In case y'all haven't noticed, I have a short fuse. I never blow up in public, but one of these days I'm going to. And when I do, it will be freakin' epic.
And it will probably happen in a grocery store.
Yesterday I stopped at the Kroger close to my work to pick up 15 items or less. Much less; my little half-cart (I love these things; best grocery innovation since self-checkout) only had 8 items by the time I pulled myself and the kid into the only open express lane.
I was the last in my line. Three shoppers ahead of me. Blurg.
I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the walky-talky-carrying manager.
"Ma'am," she whispered. "She's about to open up on 2 if you want to step over."
My favorite thing to hear in a grocery store! Hurrah!
2 is the second express lane in this Kroger and was right next door to my current lane, so Ains and I just swivelled our little cart out and pointed it to our right...
...When an older lady completely jumped ahead of us to be first in the new line.
I hate it when people do this, but technically it doesn't break any rules. The cashier's light was on; no one was in line. The older lady saw an opening and took it, even though I had been waiting in another line longer. However, this was not what nearly sent me over the edge.
I had moved Ainsley and our cart right there at the edge of the conveyor in this freshly-opened lane. The end of this trip was within reach. Until...
"Do you mind if I go ahead of you?" A lady holding a small container of potato salad whizzed by me and before I could even say yay or nay, plopped her item on the belt, making her the second in line.
I stood there in disbelief. Seriously, lady? Seriously?
There is an unspoken rule of grocery etiquette that if you have a crapload of stuff in your cart, and you notice that the poor sap behind is just holding one lonely item, you let that person go ahead of you. It's just considerate.
However, when you're in the so-called express lane, where many people are just holding one lonely item, and no one (except the d-bags of the world) has more than 15, this rule is null and void. Sorry; we're all in a hurry. That's why it's called the frickin' express lane. We all have just a few items. Your bag of bread does not trump my 8 small items which, when on the conveyor, take up only 1 square foot of space and will be rung up in under 30 seconds. You don't get to play through here.
Especially when you don't let me veto you and you just push your way past me. Ho.
I fumed. I had been chosen by the cashier. Singled out. Tapped on the shoulder and told to move to 2. It's like I had been touched by Jacob and told I was a candidate (sorry, if you don't watch Lost you might not get that.) And yet there I was, third in the line. Third! Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
I should have said something. But would it have been worth it? Probably not. Potato Salad Lady is clearly self-important and would not have cared.
As her tater salad was being rung up, I looked at the line I had just come from, the one I left at the manager's urging.
Empty. It was empty. All the people ahead of me were already through, and had I stayed, I would have gotten out before the a-hole in front of me.
Son of a.
"Well, Ains," I said, loudly enough that Potato Salad-Line Cutter Lady could hear. Because I heart passive-aggressivism. "We should have just stayed in the line we were in. This is ridiculous."
Apparently she heard. As she grabbed her bag, she turned toward me.
"Thanks again for letting me go ahead of you."
Thanks my butt. Like you gave me a choice. She had some nerve, being all nice about it.
I haven't talked about this much, but I have recently taken up nightly meditation to try to calm my fool self down. To try to keep the little things from bothering me. To put life in perspective. But any emotional capital I had built up totally got spent at exactly 3:44 yesterday afternoon. It kind of ruined my day, which is mostly a fault of mine, but is also because Potato Salad Lady is a tool.
Outwardly, though, I was fine. I didn't blow up. (I blogged instead!)
But hear this, shoppers. And hear it well. One day the powder keg is going to blow, and somebody will feel my wrath.
One of these days...Pow, Alice! Right to the moon! And out of the express lane.