no thank you

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Being too embarrassed to say, "No, thank you."
Sometimes it's a faulty bar code or a mispriced item. But usually, this moment of fiscal discomfort occurs when you're moving fast and you grab something—say, grapes—and run to the register without looking to see how much the item costs. Because how much could grapes cost? Well...if they are organic concord grapes from Argentina, a bunch of them can cost $27. As I found out this summer.

Back in my thirties, I had gone through a similar situation, where I came to the register and was told a lumpy farmers'-market tomato cost $7 and I slunk my head down—and paid. Walking out, I vowed I would never do that again. But I wasn't sure how not to without screeching, "Are you crazy?!," or simply running out of the store to avoid the whole conflict. Developing your own gracious style of refusal for insane prices may very well be a life skill that we all need to develop in our brave, new economy. But if you're not sure what to say, feel free to use the line I came up with for the grapes: "Twenty-seven dollars? Twenty-seven dollars! No, thank you!"

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