Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yellow Split Peas

Okay, I'll just tell you right here and right now that this is going to be a whiny blog post. You are as free as ever to not read it, but I would love it if everyone read it and sympathized with me in the comments. Yes? Thanks.

A few days ago, I mentioned to Nathaniel that one of my mission presidents said that I was an emotional roller coaster. No, he didn't use those exact words, but he did make a roller coaster motion with his hands. I did not appreciate this assessment of my personality.

I was horrified when Nathaniel agreed with my mission president. Worse, Nathaniel's roller coaster hand motions were far more exaggerated than those of my mission president. I was a little offended. After all, anyone who spends the majority of her time with a three and a half year old and an infant is per se entitled to emotional highs and lows. 

But, nothing motivates me like unsavory assessments of my character, so I determined that, for the rest of my life, I would  forsake my roller coaster ways. Nothing but even emotions from me, you can count on it.

So despite Summer's antics and Henry's demands and my rush to get a lot done, yesterday morning I didn't let anything get to me. I did a little work, chatted a little on Facebook, planned some meals, read a few pages of a book, and bathed and clothed three human beings, all before I took Summer to preschool, on time, at 11:30. 

The plan was to drop Summer off and head to Winco to get groceries for the dinners I had planned. But the yellow split peas were the most important. Why? Because of this soup. The reviews are great and the only ingredient I had every ingredient except the split peas.

For the past three weeks, I have been searching grocery stores high and low for yellow split peas. Ordinarily it's no fun to go to several stores to find one ingredient, but when you have to tow bring along two kids it's the epitome of frustration. For me anyway. 

I sort of gave up the search until I tried out a new pre-packaged soup: Campbell's Golden Lentil with Madras Curry. Maybe I was just really hungry when I ate it but, seriously, it tasted like rainbows. Cilantro and coconut milk and madras curry and golden lentils and pure deliciousness. I licked my bowl, which made my face really dirty, and I don't exactly recommend, but I couldn't let any of this soup get washed down the drain. 

So then I realized that the soup I had just consumed was basically a pre-packaged, overpriced version of the soup I had been wanting to make for the last few weeks. That was it. I was on a mission from God. There was one store I hadn't checked yet: Winco. It's a bit of a trek to get there, but I would have this soup.

So off to Winco I went. And you guys? They had them! For 62 cents a pound! And then I remembered Winco only takes cash or debit! 

I searched my wallet for change or a debit card or something, but no. I honestly have no idea where my debt card is. And we hardly ever have cash on hand. Scrooge McDuck's strategy of keeping all his capital in coin form was starting to make a lot more sense. What I wouldn't have given for a bag of change at that moment. 

But, I did find a gift card that my dad had given me for Christmas last year (thanks again, Dad). It's one of those universal gift cards. You use it like cash. Saved!!! Lentil soup would be mine!

Note the word "debit" there.

So after waiting in line, I handed my single item--a bag of yellow split peas--to the cashier. Seeing my gift card, she asked, "Is that a credit card?"

"Nope," I replied. "It's debit."

By the way, the bag of yellow split peas cost fifty cents.  

I swiped the gift card. The machine asked me for a pin number. A pin number? Uh...

"This card doesn't have a pin number," I said.

"Well, that means it works like credit, and we don't take credit. It won't work without a pin number." 

I tried entering four numbers I saw on the card. No dice. 

"Sorry," the cashier said, setting the bag aside and moving on to the next customer. 

No, I thought, there must be a way! I called the 800 number on my card which informed me that I had a balance of $3.42 and, unhelpfully, that there is no pin number associated with the card and I didn't need a pin to use it. Desperate, I went to customer service and stood in line again to inquire about the card. "Sorry, you need a pin number. Otherwise it's a completely different system."

But my soup!

Now, ordinarily, I would have spilled tears as I walked out of the store empty-handed. But I would not be a roller coaster. Though bitterly disappointed, I mustered a mighty effort and no tears were shed over the yellow split peas. 

When I got to the car, I searched all nooks and crannies for fifty measly cents. A dime and a nickel was all I could find.

In the car, I tried to be zen about the whole thing. After all, it's just soup. I can make other soups. There will be other opportunities to go to Winco, coin bag in hand. Ever little thing is going to be all right. Detach, detach, detach.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought stuff for my other dinners (and yes, I checked to see if they had suddenly started selling yellow split peas, and no, they hadn't). But that feeling, that heavy-heart feeling, just would not go away. Why was fate keeping me away from the yellow split peas? Why couldn't someone have noticed I was only fifty cents away from bliss and given me some change? Why did Summer have to remove every stray coin from the car and hide them in her closet? Could I patronize a store that had thus insulted me? (Answer: yes.) Were I to make the soup, could I even enjoy it after all this?

As I pondered these questions, I found myself in the ice cream aisle. And then, I saw it. 

How did they know?!?

I bought it. And ate it. And yes, it works. 


Lexi November 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM  

I had the exact same thing happen to me at Winco! Except for that it was an hours worth of grocery shopping and $100 worth of stuff that I had to walk away from because my gift card (which also had the word "debit" on it) wasn't accepted. I didn't cry, I was pissed. I was sort of glad that I had to walk away from all those groceries that THEY would have to restock. AND they wouldn't get my money.

I need ice cream now just thinking of it.

Natalie Hobbs November 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM  

ha! Sora, I love you! You always make me laugh. Seriously though, was it Ashby or Hanson? I gotta know...

Dorothy November 6, 2012 at 4:38 PM  

It was Hansen. He said it in a very loving way, and I couldn't really disagree with him. But, still.

Dorothy November 6, 2012 at 4:39 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Haley and Mitch November 7, 2012 at 8:08 AM  

Dorothy, you are a better person than me. When told that I might be on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, I decided to embrace it and the ride is probably terrifying for everyone involved. And I am sorry about the soup... that is insanely frustrating!

Marissa November 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM  

I am sending you waves of cyber sympathy. Also, whoever came up with that ice cream name? Genius.

Tess November 7, 2012 at 6:22 PM  

And this is why I will always be a devoted Dorothy fan. Awesome story, awesome post, awesome ice cream that I now need to try.

Love ya.