I never sweat as much as I do when I’m unloading food onto the conveyor belt at the grocery store.
I’ve discovered after many years of being an adult and doing my own shopping, it’s after 11 am when cashiers zone out and get into that robo-mode of snapping up your food as soon as you place it down and sometimes it’s right from your hand. And that gun of theirs. I swear I’ve seen them zap items from their tool belt as if they were John Wayne.
PEW PEW PEW
“3.99 a pound for chicken breasts”
Pam you’re good, sometimes I want to say.
They’re just a snapping and a swiping and throwing everything twenty feet down the line.
Perhaps they even did a double take on your newborn baby after they wanted to scan its wrinkly ass forehead because they thought it resembled a potato.
Baby’s sometimes do resemble a sack of potatoes Pam.
I feel you.
Mine looked like an orange Oompa Loompa for 2 months.
This is the part where my husband tells me I get too dramatic and my anxiety is over the top when I shop.
And yes Shawn and everyone.
I have an anxiety disorder which makes shopping a little bit harder or A LOT HARDER or ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING for me than most people.
For almost 9 years it’s been like this.
On Mondays I make meal plans and then detailed lists of what I need. I venture to the store that is on the outskirts of our city and I usually make it there before 11. Any time after, it’s chaos. I can’t think about what bananas look the best or what lettuce looks…or is that person following me to this aisle….did I forget the bre–I need that….why is it so crowded?…the kid wanted granola…I needed bread…
I panic so much that I usually just grab what I can and make a mad dash to the checkout line.
Anyways, the checkout line is the worst after 11.
The lines are long and the patience of everyone is so short. I don’t want to be that guy who disrupts the cashier’s mojo and holds up the rest of the line – invoking all that sighing.
That sighhheeeeeeee huuuuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeeinnnggg.
It sounds like a bitchy Darth Vader.
Kind of like the way your mother in law’s eye balls sound when they roll 360 degrees in the back of her head when you do something “horribly wrong” but in the mother department.
Don’t worry my dad’s sound the exact same way.
So there I am. Sweating. Conveyor belt is rolling.
Pam is waiting for my goods. Dick behind me (I just named the man behind me that) is waiting to unload his.
So I quickly launch my vegetables and fruit – just kidding, who eats that healthy?
Here’s my ice cream and carbs and more carbs and boxes of carby carbs.
I go so fast that I actually considered buying a pair of patterned leggings because dammit, this is a workout.
For the record, I also considered a perm once.
My heart hurts.
Don’t stop until the cashier stops, the little voice in my head says
Or that little voice under the cart says, “Mom, my arm is stuck in the shopping cart.”
“Pardon me?” I joked back.
“My arm is really stuck in here. It really is!” Chunky Monkey panicked.
I looked at Pam who did this double blink judge thing with her glitter flecked eyelids and kept on scanning my things.
“His arm is stuck in the cart,” I said to her. Still no response from Pam.
I looked down and my kid had wriggled his entire arm through the spindle of the cart.
“How does this even happen?”
“Well you kind of do it like this,” and he proceeded to try it with the other.
“Please stop doing this,” I looked over and my stuff started to pile.
Dick had his meat all over the place.
My kid started rattling off some very valid questions, “Are they going to have to call the fire department? Are they going to have to cut my arm off? Am I going to live with one arm now? Will you leave me here?”
Pam, who now sucked my entire soaking sweating left summer armpit at zapping things with her tool belt gun, the cashier kept snatching my things and launching my food into a leaning tower at the end of the conveyor belt.
And just I stood there.
Trying to remember what aisle the butter was in.
And wondering if Pam was going to make me pay for it.
*We were actually able to wriggle his arm out in like a minute but it felt like an eternity. All of my food had to be tossed into the cart and not in bags because it was Dick’s turn. I was literally soaking wet by the time we left the grocery store. Pam did not help bag my things. My kid will never try this stunt again…probably next week.
** No I am not slamming people who are cashiers in grocery stores. That is a difficult job I can only imagine. I see the hard work you do. I really do. The reason I go to cashier lanes is because MOST help me bag my items because on top of my anxiety I have chronic pain and they lift my bags. They’re gems. Also in the early morning, I enjoy their banter. I usually go to the same cashiers. PAM though…you’re something else. Also, that’s not her real name. And maybe Pam is not a Pam. Maybe Pam is a man. Or not.
This is linked up to Mama Kat’s Workshop –