It took years of listening to those close to me to learn the type of lettuce I bought was not the best. “No flavor,” Rots too fast,” and just plain “Yuck,” I was lovingly told. It was suggested I buy one of those packs of hearts of romaine lettuce to see the difference.

It tastes like, well it tastes like lettuce to me. I apparently don’t have a discerning enough palette to differentiate the delicate differences of lettuces. But to keep “peace in the valley” I now buy the packages of hearts of romaine lettuce. Big deal huh? Not really, but here, as per my usual, is the rest of this saga.

We zipped 242 miles to Reno for appointments and on our way home we picked up a load of groceries. Shop, shop, shopping we went. I start in the back of grocery stores. I have learned that even though the produce is up front, I don’t have to get my produce first. If I start in the front, when I get done shopping I find the tomatoes have gotten run over by the canned corn, or kicked around by a grumpy box of rice. Anyway.

Just as a side… How lucky are we that we live in a time and in a country where we can buy a watermelon in December? Or corn on the cob in February? Lucky Louies is what we are.  Munching on celery let’s move along.

After picking over the melons and aforementioned tomatoes, the last thing on my list were the hearts of romaine lettuce. To my surprise this store, that touts having everything anyone would ever need, was out of lettuce. All lettuce. Not a fresh leaf to be had. Well my other half chased down a produce guy, seriously chased him down clear into the back room. Why is it that the “back room” seems to be a place of mystery?

“No fresh lettuce today,” the guy reports. He did point out a few old, much handled packages of organic overly rust spotted lettuce. I passed on the overpriced “organic” has-beens. Deciding instead on stopping at a second store on the way out of town and picking up a few packages of the obnoxious lettuce.

At the second store my other half decided he had enough shopping so I zipped in alone to grab the lettuce—and there’s where it happened.

I’m standing at the array of lettuce. Apparently this store got all the lettuce delivery that day because they had a mountain of lettuce. Head, butter, green leaf, red leaf, arugula and the ever elusive packages of three stalks of hearts of romaine. Since I was only going to get the lettuce I didn’t opt for a cart as I came in the door, poor choice as it turns out. I grabbed 3 packages of the green stuff and as I turned to head for the front I remembered that this store is a club store and I would need my club card at the checkout.

I have, in the past, been caught at the checkout counter trying feverishly to find this stores’ card. I don’t frequently shop here so the card is not used enough to garner a top slot in my wallet. So I decided to find it first, while in the produce department out of the sight of a clerk that is coolly waiting for me to produce a card that will give me the “special” price offered, but only to those who are members of this store’s, free to join, club!                 Holding three slick packages of lettuce I started the treasure hunt. Then it happened. All the buyers’ club cards I have accumulated over the years slipped out of the buyers’ club card holder I carry them all in. They went skittering across the floor in the produce department. And there I am. My life in club cards laid there in a line from the avocados to the zucchini. Ah geeze. Of course I looked around to see if anyone was starring. Alone, whew!

Like picking up a deck of cards after someone flicked them in playing 52 pick-up, I decided I have become a club card hoarder. Grocery stores, clothing stores, box stores, hotels, airlines, car rental, home improvement, restaurants. In stores, on line, by mail, “Use me,” they all seem to be screaming.

I bought the lettuce, with the card, saved ten cents, and left my dignity in the produce department.

I have to admit though it isn’t all bad to join a club. I once bought enough Diet Coke over six months to earn enough points to get a free cruise. Choose your clubs wisely.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS is on Kindle. Share with her at