“You’re going to need to return this pie,” Dolores, my mother explained to me.
This occurred mere moments after she peeked into the grocery bag containing said pie and uttered in disgust, “No Sugar Added,” with the same level of disdain she reserves for food items like coconut, all seafood that isn’t catfish, rice, garlic, alcohol, and the droves of other foods she basically equates with poison.
You see, there is particular and there is Dolores. If you’ve met me and think I am picky, you don’t know picky. My mother told me the other day she didn’t want food from Fazolis, a fast food restaurant she used to eat at, I kid you not, six times a week, because the Memphis Fazolis, “doesn’t taste like the other Fazolis do.”
So, with a No Sugar Added pumpkin pie, we obviously had a problem. Wanting to be a good daughter, I offered to go to the store and purchase a different pumpkin pie. In my head, the No Sugar Added one was just written off as a loss, a mistake of a pie that we would try to find a home for with one of our relatives, or simply throw away.
“Yes, you need to please go back and exchange it.”
This is where she lost me. I’ve returned clothes, electronics, and other things, but, prior to this day, I didn’t even know grocery store returns were an option. What is surprising is that they are. What isn’t surprising is that my mom is fully aware that you can return things to the grocery store.
“Where do I even go to return a pie when I get there, Mom?” I imagine myself walking in, holding the pie outstretched, like Oliver Twist. “Please sir, can I have a different pie?”
As I learned, there is a customer service counter at the front of the store that handles returns and the sale of cigarettes. So, I took the not-sweet-enough pumpkin pie back to Kroger, picked a regular sugar pumpkin pie up, and proceeded to the counter.
It was a relatively easy process. I was surprised how the girl didn’t even bat an eyelash at my pie snafu, just pleasantly exchanged them, then told me I was good to leave with the new pie. The only part that struck me as funny is that she saw me eyeing the receipt and said, unprompted, “We need this for the paperwork.” It took some restraint not to ask what pie exchange paperwork looks like. I’ve easily spent an hour pondering what kind of blanks are on that form.
So, this Thanksgiving I learned something new—you can exchange just about anything and, for my mom I will. Even if she did sneak a slice and inform me that, while this pie had plenty of sugar, it also had some sort of spice she didn’t care for and wouldn’t suffice either.
On the bright side, she didn’t ask me to return the pie with a piece missing at least…