Friday, April 9, 2010
I think you’re either the kind of person that goes for all the free food samples at the market or you’re not. Given the chance, my husband could happily survive on the offerings from the product demonstration tables at Costco. I get unbearably self conscious walking by the Sample Bar at Trader Joe’s. I can’t even make eye contact with the guy in the Hawaiian shirt handing out the plastic shot glasses jammed with mushroom turnovers.
It was against my Gram Melva’s principals to snub a freebie. During a Mother’s Day weekend trip in 1997, my mom and Gram and I stayed at a lovely hotel in a seaside town. After a late lunch at a local Mexican cafe we were on our way back to our room when Gram noticed that there was an afternoon tea set up in the lobby. She stopped us as we headed to the elevator. “Where are you going?” Gram said.
“I want to lay down for a little bit.”
“But there are snacks down here,” said Gram.
“I know but aren’t you stuffed?”
“Yes, but we have to eat some,” she whispered, “it’s gratis.”
Even though I am genetically predisposed to going for the free stuff, the idea of taking it makes me nervous. On our recent trip up north, while Jeff and Bob were at the breakfast buffet, I sat at our table eying the basket of darling imported jams.
“Don’t these look good?” I asked Jeff when he returned.
“Take them with you.”
“Put them in your bag, you can have them at home.”
“Should I dump the ramekin of sugar packets in there too? Please, I can buy my own jam.”
“Just do it. For Gram.”
Two days later, we were back home. I opened the little jars of sweet contraband in our kitchen. Their contents were delicious and even better, they were gratis.