Often times while standing in the line at the grocery store, I watch the cashier with an envious eye. I have no desire to stand in one spot for 8 hours while scanning and bagging food, but I do love the idea of getting to see what everyone is buying. I’ll admit it, I’m pretty nosy and already have a bad habit of craning my neck to see what fellow shoppers are buying, it fascinates me. Without fail, the 300-pound woman on the electric scooter has a cart filled with Pop-Tarts, fried chicken, and ice cream. The slightly anorexic lady still in her tennis skirt and tank top from her morning workout is speed walking the aisles, her basket full of kale, raw almonds, and baby carrots. Then there are the people who confuse me. The one’s whose carts don’t match their characteristics or outward appearances (yes I know my game is really shallow and involves some serious stereotyping). Remember the opening scene from 101 Dalmatians where the dogs all resembled their owners? This is how I feel the grocery store should operate. Your basket should match your appearance.
Not only are the individual items in a person’s cart interesting to me, but the combination of items they are buying in relation to each other is something I really enjoy. Like a middle school girl, sometimes I’ll giggle to myself when I pass by someone who is buying a frozen lasagna, a bottle of wine, and a box of condoms. “Trying to wine, dine, and romance a lady friend tonight, hmmmm??” I have to restrain myself from asking the already humiliated-looking man.
Other times I become the awkward one in line with my interesting combination of items. One time I had to run into the store to buy tampons. On the way to the checkout, I saw a knife that I really wanted (we all know that it is impossible to leave the store with only the item you went there for). While standing in line with my box of tampons and butcher knife, I suddenly panicked. I wonder if the cashier is going to think that my hormones are raging and I’m planning on killing somebody? Maybe I should buy some other things just so it doesn’t look I’m about to commit homicide. Oh great, now the cashier is staring at me, probably wondering why I’m sweating and have this crazy look in my eye. ABORT ABORT!
Once when prepping for a colonoscopy I had to buy a box of ex-lax pills and two containers of laxative powder (tampons and bowel movements in one post?! You lucky readers, you!). On the way to the checkout line I remembered that I needed more toilet paper, paper towels, and trash bags. Suddenly the assortment of items in my basket screamed “THIS CHICK IS ABOUT TO HAVE SOME SERIOUS BOWEL ISSUES AND TOILET PAPER IS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH! BRING OUT THE HEAVY DUTY PAPER TOWELS AND TRASH BAGS!” I thought about throwing in a bottle of bleach, a plunger, adult diapers, and hemorrhoid cream just for fun. Instead, I bought a magazine and a can of chicken broth and immediately told the cashier that I was prepping for a colonoscopy before she would have time to wonder why on earth I was buying so many laxatives. It felt uncomfortable telling a girl I had just met about the future tubes that would find their way up my rear end, but oddly enough she rebutted with a full on story about her most recent colonoscopy. Awesome.
Maybe the “combination game” is something that only over-analyzers like myself or bored cashiers play, but I really like the spice it adds to my grocery shopping trips. Although if I ever see someone buying bath salts and barbecue sauce, I’m gonna high tail it out of there. I like my face right where it is, thank you.