Monday, November 14, 2005

Waiting in Long Checkout Lines

Reasons I'd like to thank Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, and my local grocer for having twenty-five checkout lanes and only three open at any given time: Waiting in long lines keeps my domestic brain from going completely idle-- there's so much to learn! Did you know they now sell primed faux wood moldings for the home? I hate to prime. I don't mind striking up conversations with perfect strangers though. One lady told me which DMV office had the shortest wait and officers who actually smile. Another trapped customer gave me her great-grandmother's secret pickling recipe. I also learned to be grateful I don't live next door to the snot-nosed whiny child hanging upside down from the shopping cart in front of me; how many calories are in a Tic Tac; items once marketed as "Only available through this exclusive TV offer!" eventually make it to the store in a box marked, "As seen on TV"; and that Oprah was abducted by aliens who also share an affinity for jersey sheets and private chefs. Which reminds me of other reasons I don't mind waiting in long checkout lines: I can catch up on my magazine reading without buying any. I have time to leave my cart in line and run back to get the thirteen things on my list I forgot. I can be one of those annoying cell phone users and catch up on all my phone calls to my insurance agent, mother-in-law, and Auntie Babe. I can catch a quick catnap now rather than on the drive home. I can assess what other people have in their carts and get exciting new dinner ideas. I can finally apply my top coat of nail polish with plenty of drying time. I can run next door and pick up my dry cleaning. I can update my coupon organizer and leave the trash in the we-never-open-enough-checkout-lanes store instead of my purse. I can clean out my purse and leave the trash in the we-never-open-enough-checkout-lanes store instead of my car. I can practice my standup comedy routines on unsuspecting fellow customers. I can practice some standing yoga poses and then do those isometric muscle-contracting exercises no one else in line is supposed to know you're doing. I can taste test my package of the newest low-carb, zero-transfat, Splenda-saturated cookies. I can breathe heavily on my T-bones so they're defrosted in time for dinner and I won't have to leave them out on the driveway in the hot late afternoon sun as I normally do. I can scribble notes for next week's column on the box of sugar bomb cereal -- maybe something about the merits of grocery delivery.

(from C. R.)


At 8:43 AM, Blogger Adrienne said...

Ok, that was really funny! I know how you feel, though. Everytime I go to Kmart, there are only like three lanes open and five hundred people waiting in line.

I miss you!

At 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can always find amusing things in annoying situations. I have once write to my relative about the crazy behaviour of checkout lines and I suggest he do a psychological research on that.


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