The Dog Days of Summer and The Dollar Store

Cheap and convenient, the Dollar Store is really your one stop shop for summer, and for leaving your house a landfill of broken toys and unidentifiable parts. The squirt guns, water balloons, badminton sets, sand toys etc, are all one hit wonders. The next thing you know, summer is coming to end and plastic shrapnel, “Made in China” splinters, and colorful latex pieces litter the entire backyard. You’re frustrated. Why do you buy this shit? You certainly don’t need it and before entering the store, you had no idea that you even wanted it. But that is where you realize that the Dollar store is a sneaky little bitch.

This place knows your weaknesses and can smell your fears. Trust me. You walk in for two things, but walk out with at least twenty, wondering what the hell just happened. Sure, you got the pool noodles and that disposable aluminum casserole dish, but since you’re here, why not look around a bit? Oooh, are those Corn nuts?Man, they’re delicious! A crunchy and salty taste and texture extravaganza…but I digress.

It’s still summer which means you have the kids in tow and that leads to a whole train wreck of emotions when stopping in with your to-do list. The kids suddenly want anything within arms reach. Their argument? It’s only a dollar! You are being pulled in 17 different directions. The tween wants nail polish and accessories, the middle child is begging for disappearing ink and the youngest wants absolutely everything. It begins with overwhelming excitement followed by sadness and sheer disappointment when you have no choice but to lay down the law as the uproars of “I want’s” ensue. “Put it back” echoes throughout the entire store for a solid 10 minutes. But who are we kidding? We are just as guilty. Right when we are getting a hold of the situation, kicking ass and taking names, we are instantly trapped in our own sea of “wants.” Like a budgeting momma moth to a dollar deal flame, we are in a trance. Every aisle must be perused for a possible perfect find.

The Seasonal Aisle – Like the all-powerful ShopVac, It sucks you in. Who cares if Halloween is months away. That plastic pumpkin platter will really make you look like you have your shit together this year. After all, it’s only a dollar, and so the mentality continues…

The candy aisle – It’s summer and It’s hot! The movie theatre is air-conditioned so you bet your ass I’m making it rain movie tickets on these kids. Let’s face it, no one buys candy at the movie theatre anymore! If you do, you’re probably kind of an idiot…just saying. We’re all Dollar Store candy smugglers sneaking our tasty treats into the theatre.

Gift bags and tissue paper territory-

gift bags

You’ve already bought a sweet, moderately priced gift…I hope. The bag shouldn’t be considered as part of that gift. It’s a bag. This is the reason why one dollar is the only acceptable amount to pay for wrapping supplies. Now, I’m a good friend, a great friend. I’ll take a bullet for my besties, but I’ll tell you right now that I refuse to spend $5 on a gift bag for anyone or anything, including your summer birthday bbq. Over my dead body! In which case don’t worry about it anyway. You would no longer be receiving anything from me ever, because…death…perhaps by bullet.

Candle corner – Apple Orchard, Evergreen, male musk, Citrus Seduction. You name it, it’s there. Rows of various scents for your indecisive choosing. I mean, who hasn’t made a stop to the Dollar store before hosting a last minute house party on the hunt for some kind of nasally pleasing fragrance? Anything to mask the putrid smell of ass and feet permeating from your children’s soccer bags. A rotten aroma magnified by the stifling summer heat that singes the nostrils. Amirite?

Smorgasbord Snack Aisle –

corn nuts 2

It may seem harmless. Just popping in for a few salty snacks on your way to the beach, but you are wrong my friend. Do not, I repeat, do not face these shelves of sodium accompanied by your children or on an empty stomach. All of the nostalgic childhood snacks you grew up with are staring you down, bitch slapping your willpower. “Bugels,” “Chicken in a biscuit,” “Corn nuts”…ahem. Even the imitation brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts so cleverly named “Pop Ups.” Oh yes, they are all there, testing your dehydration tap out level and daily dosage of chemical intake. Proceed with caution.

Sadly, summer is coming to a close. As I sit here staring at the confetti of busted Dollar Store water balloons that scatter my dead lawn and admire my botched Dollar Store nail polish application, I realize that I have quite a love/hate relationship with this place and from here on out I’m deciding to only venture into the depths of it’s frugal finds when absolutely necessary. However, watching my kids attempt to draw on the sidewalk with minuscule remnants of leftover chalk, I need to come to terms with the fact that this vicious cycle will continue…sigh. There’s also a birthday party this weekend which is going to require a gift, and that gift needs a bag. Son of a bitch! I’ll be back tomorrow.

About the author

Sara Pittman

Sara is from sunny San Diego CA. She is a wife, busy mother of 3 and amateur chef stumbling through organized chaos on a daily basis using sarcasm and humor to soften the blow...that's what she said. She will take any opportunity to demonstrate the running man in public and enjoys being a sarcastic smart ass.


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