Monday, November 14, 2011

The Coupon Lady

I am the absolute worst at picking the fast check-out line at the grocery store. Usually, I have fewer than 15 items, which allows me to whiz through the line without putting a damper on my mood, but today I wasn't so lucky. I rejoiced last week when I discovered I didn't need to replenish my milk and bread supply for the week, but I paid for it today when I had to buy twice as many groceries and take my place in the horribly long lines of Walmart.

Today I thought I had picked a good line for once; there were only two customers in front of me, one of whom was already paying. What I failed to notice, however, was that I had just parked behind every hurried shopper's worst nightmare.

The Coupon Lady.

Not quite ready to lose my spot, I got on my tippie toes and stretched my neck to its fullest capacity in an attempt to furtively analyze the lines adjacent to me; as far as I could tell, every line had at least two or three customers.

So I decided to risk it; I stayed behind the Coupon Lady as she unloaded her alarmingly full cart.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, don't stop to think--just get into another line.

Because I clearly made the wrong decision.

Hidden in the recesses of Coupon Lady's hoodie was a massive pile of coupons big enough to keep a wet campfire going for three days. She then proceeded to count out all 237 of her cans and make sure each one got to use its special coupon. She jotted down notes on how much each type of processed food cost. Then she moved on to the 42 boxes of frozen pizzas, the three turkeys, the cans of ice-cream and soda, and the other tiny items like yogurt that fell through the cracks of her 700 pounds of food.

All this time I was having an intense debate with myself: should I move? should I stay put? I compromised by staying put and plastering an immensely annoyed look on my face. At least three people got in line behind me and then left to find another line while I stayed there, trying not to lash out violently every time Coupon Lady stopped Bag Boy so that she could rifle through her stupid coupons.

I almost cried for joy when the last yogurt made it to the check-out strip thing (the name of which escapes me at the moment), but then she started double-checking all of her coupons and casually glancing through her tree for that last coupon that would undoubtedly save her three cents.

Then I got my lucky break; the empty lane next to me opened up, and I shot over there before anyone else had a chance to move. By the time I was finally rolling my cart out of that cursed place, Coupon Lady was still checking out, but by now word had gotten out that a religiously fanatic coupon lady was proselyting on aisle 16, so everyone steered clear of her.

At this point my plans to make an extravagant meal (the ingredients of which I had painstakingly sought out today) had turned into plans to heat up some beef fajitas for dinner. That plan was further reinforced when I had to traverse through 15 miles of parking lot from where I parked my car to my apartment, loaded down with my purse, two gallons of milk, and nine shopping bags. At this point I was too ornery, too starving, and too tired to put forth any more non-required effort.

Add the horrible Coupon Lady to yet another reason why you should not shop hungry. It probably doesn't help to shop when you're powered on only two measly hours of sleep, either.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That sucks. Sorry Pal. I would have snuck in a 3 Musketeers bar and eaten it on the way home.