Yesterday I was waiting at the register at my local supermarket. There was this woman in front of me. I estimate she was 65-70 years old. She unloaded her cart and waited until the girl behind the counter was done scanning. The total amount summed up to about 71 euro.

On that news the lady freaked out. She said she had only 70 euro. The girl behind the counter offered to keep the groceries separated so the lady could get the money. Instead, she started digging through her groceries to find something she could leave. It seemed to be a hard choice, because it took ages.

First she found a little box of Paracetamol, which goes for € 0,40. Then a toilet refresher which costs about the same. After that she took out some butter, which was € 1,80. Eventually she figured she could have the other two products when just leaving the butter out and finally she had gotten up to € 69,99.

When she was packing her stuff, she explained she had exactly 70 euro for groceries per week. She blamed the rich for taking all the money and that her pension was barely enough. I understand that completely, it isn't easy these days. However, I felt no pity towards her in particular. What I left out above is that she bought 4 packs of cigarettes which were 6 euro each. That means she spent more than 1/3 of that money on cigarettes. I find you have no right to complain about money in that case. In my wallet I actually had that euro she was missing and I could have helped out, but I didn't out of principle.

It became clear to me she was one of those hypocrites when she said the magic word(s). If you hear someone say them, you just know. As she was selecting her products to leave at the store, she picked one up and said: “I can't leave this, it's good value.” Good value (Dutch: voordelig) is that magic greedy people use to make themselves feel good about buying something cheap. She could have said cheap (Dutch: goedkoop), but then she couldn't feel so good about herself.

Please, complain only when you have saved on absolutely everything!