Happy Labor Day!

It’s been a pretty labor-less Labor Day for the Elrods. Which is nice after the weekend we’ve had. And there is no guilt in not having family and friend cook-outs. The weather is terrible, so it’s kind of like God was giving us a really good excuse to take the day off from any social obligations.

This morning we rolled out of bed around 8:30, made a yummy breakfast of eggs, bacon, and cheese grits. Jack and Tim also split an orange. These boys are going to eat us out of house and home!

After breakfast we decided today was probably the best time to do the vacation shopping we’ve been putting off. We have been needing to get items like snacks, baby wipes, etc. for our Disney trip. Four more days!! Eeeee!!

When it came time to check out at Walmart, Tim and I headed for the self-checkout lane. Just so you know: Tim and I are the champs at self-checkout! We would kill anybody in a Shop Til You Drop-esk challenge of speed and efficiency at self-checkout. No matter how full our cart is, we always tend to get done faster ringing ourselves out, instead of going to a clerk. Here’s our system:

– I unload the buggy, putting like items together on the conveyor belt while Tim begins to scan and bag.

– After the buggy is emptied of all items, I slide into bagger position, to speed the scan process.

– When the bags are full I make the announcement, “They’re full!” at which time you have to “hands off” for about three seconds. If you take the bags away too quickly, the machine will yell at you, “Please place item in the bagging area” since it didn’t have enough time to register the weight. UGH! Bane of our self-checkout existence. If we can make it through a whole checkout without hearing these words we give ourselves bonus points. Go Team Elrod!

– Three seconds up? I remove bags and place them in the buggy while Tim scans approximately the next two items, bagging them himself.

– I slide back into bagger position and repeat the process until the conveyor belt is empty.

– I place the last bags in the buggy, situating heavier items on bottom, if necessary, while Mr. Money, I mean Tim, pays.

– I start pushing the buggy out of the checkout area as Tim swipes the receipt.

– High fives all around, because we’ve probably beat Mr. Slow Poke that started before us across the way, and the sales clerk is having to help him again.

Today while we were waiting in line an interesting thing happened. All lanes were full and there was a lady in front of us (lets call her Peggy for story’s sake…she looked like a Peggy), bearing a decent load, so we pulled up behind her and started the waiting game. I guess the Labor Day crowds were out because all of the lanes, especially those being run by clerks, were full. Well, up strolls an older “Miss Thang” pushing her cart like the store is empty and stops right in front of us, to the left of Peggy.

Tim and I look at each other curiously. Does she not see us? “Ma’am? We’re in line.” Tim says pretty polite-like. Which is good for him, becuase if you know my husband, he can get testy pretty quickly in situations such as these.

“Oh!” She huffs. Yes, huffs. She turns her cart directly towards ours, pushes between us and Peggy, goes AROUND Peggy (!), and gets in front of her beside another of the self-checkout counters!

Peggy turns and gives Tim and I an amusingly confused look, to which Tim gives a frustrated glance while I shrug and say relatively quietly, “She doesn’t get it.” Peggy knows it’s her turn to say something.

“Ma’am?” She says, “The line starts back there. You’re supposed to wait for the next available.”

Miss Thang gets really aggravated now in her body language and tone. Swirling her round rump around, she faces Peggy and says,”Well, I am from Syracuse! I’m not from here! We get in separate lines where I’m from!”

Peggy stands there speechless and Tim and I exchange looks of frustrated surprise. Okay, Miss Thang, that’s dandy that they do things differently where you come from. Maybe their self-checkout lanes are a lot wider where you come from too? Because to make four separate lines in about five feet of space is pretty…well, dare I say…stupid? Down here, we like to make one line and the person in front goes to the next available. Less mess and less confusion and hostility, which I’m sorry to say, is exactly what you’ve caused.

The lady that is checking herself out, and whose “line” Miss Thang claims to be in has of course overheard this whole conversation. She turns to her and says, “Well you could be more polite in your response to her!” (Meaning Peggy.)

Feeling surely defeated and perhaps embarrassed, Miss Thang lets out one last huff and pushes her cart away through two of the self-checkout lanes to the right, moving on to the 20 Items or Less section. At that exact moment two self-checkout lanes come open and Peggy and ourselves each get to start our checkout process. (And FYI, we beat out Peggy in the Shop Til You Drop Self-Checkout Challenge.)

So Life Lesson (for those that don’t know it): When choosing the self-checkout at grocery stores, remember that there is ONE line. First in line gets next available. It just makes sense, people!

Oh, and one last thing. Right after Miss Thang huffed away for the last time, Tim turned to me and said, “Remind me to never go shopping in Syracuse.”

Haha! I love that man. He is my best friend.

With love, Malorie

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