Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'Tis the season.

"Would you like to donate a dollar to St. Judes?"

"Would you like to donate money to Joe's Animal Shelter?"

"Would you like to donate to Ronald McDonald house?"

I'm sure you hear this all the time out of the person ringing up your items at any unmentioned store name. It's the time of the year after all. And I know I've mentioned before that I pretty much never pass up the chance to give. It just feels...wrong. But I understand that it's a personal thing.

A few weeks ago Declan and I were having a hardcore budget conversation. You know, he runs the 'books' in this family. He keeps me and my spending in line (or tries too). I often get a lecture monthly about my Target spending. It is what it is. Anyway. 

I was at the drugstore picking up a few things last week with the budget talks fresh in my mind. I was ringing out when the sweet cashier asked me if I wanted to donate $5 towards diabetes awareness and then get a page of coupons in exchange for it. I stopped.

I hesitated.

Normally I just say "sure" without really thinking twice about it. 

But again. Budget talks ringing in my ear. 

And that's when I word vomited to the cashier. As in, totally, completely, went TMI OVER THE LINE. Yea. That happens sometimes to me.

"You see, um. Crap. I love to give to those things. I always give to them. But, see, I keep getting in trouble for my money spending by my husband, and well...shoot. I'm gonna say no this time. I mean, I feel terrible. Ugh. This is so hard for me. But no. I'm gonna say no this time. I'll probably get one next time, anyway."


A simple no would have done just fine, Katie. But instead I felt horrible. I felt like I had to justify myself. I felt like a douchebag. So I just started saying too much, and in the meantime threw my husband under the bus. Bad move, Katie. Bad move

The cashier just kind of shrugged and didn't really seem to care about my shenanigans. And then? That's when she said it (after I was already ALL CHECKED OUT and practically walking out the door). 

"My daughter has diabetes. So it means a lot to me."


Yep. I'm such a jerk. And I felt like one in that moment. I always add the extra money. I ALWAYS buy the dang coupon card. WHY NOT THIS TIME?

And then that's when I said, "My father-in-law has diabetes too, actually" (Insert a few expletives that were playing in my head...) and then I practically ran out of the door feeling like the worst human being ever to live.

It wasn't good. I should have bought the dang coupon card for diabetes awareness. 

I came home and told Declan, and he was like, "YOU DIDN'T DONATE? DUDE, MY DAD HAS DIABETES."

And so with that. I say. Donate people. 




*In all honesty, I take 'giving' very seriously and don't ever talk publicly about the extent of what we do. I feel that's a private matter between me, my husband and God. Seriously. My husband wouldn't ever encourage me not to give, what he wanted me to do was stop spending so much money at Target. :)  But, this is just one of those lighthearted, I-felt-like-a-douche moments that had to be shared with the world. Because I'm self-deprecating like that. 


  1. The fact that you give so often makes you a wonderful person- I've had to say "no" randomly and I felt the same way- but you can pat yourself on the back for doing good everyday- you're raising a beautiful little girl and writing a wonderful blog that I have truly been inspired by! So thank you!

  2. Awww, do not feel bad!!! You can't donate to everything! I know what you mean about feeling bad about saying no but sometimes it's ok to say no! Do not beat yourself up! By the way, you crack me up...just the way you wrote this!

  3. I have diabetes too so it means a lot to me, but I can't help but just laugh at this post. I am sorry that I find entertainment from your shennigans, ha!!

  4. Katie, I felt like I couldn't go on with my day without saying, I totally understand! My husband also does the books and I cringe when my Red Card statement comes every month. We also like to give when we are asked at checkout but like you with those "budget" talks in mind I often hesitate. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I love reading your blog because almost every time I can relate to you! :)

  5. Aghhhhhh..... I totally feel you.

    Two of your three first mentioned charities are my personal "favorites." I'm in love with St Jude..... it's my favorite place on Earth and I actually hope to work for them in some capacity during my life. Getting to visit there each year is my favorite part of my job. And, my parents stayed in a Ronald McDonald House when I was a baby, so there's a special place in my heart for that, too.

    The giving thing is hard, sometimes. You can't give to everyone and it's hard to say "No."

  6. The word vomit thing is something I've inherited from my mother. She always gives too much of an explanation about why we were buying what we were buying etc and I was always like "moooommm- they don't care" and now I find myself doing the exact same thing. I try to give the extra dollar or two- I figure it's not much money from me but it can add up to a lot for the charity- however sometimes I do say no and always feel guilty afterwards :(

  7. Ugh! This is totally one of those "it figures" moments!!!

    I, too, struggle with donating because let's face it, this time of year, we all have a budget to respect. I hate saying no. I usually respond with, "sorry, not this time."

  8. OMG ME TOO!!! I always feel like the worst human being ever if I don't donate. Also, if I've already donated, I still feel bad... like I have to donate every single time I visit.

    And having a husband that WORKS for Target... yeah, we've had that talk A LOT. More than I'd like to admit, actually... :)

  9. The only thing I could have said is Damn ... and walked out with my head hung. But seriously, we ALL do it. EVERYONE needs money. And if you give it all away, you'll be the one needing it too. It's a tough line to tow but ya gotta do it.

  10. LOL. Awesome.

    I always feel bad saying no too, but it just isn't in our budget to give to everyone!

  11. This might sound weird but hear me out. I think it's awesome that you felt guilty. A lot of people wouldn't give a second thought to saying no. While I agree with some that you can't give to everything, normally we can give the extra $1 when we check out, so we should. That's my humble opinion. :)

  12. OMG! that's hilarious and tragic all at the same time! Declan's response is CLASSIC! =)

  13. I can't say no either, even when I am absolutely panicked about our own finances. I hear you, sister.

  14. Haha, I actually know how you feel with this one. I LOVE giving to St. Jude and other non-profits, but honestly? EVERY store I go to does that... and yes, my budget can only give so much. It's hard saying no to the donation pot. But we can try, right?

    And that cashier? Had some nerve. That's all I can say :)

  15. oh kate... i know i heard this story last night, but reading it today it's still just as humorous. and i have to be honest... the over-sharing? you know where you get that from, right? haha! all those years of judging mom for it! lol

  16. This is tough because you cannot donate *every single time*

    I usually say yes all the time, but at this time of year I choose which charities I want to donate to (I usually get Christmas gifts from the St. Jude's website).

    Great post and so relevant right now!

  17. This made me laugh and don't feel bad I almost always say yes too, but I'm trying to have more "yes control."

  18. I feel you girl. You can't give to everyone though. I have to remind myself of that sometimes. I try to always give but there are sooooo many things and people to give to. I feel guilty if I don't give, but I have to watch my budget or I might end up being one of those people needing the money one day. It's a catch 22. Giving is such a personal thing to people.

  19. don't feel bad katie. You and God know where you put your money. The cashier shouldn't have said anything about her daughter. Talk about a guilt trip. This always happens to me and always after I have just donated! We can't give money to every charity that asks! if would be so nice but the reality is we can't.

  20. I do the same thing. Honestly, if you end up donating $100 a year that way, that isn't going to break you - it just seems like a lot because it's broken up in 20-100 pieces (most of the time they aren't asking for $5)! TOO funny about Declan's response!

    And that cashier was a teeny bit out of line I think! Geez, it's not like you said "I hate people with diabetes!" or something!

  21. I understand your feeling bad, but I wouldn't let it stress you out too much. First off, the cashier had to obviously see that you felt bad and she didn't need to throw it back at you to make you feel worse. Secondly, I completely agree it's a great cause and you should donate for as many great causes as you can, but at some point, you do have to do only what your budget can handle, and I know it's just a dollar or 5 dollars, but those can add up. And Thirdly, I prefer to donate when it something great for everyone, I'd rather run a 5k that donates back to diabetes than donate 5 bucks at a store because I'm getting a good run out of it and their still getting their money. Don't feel bad, just do what is best for you next time and try running races that benefit things like that so everyone feels good all around. Sorry for the winded comment, but I just don't think it's right for you to feel bad, when you were trying to do what your husband wanted too and you obviously already felt bad enough.

  22. Hahaha Katie, you crack me up. You're not a douchebag. That sounds like something that would happen to me! And- not to sound cheap, buttt.. $5 is kinda a steep donation when you're on a budget, and, as you said, it's everywhere you go this time of year. Don't feel bad =)

  23. I think we've all been right there in your shoes before. And yes, I know the guilt. I'm a lot like you in that I'm usually pretty private about how and when we donate to causes - because it is a very personal thing.

    (I'm also like you in that I get lectures from my husband about my spending at Target...damn that place!)

    Does it make me a horrible person that often times I tell a little white lie by saying "Not today, I already donated." I realize I'm just doing so to save face, and I still end up feeling a little guilty when I leave (both for lying and for not donating), but honestly and truly, we cannot be expected to open our wallets to every cause. And we should not be bombarded with guilt-trip marketing at the checkout counters.

    With that said, I'm really a very giving person. I swear.

    Just my two cents... :)

  24. I feel like that too sometimes when I say no. I always feel the need to explain myself even though I'm sure most of these cashiers could care less.

  25. I have had to do it too.. it just seems like especially during this time of the year, they ask that question every single time I checkout everywhere.. even at the fast food joints. and.. I too never just say "NO" I come up with this long drawn out story of why I am saying no

  26. Good to know I am not the only one that has my word vomit moments with cashiers :) I hear ya, it never fails when I usually say no, I kick myself for it :) That was a fun post :) Not that your other posts aren't fun :D

  27. I feel bad when I say no, but when you frequent a place and hear it every time sometimes you have to. I actually started saying I've already donated. One cashier told me they have to ask no matter what.

  28. I have had something very, very similar happen to me, and when I told P, he was all, "Why don't you spend less at Target so you can donate guilt-free to the animal shelter/etc.? I want you to donate every time. I don't want you to buy something we don't need at Target."

    I hung my head in shame for reals with that one.

  29. ACK! The cognitive dissonance must have really hurt for this one.

    Well, now you know where Declan stands on it, and you can donate $2 next time.

    Your heart was in the right place, Katie. So try not to sweat it, OK?

  30. i laughed. but don't worry, you and declan can always figure out at any time of year whether you can donate a little something extra to any variety of charitable organizations (straight through their websites, or whatever). doesn't have to be right now!

  31. I always feel bad when I say no to those requests. But then I remember all that I do, the time that I give, the money that I send, the prayers that sometimes mean more than any monetary donation I can give...and I feel better. You can't give to everyone all the time and that's understandable. Don't feel bad. My husband has diabetes and I probably still would have said no. You are a lovely person who gives so much in so many ways that you probably don't even realize. Keep being make my heart smile!

  32. Geez, I hate saying no to those kinds of things, but I usually do because we have a budget for charity and those requests usually aren't in that budget line. But it does make me feel awful!

  33. You're not a jerk!!!! You give often, so that automatically makes you not a jerk! I rarely give when asked those things. I spend a lot of time on the charities i'm passionate about. I use to all the time. So maybe I'm the jerk! Whoops.

  34. I think you probably still give more to charities than most people, so you shouldn't feel bad about saying no once. :)

    BTW I love your blog theme. :)