Wednesday, December 12, 2007

20 Items or Less

I had a dilemma.

All was quiet in the mega-store. (For a change.) Not too crowded. I was able to push my shopping cart through the aisles with relatively little hassle. Approaching the cash registers, I counted the items in my cart hoping against hope and wishing against wish that I would be able to employ the "20 Items or Less" line, thus ensuring a hasty departure and a happy return home.

I had 25 items.

10 of them were baby food jars.

Would I sneak into the special line? I glanced behind me, no one else was approaching the queue. The adjacent lines without an item limit were all occupied by people with shopping carts that "overfloweth" with groceries.

Of the 10 baby food jars, I only had 5 types of baby food, two jars each.

So did that count as 5 items instead of 10? Could I get away with it? Dare I try?

My soul wrestled with itself.

"Self, no one else is coming to the line. If someone does approach the line, those extra 5 baby food jars will already have been bagged and no one will be the wiser."

"Yes, but self, I've been behind people in line who tried to sneak through. It's just not polite."

"Who cares about polite? It's a dog eat dog world, baby. Wake up and smell the spilled coffee."

Sigh. What to do?

The polite self won. I stepped in line behind a woman whose Cart Runneth Over.

I felt very pleased with myself.

"Self, when you go up to heaven and your deeds are judged by God, this will be a shining example of doing what is right when no one will see."


I was still pleased with myself.

I had to stand there for nearly 10 minutes before it was my turn to load my items onto the counter and have them bagged, while I watched 6 other people get through The Line Which I Was Good Enough Not To Enter.

It was the most wonderful 10 minutes of peace and quiet that I had the whole day. I could stand there, breathe in and out, and not worry about a toddler throwing his toys into the diaper pail or pulling something heavy onto his head.

It was blissful.


Jessica said...

It's the simple things that make us moms so happy!

Anonymous said...

You, Jennifer, make the world a better place.

Anonymous said...

Seriously. I might cry at your overwhelming sense of philanthropy.

Anonymous said...

we are done now. Thank you and have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

PS-Natalie is equally impressed.

Haley said...

You know, I am the same way...LOL and I'm glad you were able to enjoy quiet while you were doing your good deed! :-)

Amber said...

It's folks like you that make up for folks like me. :-)

Susan said...

I have to tell you, I read this the other day on my Google Reader, but couldn't comment. Tonight when I was at the Mega Center...I was able to resist the urge to squeeze my load into the express lane cause I remembered your post.