July 16, 2013

Checkout of Shame

Like most people, I occasionally avail myself of the self-checkout lines at the grocery store.  Usually I do this because I have a small number of items to purchase or perhaps because the lines happen to be shorter that day.  Sometimes I even use them because I'm not wearing makeup and I let my vanity get the better of me, so I make a beeline to the self-checkout line rather than face some potentially judgey cashier.  I recognize in my head that most of them don't even notice, much less care, whether or not I've camouflaged my blemishes with my specially-tinted Spackle For Her™ (now in giant economy size!), but even the best of us have our insecure days and would rather be held accountable only by a computer screen.

More often than not, though, I frequent the self-checkout line because I don't want to have to explain the seeming eccentricities in my purchases.  For example, today I hit the self-checkout because I had five boxes of La Choy's fortune cookies and some 9-volt batteries.  That's it.  If I went through the regular lines, such a purchase would at the very least garner a raised eyebrow; more frequently it encourages an awkward conversation with my cashier who is busy trying to figure out why I would need two such disparate items at the same time.  Such purchases just never look good.  [For the record, I like fortune cookies and they happen to be low in fat--so they make a good, diet-friendly snack.  You get a little crunch and a little sweet...just enough to take the edge off of cravings.  And if you decide to go on a rampant binge and scarf down the contents of the entire box (not that I would ever do that), you're still gorging on less fat than in a king-size Snickers bar (13 cookies = 10 Weight Watcher points...you're welcome).  And the batteries were for my food scale...nothing kinky to see here...just keep moving.]

For some inexplicable reason, I seem to have a knack for timing my purchases for the most awkwardness possible, like the time I bought multiple packages of feminine hygiene products and a birthday card.  And no, I wasn't stocking up for my next trip to the Texas legislature, I just happen to like keeping a pack both upstairs and down for the utmost in convenience at a time which is normally anything but.  Still, had I gone to the cashier (who with my luck would almost certainly have been a dude) carrying multiple hygiene products and a birthday card, it would have looked distinctly like I was preparing to give a rather unprecedented birthday gift to someone apparently possessing serious gynecological issues. Needless to say, the electronic cashier is much more understanding about such unusual product juxtapositions.

I have raised any number of eyebrows and occasioned no small comment over the years with purchases like 3 bags of jelly beans and a hunk of cheese or a muffin (I'm auditioning for "Chopped"); a new pack of underwear, Post-It notes and pencils (which just looks like a kinky party game); a bakery mix and Sudafed (methamphetamine brownies, anyone?); a case of water, 3 boxes of cinnamon Crest toothpaste and matches (mission trip to Zimbabwe?  Practicing for Survivor in the wilds of Northern Georgia?  MacGyvering a bomb??); or double-stick tape and toilet paper (yeah, I got nothing).

Invariably my weird pairings are the result of having to shop at multiple stores to complete my grocery list since the local Publix never carries everything I want. As a result, I always seem to end up with a last couple of oddly unrelated items. Coincidental or not, it can still be rather difficult to explain oneself when presenting dubious (or suspicious) items like a new plunger and Preparation H to the average cashier.  I know if someone handed me a plunger, Preparation H and a crisp $20, I'd be hard-pressed not to make some injudicious or suitably snarky comment.  Who wouldn't?  No, on days like these, it's far safer and infinitely less embarrassing to bring my shopping of shame to the friendly, non-judgmental scanners at the self-checkout, where I pray enthusiastically that no ill-timed electronic glitches expose me to the supervising cashier on duty.

Really, it's only a matter of time before I get banned from one or another of these stores.

Please...like you've never made an awkward purchase before.  Now stop looking at me like that.

6 comments:

  1. OMGosh! HA HA! The picture made even ME do a double take. I have to admit. I've done the self checkout to avoid the looks, too. Thanks for linking up at LOBS!

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    1. Thanks very much! And yeah, sooner or later something just ends up looking wrong. The other day I had a friend tell me she once bought Preparation H and Brillo pads, and until now never considered what the cashier must have been thinking. Personally, I'd have been thinking, "OUCH."

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  2. When I wired at cvs, someone bought condoms and superglue.....

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    1. Wow...I guess they reaaaaaaaally wanted to enjoy protected sex.

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  3. Hahaha! My grocery store doesn't do self-checkout. Even worse, we shop there every week, so they get to know us and our purchases. AWKWARD! I did once buy condoms and tampons together. That was kind of icky!!
    Stopping by from LOBS; thanks for linking up!

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