Mindin' My Biscuits in the Checkout Line
Looking feral and feeling exhausted after a crappy day at work, I just couldn't muster the energy for polite chit-chat and shallow banter. So I did what anyone would do and dodged every familiar face at the Ridley's in Star like the rogue legos in my kid's room.
I was so tired by the time I got to the checkout line that the thought of driving three miles home was almost too much. Who hasn't been there?
Fighting the urge to dump my groceries onto the belt like a heathen, I stuck to my finely honed order of operations to avoid the would-be kitchen chaos later. It went something like this:
- Non-Edible Heavies. Cleaning supplies and household goods are the first things to cruise on down the beltway. They make for an excellent foundation in the cart and in the car.
- Edible Heavies. Gallons of milk and orange juice, along with yogurt, rice, and potatoes make a solid foundation in the shopping cart.
- Cold Stuff. The deli meats and cheeses, the butcher cuts, fresh protein bars, and colds snacks band together like brothers braving the storm. To keep the cold items colder longer, the frozen items jump on next—frozen peas, carrots, and cauliflower. I think of them as cold packs.
- Produce. Heavy fruits charge the belt followed by the lightweights berries, cherries, and grapes. As my cart nears empty, I reach for the sensitive Sallies that bruise easily: bananas, avocados, mangos, kiwis, etc.
- Softies. Easily marred yummies like bread, baked goods, and cookies—because let’s be honest, cracked cookies are cringe.
If reading that felt like forever, hear me out. Organizing my groceries takes me all but two minutes to knock out—three, tops! Not too bad, right? That’s when I was thrown off by an Idaho Karen who had the nerve to vocalize her impatience with my conveyor belt strategy.
Idaho Karen Jumps in Line
First of all, Karen didn’t show up until the produce round! Which, come on, who doesn’t group their produce? Even the most disorganized (and exhausted) shoppers round up the fruits and veggies. Don't they? 😳
That’s when Karen's huffing began. As each of her exasperated breaths grew louder than the last, I finished loading up the last of my softies. But Karen's patience had expired. Somewhere between the bread and the pound cake, she blurted out,
Oh, my God! Could you move any slower! I’ve gotta get my son in Eagle in 20 minutes!
Mind you, the self-checkout was open and empty. There were also two other active lanes, and Karen had waited on me less than a minute at this point.
Confronting Karen, Connecting with Jesus
Having just finished a 14-hour work day, I was at my breaking point. Rather than snap on Karen with her Kate + 8 pixie cut, I took a moment to connect with Jesus. Because class over sass, right?
That's when she pushed my pound cake with the item separator, and I about lost it. From one moment to the next, I turned around and gave her the business. With a slightly psychotic smile on my face and my right hand over my heart, I said, “Touch my pound cake again and I’ll drop-kick your dog food, honey.”
Then, SILENCE. Defeated and unaccustomed to being put in her place, Idaho Karen retreated to self-checkout. Swaddling my pound cake, I basked in the glory of sweet victory. Not today, Karen. Not. Today.
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