Do you think your relationship is strong enough to survive the self-bagging area?
As you naively walk towards that Purgatorio of scanning and setting items down correctly, I warn you. Don’t be so cocky. Have some humility. Half a century of marriage and grandbabies got nothing on the self-bagging area.
My husband and I didn't make it. 49 years of marriage and then he puts the milk on top of two dozen eggs. A gallon of 2% milk on top of free-range organic eggs? Who was this man? What else didn’t he know about the way the world worked? Was he a flat-earther?
Then, he kept lifting items out of the self-bagging area, so the machine would yell, “Please place items in the self-bagging area.”
Did he listen? Hell no. Maybe if the recording were James Bond’s voice, he would have perked up his ears. But no, he kept lifting items and reading the labels. “Do you know that there’s niacin in this?” he would announce loudly, so the person in the adjacent self-bagging area would know they were in the presence of genius.
Then he sits his fat ass on the bagging area, cause he’s suddenly exhausted. Probably from all that lifting. The machine yells! “Unexpected items in the bagging area.” I lean over and whisper to the machine, “You got no idea.”
Then, was it absolutely necessary that he opened that box of Ritz crackers the second I scanned them? What was happening for him that he thought this was a fine time for a cracker?
What kind of a man can't wait for a cracker? That cracker didn’t need to travel across the ocean to get into his mouth. It’s a five-minute drive from the store to our cracker shelf. It’s like premature crackulation if you ask me, which is totally in character, incidentally.
He ends up eating so many of those Ritz crackers, that when he finally sets the box down in the bagging area, the machine identifies the box as pâté. It charges us an extra 47 dollars. The machine is like, “If that’s the weight of a box of Ritz crackers, I’m an automated sex doll. For real!”
We end up having to call that pimply teenager with the key and the code to unlock us. If I wanted teenagers, I would have had sex fifteen years ago, but I didn’t. That's why I married a eunuch. Bad briss, things didn’t go as planned. That’s the long and the short of it.
Did he learn from our 47 dollar mistake? Nope. Cat on a stove. Goes right back and opens the Oreos. I wish I would have self-bagged with him before we got married.
We went to this stupid pre-marriage counseling at church when we were young, but that was about fidelity and goals. Pre-marriage counseling should take place at the self-bagging area. Fuck fidelity. Does milk go on top of eggs?
The only reason our marriage lasted this long was that we didn't bag our own groceries. But that’s not the world anymore, is it?
Meanwhile, after eating the Ritz and the Oreos, old boy says he feels fat. I tell him, “Fat is not a feeling.” He scowls and me. Then, he looks at the Fitbit I got him for Christmas, a nudge gift, which he ignored until today.
“I’m gonna get my steps in,” he says. I should have run him over in the parking lot when he got out of the car. He decides he’s taking a jaunt down aisle six every time I hand him a scanned item, “to get his steps in.” He is holding my grocery items hostage from the self-bagging area. It’s a crime now.
At this point, I say, “Just let me do it. I’ll drop you off at the track on the way home.”
But he says, “No, I want to help. Besides, I can’t walk around a track. It’s not motivating.”
So, while he’s stepping, I’m like a frozen pizza waiting to thaw. I’m left holding a loaf of bread in the air while he transforms his saggy buns into buns of steel.
Then I just say fuck it. I’m doing everything wrong on purpose in the self-bagging area. I’m dropping food and I’m putting items down before I scan them.
The alert beeper is going off constantly. That pimply teen has to run over, again and again, to put his dumb key and code in. My little Fitbit soldier marches his chunky ass over and tells me I’m letting the machine beep out of malice.
That was it. That was us. We didn’t even finish packing our groceries. That was 49 years of marriage that we left in the self-bagging area.
So don’t get so cocky the next time you approach the self-bagging area. Think about it from the machine’s perspective. YOU and your messed-up relationship are the unexpected items in the self-bagging area.
That machine was there all along. You’re Columbus. The machine is the indigenous people, so shut the fuck up and order Instacart. You can’t handle the self-bagging area.