I think that I was almost arrested at Wal-Mart.


Friends,

This month has been a whirlwind of normal activities that take up all your time. For instance, I have taken the time to visit the grocery store instead of ordering my weekly needs. That incarnation of hell is going to be the death of me. I hate the grocery store. My anxiety is always on high alert due to all the options and the mazes of doom that lead me to items that are not on my list.

Let’s not even mention the pressure of self-checkouts. There are people who will die on their swords in order to avoid using them. However, until recently, I had never jumped on the bandwagon. If 18 or 78-year-old Joe wants to check my receipt on the way out, it only takes 30 seconds. Besides, do they ever REALLY check the cart?

Expect for the other day. My son and I reluctantly entered the Temple of Doom to buy six items. Nothing really significant – milk, bread, something for dinner, and toothpaste. Items that didn’t even require a basket. There were three cashiers, all occupied with lines of at least ten customers, four open self-checkout lanes, and at least 300 people in Wal-Mart.

The math was not mathing, but I was not in a rush and patiently waited 30 minutes for my ‘go-time’ at the self-checkout.

It’s my turn! I put down the trashy magazine and walked up to the screen to scan the six items I had gathered. The screams of angry children, hassled parents, and impatient grandparents filled the air as they waited for me to find the barcode on the store-brand wheat bread. My son kept looking behind him like we were about to confront a war party of angry, pitchfork-wielding townsfolk protecting their last cow.

Wal-Mart doesn’t pay me enough to deal with all that pressure.

And then came the sirens.

Out of the cover of darkness, 32-year-old Mike from gardening, who had been tasked with overseeing the self-checkout lanes showed up with a snarl and anger dripping off him. Without saying a word, he takes everything out of my bag and steps into my personal space to look at the computer screen.

He then tells me that something in my bag was not scanned and REPLAYS a video of me scanning all six items—the same six items in my bag.

THEN he watched the video again!

What is going on Detetive Gadget?

Now here is where I start having a problem. Not necessarily the rudeness or the fact that he was manhandling my pot roast but that I had to watch myself on a video two times. Not a flattering representation of what I imagined I left the house looking like. My messy bun, which I thought looked like an homage to summer, turned out to look like a frizzy rat’s nest. My favorite sweatshirt that I thought brought out the green in my eyes had a coffee stain. My attempt to contour my face and highlight my cheekbones actually was lopsided and I only had mascara on one eye.

Great- now I know I look like a medicated, over-weight, middle-aged woman who watched too many ticky toks on how to apply makeup.

Thank you Mike!

But that wasn’t the end of it. As 40 people embraced my humiliation and eagerly awaited confirmation that I would be carted off to Wal-Mart jail, I was released to head home – my pride and self-respect firmly discarded. And then I was STOPPED at the front door! Two bags, six items, receipt in hand……and I had to prove that I didn’t swipe one of the bikes or paddle boards on display and stuff it in my plastic bags.

Can the day get any better?

Why am I telling you this? Because after that fateful day, I decided to try to put down the Oreos and lose a little bit of weight. I bought new makeup and started to watch YouTube videos on makeup application (because everyone knows that YouTube influencers are more qualified), and I bought myself a new green sweatshirt that highlights my eyes.

The result? I have gained six pounds. I bought the wrong shade of foundation. And my sweatshirt is apparently for ‘slim’ overweight and middle-aged women.

I now have a fear of returning to the grocery store more than ever. And my family loves to call me at least once a day to let me know that magically we have run out of one life-defining item that MUST be purchased ASAP. Like a case of Monsters. Or grape jelly.

I am over it. I want to stay home, wear sweats, and write my book. My future career as a ticky tok influencer is down the drain, but no one reads a book because the author is cute.

At least I have that working for me.

Anyhoo, in case you missed it, I am an inspiring author. I will include the link to my first book if you want a copy or need a last-minute gift for Saint Paddy’s Day. I mention Irish folklore in it, so it fits the holiday.

The Writer and the Librarian.

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4 responses to “I think that I was almost arrested at Wal-Mart.”

  1. When I walk in to the local Walmart and see a deputy, I tell whoever is with me to run and hide the doughnuts loud enough the deputy can hear me. I am responsible for one getting the nickname “Gerber Baby.” Fortunately, I come from a big city and learned to always signal and run radar. The cat-and-mouse game is ongoing.

    Crack a joke if that happens again. Even if it’s not as effective as Fluffy’s doughnut gag, it’ll help you take back control.

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