When the “express” lane isn’t…

A couple of nights ago I was standing in the “express” lane at the grocery store nearest my house. This is the store where I run in if I only need something basic. It is not my store of choice. Actually, I can’t afford my  store of choice, but that’s another story.

One reason I dislike this store is that they don’t have U-Scan. I can’t check myself out…I have to stand in line and let the cashier do it for me. And sometimes that involves chit-chat which is one of my very least favorite passtimes.

So, I’m in the “express” lane and it’s time for the woman in front of me to pay. She digs a HUGE wallet out of her purse…you’ve seen them…the kind crammed with every piece of paper she’s ever been given. Coupons that expired six months ago. Reminders for hair appointments and doctor visits from six years ago. Receipts for clothes that she sold in her last garage sale.

She navigates through all the paper and starts pulling out credit cards and debit cards and plastic of all sorts. She shuffles through them like she’s fixing to deal us all a hand of Credit Card Rummy.

Meanwhile, I’m behind her tap tap tapping my foot. About to offer to pay for her yogurt and twinkies myself.

She evidently can’t find the card she’s looking for. She puts the wallet back in her purse and pulls out a checkbook. A checkbook! Who writes checks anymore? I write about 2 a month. Thankfully, the cashier had a pen. So she writes the check and hands it to the cashier. You know what comes next…she has to dig the wallet back out of the purse and start looking through all that plastic for her driver’s license.

I just sighed opened one of the beers in my cart and had a little happy hour right then and there.

(Well, not really, but I thought about it.)


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4 responses to “When the “express” lane isn’t…

  1. Mother

    I write checks – its easier than trying to remember the difference between debit and credit cards.

  2. UT Yankee

    I have a fat wallet with things stuck in it. No coupons, more likely missed doctors’ appointment cards. Anyway I always use credit unless the total is so incredible low I am too embarrassed to sign the slip for it. Then I use cash. Now onto the Happy Hour idea. I was sharing an apartment in Tempe with my sister and a college student we selected from a notice board. One evening her boyfriend decided to go to the grocery with me. It was shocking……he ate his dinner from the shelves as I pushed my cart selecting items for my sister and my dinner. He would open packages, take two or three bites and reshelve the partially eaten package at the next convient aisle. Compared to him a Happy Hour seems reasonable to me.

  3. Julie Fisher

    Remember (well, probably you’re too young) all the talk years ago about the Peter Principle? I’ve always thought there should be a name for the principle that whatever line you choose to get in will be the line that has a serious delay right before you get to the front. But what to call this principle??? You know–the register runs out of paper to print your receipt on, or they’ve had to fry more french fries, or the guy at the register is making plans for the weekend with the girl two aisles over, or Lord knows what heinous event is causing the car without a license to shake its already loose muffler in front of you as its driver attempts to either rob the bank or cash a stolen check. Oh, I could go on and on. But maybe somebody is behind me right now waiting to use this computer. Well, I say let ’em wait!

  4. Oh no. I have one of those wallets. And even worse, the lining of my purse has detached in one section, so now I’ve got a “secret compartment” underneath the lining where all kinds of things like to hide. (although that’s also a good thing when it comes to sneaking mini vodka bottles into concerts and various events…)

    Needless to say, if you’re ever in line behind me in the express check-out, I will let you go ahead. Deal?

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