Saturday, November 12, 2011
The big news around town lately is that the neighborhood grocery store is being bought out by their competition. These stores everywhere are having mad blowout sales to get products off of their shelves. Apparently this was all over the television and radio airways, but my tendency to be a media groundhog made this discovery reveal itself to me at 8:30 at night when I went to buy some apple juice and cinnamon sticks, aka, the poor man's version of apple cider.
Huge mistake. Not only did it feel like the Apocalypse had struck, with everyone vying for the shopping carts and running up and down aisles grabbing things like pickled beets and rutabaga, but the lines were especially long.
(We are talking grab your gear and set up camp kind of long.)
In the midst of all this chaos, I had the best intentions of remaining cool,calm, and collected. However... those who know me are well acquainted with the fact that crowds are not my forte. Thinking that I had the whole chaotic check-out thing licked I walked right on over to the self-checkout. The method to this madness was the inkling that no hoarder of 30 mayonnaise tubs and their train of carts was going to want to do the work of checking out their OWN spoils. It was a fool proof plan.
Basking in the glow of my self pronounced genius, I sauntered up behind a pregnant lady who (while she had a cart full of food) also had a two person stroller. The tactic behind that choice lay hidden in the quiet and split second reasoning that this lady would most likely be adept at multi-tasking. She obviously had two kids and one on the way, but aside from that decided to schlep them along to the Rockford event of the century at 9:00 at night. I immediately concluded that she was one of those mom warriors. The kind that can make grilled cheese with one hand while folding laundry with the other. Oh yeah. There was no doubt in my mind that we would be out of there in a split second. So I patted myself on the back once more for this my second keen observation skill of the evening and began daydreaming about what it would be like to work as an apple cider drinking FBI agent. She went to grab the last item in her cart and I grabbed a couple dollars from my purse to check out next.
As soon as she finished scanning her last jar of generic barbecue sauce and she began to reach for what I presumed to be her wallet, she instead grabbed the sun roof to her stroller and pushed down the cover. Horror struck. I'd been sorely misled. For there was no rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed baby cargo occupying those seats. Just more canned goods.
And so on she went.
Scanning....and scanning...and scanning...
It was like a rare form of Chinese water torture. And it began to get the best of me. The walls started caving in. My heart rate started pounding. Just moments away from panic, I remembered the kind-hearted words that my husband always whispers to me in these situations of irrational angst:"Get a HOLD of yourself, woman!" So I muttered this to myself. A few times actually. And it began to work. I began to see myself minutes away from my hot cup of apple cinnamon delight.
It seemed like a lifetime passed me by. I actually contemplated what to get my unborn nephew for his 16th birthday. Time was crawling by, but I had managed to keep the crazy under control.
This tactic however, was short lived when much further into her scanning I noticed out of the corner of my peripheral vision...a binder. A very THICK binder. It wasn't a trapper keeper or daily planner. We are talking one of those binders with the ability to hold massive amounts of paperwork. The accordion binder. NOT unlike those that I had seen on TV with the CCL. The crazy coupon ladies. Calling back on my aforementioned FBI worthy skills of observation, I narrowed in on the suspect.
No sooner than she had bagged her last container of hummus, she opened the foreboding binder compartment. What she pulled out with her pristine, pink nails was not cash. At that moment my worst fears were confirmed. I had been duped again. She was clutching coupons. Mass amounts of them.
More time passed. I began to wonder if my husband had sent out the search troops.
The more she kept beeping, the closer she pushed me to the edge...
It's amazing what the mind is capable of. At one point I remember envisioning myself committing copious amounts of handcuff worthy material. Most to all of which involved lighting things on fire with my apple juice as lighter fluid, and using the coupons to feed the blaze. True, that particular liquid may not be the scientific equivalent of propane or gasoline, but in the moment, while clutching my $ 1 dollar gallon of Juicy Juice, I seemed to think that it was no only perfectly logical, but also perfectly just. I would be the Robin Hood of this land...or at least this line...and rightfully give people back what was taken from them. Their Wednesday night.
Alas,what could I do but watch in horror.
Reason somehow sunk in. I'd come that far. To engage in crimes of arson would surely not have brought me any closer to my end goal. So instead, I stood. Rendered helpless by the pregnant coupon queen and her money saving ways.
While it is true that restraint showed it's face to some degree and I may not have set the store a-blaze, I will say that the evening came to a close with what I would like to refer to as a less than koshir moment.
Blame it on the late hour or perhaps even on the jealousy that her bill ended up being just as much as mine...
Whatever the case may be or the reasoning behind it, you can rest assured that I took all my pent up anger about the entire evenings events and used it to fuel one of the most hard core, soul shaking, earth shattering...
eye roll/sigh combination that the likes of this town had ever seen. I also accompanied it with a slam of my cinnamon sticks into the bagging area. True, she may have ventured off at that point. But I know she must have felt it. Even the overseeing self-check out clerk could feel it. Oh yeah. He didn't say anything, but he knew. This lady had just been served a slice of "You've GOT to be kidding me" pie. And I did NOT give her a discount.
Posted by Jekisa Jean at 11:35 PM