My Life in Checkout Lines

Posted on November 6, 2010


I can tell it’s the beginning of the holiday season.  It’s not because I have seemingly overnight developed an irrational need to gain five lbs and set off my IBS.  It’s not because of the relentless Christmas decorations that magically appear in stores while the kids are still out trick or treating.  It’s because of the lines in stores.  And I have a tragic, intractable history of ALWAYS CHOOSING THE WRONG LINE TO STAND IN

Oh, I can tell you stories.  Like standing directly behind:

  1. Someone trying to pay for purchases with foreign currency
  2. Someone trying to pay for purchases with a check and a student VISA from another country
  3. Someone who argues about the price of EVERY SINGLE item being scanned
  4. Someone who has three items in their basket, and, right as the last item is being scanned, their spouse comes up and throws about 100 more items into it
  5. Someone who dumps the entire contents of their purse onto the conveyor belt and proceeds to root through medications, extra underwear, a stun gun, cosmetics from the Kennedy era, and rain gear, trying to come up with the EXACT CHANGE to give to the clerk. 

Yesterday was my OFFICIAL ENTRY into holiday shopping:  Michaels Craft Stores. Me: holding one canvas, one tube of oil paint, one small frame.  I positioned myself in the line that had a woman holding a basket that appeared empty.  I figured I was home free.  It wasn’t until about 10 people were behind me that I realized her basket actually contained:

APPROXIMATELY 200 TINY SKEINS OF EMBROIDERY YARN, which she proceeded to place onto the belt in tiny color-coordinated clusters of colors.  The clerk patiently waited until all colors were accounted for, and then started to RING UP EACH COLOR SEPERATELY.  I passed the time feeling my grey roots growing out. 

What made it worse was that she was chatting with me the entire time, talking about the FRUSTRATIONS OF HOLIDAY SHOPPING.  What made it even worse than that was that I was standing there so long, and she was SO enjoying talking to me that she GAVE ME HER PHONE NUMBER AND TOLD ME TO CALL HER.  I am not making this up.

By the time I checked out, I had to drive directly to the beauty salon to have my roots done.  This is going to be a bad holiday season.

Posted in: humor, life, satire, shopping