Sometimes Winning is Losing

September 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Humor, Stories

By Connie Cavanaugh –

I love Coupon Day at my local grocery store. You save 15 percent on every hundred bucks you spend. We’re talking pizza for supper! For free! (That’s femonomics, where spending is actually saving.)

One Coupon Day long ago, an item on my list was underwear — I never bought my own until my mother died. At the tender age of 36, I was cruelly thrust into the world of shopping for big girl panties.

A stroll through the aisles confirmed they did not carry my brand but I found my preferred style: I want the whole whale, not just the tail if you get my drift. I chose two packages marked M.

I finished shopping, pocketed my 15 percent and grinned all the way home. I ripped into the first bag and pulled out … a crib sheet with leg holes! I grabbed the package – “M”. As in Mega?

I was steamed. Although I had read the sign in the department saying “No Returns” I felt wronged. There were no samples on the wall. How was I to know not all “M’s” were equal? I headed back to the store.

I couldn’t find my cashier so I chose another near my age. “These are not the size they claim to be and I want to return them,” I whispered, smiling and nodding.

“But madam, there are no returns on….” She smiled and nodded too. We looked like two wooden bobbing birds with a water glass between us.

“Ah, yes. I read the sign,” I murmured. “However, the manufacturer is lying to the customer regarding the size.” I raised my eyebrows and gave one slow nod.

The line of carts grew. Children whined. Mothers grew restless. The cashier and I both stood our ground. She called for reinforcements. A skinny kid strode up. I doubted if he even shaved yet. “Is there a problem?”

I repeated my complaint ending with: “This M must mean Much Much More!” He failed to see the humor.

He leaned toward me. “There. Are. No. Returns. On…,”

I snapped. Grabbing the opened package, I pulled out an M for display. “I’m no Tinkerbell, but does this look like a Medium to you?!” Mothers covered their kids’ eyes. The manager’s face went gray.

“Give her a full refund,” he rasped and dashed.

But the cashier still had some fight in her. “I will refund you for the sealed package, “she huffed, “but not the opened one.” We locked eyes. No more smiles.

“What do you think I did? Wore them all over town? Then washed them, dried them, and ironed these creases back in? I bought them 30 minutes ago!”

She harrumphed, punched some keys, stabbed at some bills, dropped the money into my hand and dismissed me with a toss of her head.

As soon as the cash hit my hand I had a Judas moment. Instead of celebrating my victory I was filled with remorse. When I could have represented the Jesus in me who turns the other cheek, gives the shirt off His back and goes the second mile (Matt 5:39-42) I showed them the Judas who, for a handful of silver, bullishly pursues his/her own agenda.

Thankfully this lesson wasn’t wasted. I became more conscious and careful of whom I represent in all my interactions. The next time I accidentally bought something too big I passed it along to a friend of mine. She never calls anymore….

About Connie Cavanaugh

Connie Cavanaugh is a speaker, humor columnist, and author of From Faking it to Finding Grace and Following God One Yes at a Time. She and her husband Gerry Taiilon live in Alberta, Canada with their kids and grandkids nearby. You can find out more at
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2 Responses to “Sometimes Winning is Losing”
  1. Steph Prichard says:

    “A crib sheet with holes”! I laughed and laughed at that and the understandable bulldog in you that it brought out! Are you sure the situation warranted “turning the other cheek,” hee hee?

  2. Connie Cavanaugh says:

    Turning the other cheek indeed! Thanks for pointing that out Steph. Unintended punnery there!

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