Thursday, September 10, 2009

In which I prove that riding on grocery carts is not my usual gig

So the other day I ran to the store, as I'm wont to do when we run out of milk.

(Wont. –adjective
1. accustomed; used (usually followed by an infinitive): He was wont to rise at dawn.)

I've been reading Jane Austen lately.

Anyway, so it's fifteen minutes before closing time and I'm there with my limit of four gallons. Skim. Because skim milk tastes delicious and I like it. Half percent is an abomination.

(I didn't really want to be there, but I lost Paper, Rock, Scissors, and the lot fell to me.)

I'm wearing my glasses, and I never feel very friendly in my glasses. Mostly I just don't want anyone to look at me. I just want to buy my milk and go home.

There were only two lanes open, and being the exceptionally-bad-line-picker that I am, I went in behind an older lady buying cat food, InTouch magazine and cigarettes.

(Not really. I don't remember what she was buying. But it sounds much more authentic if I give her some groceries.)

She was in a hurry too, and not at all chatty with the insanely chatty cashier. This girl - she looked maybe twelve years old and eighty pounds - was grinning at the cash register, extremely excited to tell the screen about

"the baby's nursery! We're going to paint as soon as I get home from work! We'll be up half the night and I don't care! I'm just so excited! We still don't know if it's a boy or a girl, but I will paint it blue no matter what, because I'm one of those people who doesn't like pink for girls! I don't know why! And my boyfriend doesn't want me to paint because I've been so so so super sick like all the time, but nothing can keep me from painting tonight! I'm so not even planning on sleeping!"

This did not improve my mood.

The equally chatty man behind me - his groceries (really) were six cases of beer - asked all the obligatory questions about how far along she was, names she's picked out, etc. This thrilled her.

"Oh! Thanks for asking! I just love making friends! That's why I love this job! Meeting new people! Everyone is my friend! Aren't we all friends?!"

She looked at me, ecstatic. I think I managed a wan smile. Just check out my milk, lady....

The chatty cashier and the chatty beer guy continued to chat about chatty things.

Chatty Him: "Well, good luck to you. Kids are so fun."
Chatty Her: "Do you have any?"
"Yeah, one. He's almost two years old."
"Oh, how fun! What are you doing for the party?"
"I don't know what his mom has planned. I don't really do the whole 'committed' thing. He was kind of an accident."
"Yeah, I'm not into commitment much, myself."
"Just introduce me to a hot girl who loves to drink, and that's alright with me! I just like having fun. I don't like being tied down."
"Whoo-hoo! Party! I knew we'd be good friends."

Amazingly, my mood was still not improved.

They continued to chat around and through and at my purchase. I didn't look up. I don't think I smiled again. I swiped the card, concentrating fiercely, punched the numbers, and reached for my milk. When I left, I heard them whispering conspiratorially about what a rude loser I was. (Exact words.)

And yeah - they were right. RUDE LOSER I WAS.

Everyone has bad days, but they will forever remember and think of me as being a RUDE LOSER. Their impression of me, regardless of what kind of person I really am, is RUDE LOSER PERSON. I could be freaking St. Theresa, but if they see me again, they will point fingers and mock, "There she goes! That RUDE LOSER!"

And I'm not really. Not usually. Only sometimes. Very occasionally. When I'm wearing glasses at the grocery story at 10:00 at night. Otherwise, I'm generally happy.

I'll have to remember this next time I encounter a fellow RUDE LOSER.

And check if they're wearing glasses.


MommyJ said...

I hate going to the grocery store late at night. I never feel good late at night. And that conversation would have made me crazy too. Stark raving lunatic, give me my milk before I just steal it, crazy.

And skim milk does rock. It's all we drink at this here house.

Kristina P. said...

There is a cashier at Walmart I avoid like the plague. I would only stop there on Fridays to buy my trashy magazines, and I happened to get her twice.

And she would proceed to pick up the magazines, start reading the covers, and then chat my ear off about Brad and Angelina. I would be friendly, but she wasn't my favorite person.

I just want to read the trashiness for myself!

Lara said...

Great perspective. I try to remember that myself. We all have RUDE LOSER days. Every last one of us. Hopefully we have more riding on shopping cart days, but hey...the contrast is what makes life so cool.

Annette Lyon said...

That's priceless. Because no, they aren't losers AT ALL . . .


And I can tell you right now that if you saw me, I'd certainly look like a loser. (So no one knock on my door right now, please. Thanks.)

gina said...

Hmmm. Jesus said love everyone, and its a good thing I'm not Jesus 'cause I certainly fall short of that commandment. I would have been a rude loser person in that situation as well, and I don't even wear glasses (anymore).

InkMom said...

Chin up . . . they won't recognize you with your contacts in!

(And if we're being honest here . . . the rude losers, by very definition, were those speaking of a lack of commitment when it comes to one's offspring. And children conceived out of the bonds of marriage. And also being 80 pounds and pregnant.)

DeNae said...

...and then there was the cashier at the Albertson's in Seattle who would pick up my pregnancy test and say, in full voice, "So! Is there something you want to share with us??"

Totally not kidding.

I'm the queen of rude losers in the checkout line. I really don't give a tinker's tink about the person checking my groceries. I figure they have a family, one or two friends. They don't need me to bond with them. Beyond "thanks, you too" to whatever their parting shot is ("gosh, you're fat", for example) I'm not much for conversation at that point.

Happy Mom said...

Your posts always make me smile!!!

Rocketgirl said...

Okay, we are SO allowed the leave-me-the-bleep-alone grocery store trips. (I feel the same way in glasses) But RUDE LOSER?! After a conversation like that?! You should have thrown some magazines after them the kind with those Gosselins on them. Psshhh.

Julie said...

Grocery store clerks need to go through a two-step training process.

Step one: Assess the customer. Do they appear to give a flying rat's bahookie about your personal life or do they appear to want to get out of there ASAP?

Step two: Oblige them and their rat's bahookie or quickly scan their crap and get them out of there.

The whole world would applaud. They might even cry tears of joy.

P.S. I usually fall into category one, just because I'm a social retard, but I digress....

Kristi said...

I am a bad line picker too! And always seem to get the mean checkers who roll their eyes at my kids and just want me gone.... I am not sure which is worse! I guess it depends on the day! Sorry you had stinkers at the store! ((HUGS))

Becca said...

Believe it or not, my mother just lectured me on the risks of painting while pregnant. She had a couple of miscarriages when I was young. Of course they weren't from painting.

Anyway, I find that sometimes the gas station is the best place to buy milk when I am having a rude loser day. Most gas station cashiers don't chat. Its worth the extra quarter a jug. Or, send the husband.

Square Root of Family said...

At least you didn't yell "You Lie!" to the President of the United States on national television during a highly political speech and ruin your political career forever...You can always go through the other line in Wal-Mart next time and avoid the pregnant lady.

Kimberly said...

Neil and I totally do the rock paper scissors thing too. I don't know why - I always lose.

I always feel rude when I'm not chatty back with chatty people - but I'm pretty sure it's an intrinsic human right to not talk to strangers you have no desire to get to know.

And based on your paraphrasing of the conversation I'm thinking you're probably not missing out on much...

Elizabeth said...

I have names for them, too, and one is "beer-guzzling menace to society" and the other is even more rude and starts with a WH.

Incidentally, I think you're cute in glasses. I think it makes you look intellectual chic. *hugs*

Jody Blue said...

Some times real life is funnier than comic fiction, thanks for putting a smile and a good look at reality into your writing.

Harmony said...

What you should have said is, "hey cashier girl. If you decide you want to give that baby to someone who truly would be excited for all the right reasons, call me. I know someone."

Jill said...

Good thing my neighborhood has gone down far enough in the last 5 years that hubby insists I don't go to the store passed 8:00pm
I guess there is a bright side to everything :)
Loved your post


I almost always wear glasses and would be downright proud to join your rude loser club based on their criteria. High Five.


gigi said...

You are one mess, little mama, rude loser or not :)

Tobi said...

This kind of behavior from cashiers makes me want to take my stilettos off and bonk them on the top of their EMPTY skulls!! (Note to self: start wearing stilettos.)

Karen Burton said...

I'll bet that before she clocked out they had exchanged phone numbers.

wonder woman said...

What the what? Some people are just crazy. This is EXACTLY why I love the self-checks so much.

The Wingnut's said...

Next time, wear your pj's and slippers. It will give them something else to discuss other than your rude loserness!

Adore your blog. I look forward to reading each post!

Deb said...

What I love about this story:

Him: buying an insane amount of beer and more or less boasting about his lack of commitment to the mother of his child (and, by extension, the child itself)

Her: bubbling over about painting a room despite illness, also bragging about her lack of commitment even though she is expecting a child.

And you are branded the "rude loser."


JustRandi said...

Do you think there are actually people who just ARE rude losers? Because I really do think I've encountered some of them.

annie valentine said...

So in other words, if you don't like fake/flakey/trashy conversation, you're a rude loser? Man, we should start a club.