Early this morning after I
drop kicked the boys sadly said goodbye to the boys as I dropped them off at school, I went to my local Safeway for, literally, one item. Our house is on the market (anyone want a house?), we had a walk-through scheduled for late this morning, and I like to have fresh flowers in a vase on the kitchen island for walk-throughs.
I procured a lovely bouquet of alstroemeria, Gerber daisies and Asters and proceeded to the checkout line.
I like my local Safeway because it is a mile from my house and I know its contents and their whereabouts like the back of my hand. In and out.
What I don't like about Safeway is that there are never enough cashiers, but I give them a break and don't complain (much) because I know the economy is tough and they need to pinch pennies.
I mosied up to the only line open (I could mosy because there wasn't any competition approaching the checkout area at the same time as I was), an express lane for 15 items or fewer which contained a woman with a plethora of items, I'd estimate 50. (See the link in that last marathon sentence to learn grocery store line strategy).
I know what you're thinking... but no. I wasn't irritated at the lady, because it wasn't her fault. Safeway only had that one lane open at that early hour, and I have been that lady with the 50 items needing to check out when the only lane open is an express lane. I felt her pain, I did.
I employed a different strategy. I conspicuously kept checking all around me within view of the cashier and the store manager. Getting the hint, the cashier said: "is there someone behind you?" to which I truthfully responded: "uh huh." My strategy worked; she got on the intercom and called for help with the cashier lanes. I'm brilliant, I know.
Well, Linda from produce took her sweet time getting to the lane which she was to open, and I played the game we all play when relief is coming to the cashier lanes: I tried to figure out which was it was going to be so I could dart over there, what with my being next in line. In the meantime, a harried looking woman took her spot at the end of our line, now 5 people long.
You can see the foreshadowing, can't you?
When Linda took her spot in aisle 5 and flipped on her light, the harried looking woman, last in line, darted over to the newly opened register. I walked over and planted myself behind her and bit my bottom lip hard. If she didn't have so few items and it didn't look as if she were going to make something specific with them (I think maybe it was a blueberry cheesecake? - which I imagined would be for some housebound old woman somewhere), I would have said: "excuse me, but I was before you, ma'am," in my nicest, sweetest, most diplomatic voice possible (yes, husband, it does exist).
Like I said, I held my tongue. I am going to heaven for sure.
My lip started bleeding as this woman, when her few items had been tallied and bagged by sprightly (not) Linda, proceeded to dig into her pocketbook. She couldn't possibly have begun digging into her purse while Linda was bagging and tallying, could she have!? THAT would have made sense and been efficient, especially by someone who was in such a hurry that she had to cut in front of the entire line...
As blood started running down my chin from my lower lip and my blood pressure began to rise, she finally pulled out her checkbook. People, if you still write checks in the grocery store, know that you are living in the age of dinosaurs. They take credit cards, folks. They take debit cards. It's all electronic these days, people. Get with the millenium.
Because this woman was in such a hurry that she had rudely to cut in front of everyone, she had already written out her signature and the signatory and was just waiting for Linda to give her a total, right? NO! She hadn't even pulled the checkbook out of her 80s purse!
[Insert sound effect: a distant scream, as if from a mountaintop, starting out as a piercing, loud scream and then ever so slowly fading....]
The woman took 10 minutes to fill out the check and hand it to Linda, whom I think had finished filing her nails by now. There ensued some controversy as to the exact amount of money Linda wanted to receive as change from having written above the amount she needed to pay for her flippin' blueberry cheesecake ingredients!
Why, oh why, oh why do people cut in front of you only to be so flippin' slow?
When the evil, check-writing woman was finally gone and I had purchased my flower bouquet (in a matter of 30 seconds; I actually timed myself and my quick credit card transaction), I had blood dripping down from my lip (oh LORD I wanted to say something to her or to the cashier after she had gone) and I decided I had burned enough calories in anxiety to skip my training run today (not).
Ah. I feel better now. Thanks for listening.