Life offers multiple surprises. Take yesterday for instance.
In a hurry to buy a new Aveeno moisturizer, I stared at Walgreens Aveeno display of all shapes and sizes. But I couldn't see the Big One I wanted. Oh, hell, they all say "moisturizing." Any one must do. I grabbed a little boxed item.
My first surprise came at the cash register when the cashier rang up $18 for that little box. $18!!! I bought it anyway.
That night I compared the $18 little box with the Big One I wanted to replace. Half the weight and twice the price.
I opened the little $18 box and pulled out a bottle. It looked nothing like my Big One; it even had a curved plastic beak.
Oh durn. Mistake. That's what I get for being in a hurry.
I put the bottles on my cosmetic shelf and went to sleep.
The next morning I decided to return the $18 Beaked Bottle and locate a clerk to help me find a Big One to buy. I put my sample Big One in a bag, then grabbed the $18 Wonder and stuffed it in its box.
I couldn't close the lid, but I took it to Walgreens anyway.There on the big cosmetics counter, I unpacked everything.
The clerk, dressed like a gypsy in a flowing flowered gown, marched away with my sample Big One and returned with its twin.
"Is this what you want?"
Surprise number two: Was it ever! Now where did she find it? Not on the Aveeno shelf.
Then the clerk picked up my $18 Wonder, now a little box full of a too-big bottle.
"It doesn't even fit!" she cried.
I knew that, but the surprise was that she credited my card for $18 anyway.
Then she pulled the ill-fitting bottle out of its little box.
"Why look! It's not even the same brand."
I looked. She was right. The bottle label read Neutrogena, not Aveeno.
I signed papers and went home with my $18 credit, my twin Big Ones, both old and new.
That night, I couldn't sleep for wondering about this. I finally crawled out of bed, turned on the light, and looked for my half-used Neutrogena bottle.
It was missing. I had packed it in the small box and taken it to Walgreens. In its place stood the new $18 Beaked Wonder that I'd paid nothing for.
An unexpected swop.