So, I went to the grocery store yesterday and forgot my debit card. I didn't have enough money on me (lucky I had any at all, actually) and had to put some things back. Oh mah gawd. So ridiculous. I was grabbing things that I thought would be the quickest way to lose forty dollars. Licorice. I certainly didn't need it anyway. I've eaten three huge bags in under two weeks. Almondina. I love them and like to snack on them when I'm feeding baby her brekky. All the baby books say you should eat your meals with your child so that they understand it is meal time and not play time, etc. Well, the authors of those books are drug addicts who only hallucinated those things happening under a rainbow. Two Amy's frozen vegan pizzas. I left one for the sitter. One frozen organic squash. Still got two. For some reason, it's only taking off mere pennies. I KNOW those pizzas were nearly five dollars on their own.
Now...here's where it starts to look like a scene from Terms of Endearment. I had to put back the formula. I needed to get rid of twenty dollars fast and that was the quickest way to do it. I was at the self-checkout lane. It's a whole lane, not one of those little tiny cubby thingos with no belt and every time you put something down the computer yells ALERT! ALERT! UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT IN BAG! STEP BACK AND READY YOURSELF FOR DEATH BY FIRING SQUAD! I thought I could just delete one item at a time. Luckily there was no one behind me. It was taking forever. Finally, the girl who works the self-checkout lanes (which is a whole different ridiculousness that they clearly haven't figured out how to not have to use a cashier at the self-checkout) came over to help me. She went through the menu items, sometimes clicking the wrong button so we would have to wait for the comptuer to think its thinking stuff. I kept trying to make small talk and let her know how much I appreciated her help. She seemed frustrated, maybe for me, maybe for the person who was going to have to put back all of my groceries. Thank GOD I put back the licorice and the cookies and didn't keep them and still toss the formula. That would've been a black mark on the whole experience, I am sure.
I just want to say that of the three people who are ever working the self-checkout register when I am at the grocery two of them have only one arm. Not one arm between them but one arm each. One man is missing his right arm. Well, he has something there, but it's not a functioning arm (if you haven't read David Sedaris' Who's the Chef, you must). And the lovely girl who was helping yesterday is missing her entire left arm. I had to wonder, why stick them on self-checkout? I mean, they're still alive, right? They must dress themselves, button their shirts, go to the bathroom, cook, drive, shower...all the things one must do in an average day. Why does only having one arm mean they can't work the regular lanes? Customers bag their own groceries. I am sure they could do that job just as they can do this one. Then it hit me. It is the one place where someone said, "Man! I could do this self-checkout and hold my baby and bag my groceries and put shit back because I don't have enough money with me if I just had three hands..." and God answered.