sent to replace this one, this one that expired exactly three days earlier – the other credit card that was sitting, unactivated, in a soup bowl in my kitchen (because where else would you keep a new credit card but in a soup bowl, I ask you?)

I grinned at the woman there. This might not work, I said as I handed her the card. Apparently it’s expired. Do you think that matters?

She gave me a look.

I get this look a lot. I think every professor I have ever had has given me this look. I am not sure it’s a nice look, but it’s a familiar look, and thus somewhat comforting.

So, we’ll give it a shot then? I said hopefully.

She suggested I phone American Express, possibly in the hopes that I and my mournful, pleading tone would become American Express’s problem rather than hers. After many minutes on hold later, American Express did, in fact, over-ride my old credit card and allowed it to make the purchase, and in ten days my daughter will have stylish new glasses to replace the askew, hockey-taped pair which is currently serving her so inadequately. (Let me repeat: 120 dollars. One hundred and twenty dollars. Okay, so, I know that big box stores are bad evil the root of all that is wrong in this world, and they put small local businesses out of business, and we should all feel shame if we so much as set foot in one, but, um, one hundred and twenty dollars! I’m just sayin’! Costco in Courtenay… think about it!)

I was so excited, nay, so elated, upon returning home that I decided to garden, because nothing says ‘it’s time to get down to your history paper on F.R. Scott’ like weeding last summer’s pea plants. This went marvelously well until I got tripped up on a rusty old metal spike and ripped up both my leg and my favourite pair of pants. And why is there a rusty old metal spike in my yard? Because it is holding together one of the vegetable boxes, of course, and although I have almost cut myself on that exact same spike at least three times in the last year I have never taken any action to, you know, remove it. Now that I have successfully been cut by it, however, it seems obvious that action-taking earlier might well have been a good idea. I’m thinking there’s a tetanus shot in my future, and possibly the sewing up of a trouser leg, if only I had a darning needle and if only I could sew. I bought these pants for two dollars. I’m not giving up on them that easily.

With days like this it’s a wonder I’ve ever gotten any school work done at all. I’ve gotta say, I don’t think it’s looking very good for me and old F.R. Scott. Surely even my (extremely) long-suffering professor will be hard-pressed to take the lure of low prices at Costco as a valid reason for being late(r) with my essay. Still, Gord, 120 dollars! I’m just sayin’!