Six Feet

I’m in line at the grocery store, its the 20 Items or Less lane that makes me wonder “Didn’t there used to be a 10 Items or Less lane?”. And I mean, there probably still is one but I’ve just gotten so used to the self-service lanes that I wouldn’t really know.

Anyways, I’m committed now since I have people in front of me and more importantly, behind me. What’s more, I’m giving myself away because there I am, counting items. As if anybody gives a flip whether I’m over the legal limit in this instance. Because it’s not egregious looking, my shopping cart. It’s ballpark fine and yet I go on counting, which feels like such a quaint gesture in this day and age now that I’m thinking about it. As I’m counting it occurs to me that management didn’t make the rules for carts like mine. They made them for the shoppers who look like they just spent an afternoon in Costco.

Me? I’m working a plus/minus situation that would require a recount if this were an election, but still I count. And when the counting’s done, I’m exactly one item over. It’s the bag of sourdough pretzels I picked up when I was cruising the Lays million and one flavors of potato chips. Going with pretzels instead was a sensible choice, and for my bonus points, I don’t have any nacho cheese at home to dip the pretzels in; which would’ve effectively defeated the sensible choice I was making.

Of course, I’m not moving out of line over one item. But it feels good to get lost in a meaningless intrigue, what with all the shit that’s happening in the world. Letting my brain get stuck on something that doesn’t mean a fig in the grand scheme of things, it helps to soften the edges and I like the feeling. A lot. And then I look back and see that the girl in back of me is carrying a basket. I’m guessing she’s got no more than five or six items in it, so I tell her to cut ahead of me. She’s thankful, but so am I. More so, in fact. Because the simple things feel like a winning hand from right here. And six feet apart is where it’s at inside this simple moment. It’s the whole world. And I don’t have to wonder where all the kindness and good feelings ran away to.

They never left.

63 thoughts on “Six Feet

  1. B,

    We have the twelve items or less over here… I’ve even seen an eight items or less line. Eight? Why? That said, I have found myself doing exactly what you did. Counting my items, trying to ensure I’m not pushing it and frustrating anyone behind me; who, if they also are carrying a little basket, I let through. Maybe it’s to ease the guilt or maybe it’s just because, why not?

    Ironically, tonight I went to Costco and had a pretty decent-sized basket. One of the employees directs me to the new lesser items cash. I look at him questioningly and say, really? I mean, the option of scanning and putting to the other side of the basket is not an option! He tells me yeah, you go ahead and tell him it’s me. I shake my head, look at the normal lines and think, I can easily wait. He insists. Well, the cashier was not pleased, then shrugged and said hey, grabbed an empty basket and shifted my scanned goods from one side to the other, mumbling all the while.

    Eeesh. My apologies. That went on a bit, didn’t it? And all I wanted to say was remember the movie “Ten Items or Less”?

    I love this. (And perfect song, of course).


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      Eight items huh? Like I said, I don’t even pay any mind to these lines any longer since I am going when it’s slow or I use self-service lanes. But today the best line was the 20 Items line so I took it.

      That would have been something that happens to me! LOL.

      Yes I do! Morgan Freeman and I don’t remember the chica’s name. That was such a quirky little movie.

      The song came to me. Again. While I was driving home. 😉


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Marco,

    I remember cashiering the thirteen items-express lane. There was always some shageggy with a basket full who dared you to toss her out of line. I’m amazed at how inconsiderate people can be. At the same time there were also those who restored my faith in human nature. Like the lady who paid for the groceries of the lady behind her. It’s nice to know that there are people in this world who care and that you are one of them. Love the post and you never gamble with Kenny Rogers. ❤



    Liked by 1 person

    • Rochelle,

      Thirteen items huh? So management wasn’t superstitious . . that is refreshing.

      There’s always that one person who wants to rain on everybody’s parade. Always is. And conversely, there is always someone there to make the day shine. It evens out in the end.

      Nope. You leave Kenny be when you see him at the tables. First rule.




  3. Before I was banned from entering a food store I did furious counting when I suspected the stern athletic-looking female behind me was also counting. I think one item over is nothing. I just hated the bozos who have a heaped basket and almost dare you to say anything. That’s why I always wore my,” I’m packing I hope you are,” (That wasn’t what got me banned. Not using coupons got me banned.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just love grocery shopping stories. Actually had multiple ones on the old blog. For me, one over is no big deal. Now the person with an cart jammed full going through the self-checkout lane gripes my ass – but hey – I respect their right to be both selfish and stupid. Cheers to you for letting the person behind you go ahead … perfect … another thing I do when it’s right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good on you for yielding your spot to the basket lady. I think most people just want to get in and out as quickly as possible and don’t take an item over the so-called limit with too much seriousness. These days the 6 foot limit is far more important. Both front and behind. Most people have gotten used to the front part, it’s those that ride up your backside that get my dander up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am one of those who likes getting out when I go shopping. I am the bee-liner type of shopper. But hey, once you slow down and get some time to observe . . you figure out what matters more.

      As for the bumper humpers, WTF? It messes with my dander too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • In-n-out is even more important in the age of COVID which naturally messes up my zen whenever I go to Costco where they seem to rearrange the store every month. Argh!! I’ve discovered bumper humpers may back off if you turn around and stare menacingly at them. 😈

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have never been to an In-n-out. Yet. But Costco, my God, those people are demons when it comes to their planograms!

          Imma do that. I’ll add a couple lines from the Exorcist just to scare the sufficient shit out of their annoying asses.

          Liked by 1 person

          • A couple of new In-n-Out burger joints recently opened in the state and both locations (Aurora east of Denver and Colorado Springs) have both been traced to COVID outbreaks. Good thing I’m a vegetarian. When I go to Costco I want to go in and get out quickly just to avoid everyone else. People do too much looky-looing at Costco. 😕

            Liked by 1 person

          • I haven’t belonged to Costco in years, but yes . . it was the scene of much buyer’s remorse in my past. While the kids roamed the grounds partaking of the endless samples, I was buying my groceries plus . . . And seriously, nobody needs a complete Halloween movie series with bonus footage . . . .

            Liked by 1 person

  6. First off yes … yes to that Kenny Rogers throwback. Second your kindness specifically yours and people like us our kindness and compassion for others still hanging out even in six feet times. The very fact that you stopped to count that right there my friend and know the difference between Costco cart and just 10 items or less as we got down is lacking in people. That’s one of my annoyances they got more than 10 items and then have the nerve to get a price check on items. DUDE. Or people who take up the whole lane and all you want is that box of Cheerios they’re blocking. You know what cereal you want! You KNOW. Once you pass college your flavors are permanently part of your taste buds. Don’t be playing games. But I do see people wave people through sometimes I do a lot of waving in, although I don’t think I’ve been waved through… probably because I’m not there for just two items unless it’s a baking emergency. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cali,

      Right? Kenny Rogers was the man, and this song, it just has some keep to it.
      I always count if I think I’m close. Me? Once upon a time, I was a McNulty. Not in my marriage, but after it . . most certainly. But that low down dirty shame of me? Yeah, he still counted. And he still let peeps in front of him. And he still tried, to be something better than he was acting at that particular time. So from here, I know it’s possible. For everyone, to show their best.
      Wait one minute. Are you a Cheerios person too? I am.
      Baking emergency? Do tell . . . .


      • McNulty. Ha! I can’t picture it. But with all his flaws on the show I bet he would totally let someone pass, and he’d probably count too. And dude you are definitely a person who seems to be constantly evolving through this stratosphere. So I’m rooting for you bud. I TOTALLY am a Cheerios person, what goes on in a person’s mind if they don’t have Cheerios in the house. We’re partial to MultiGrain and HoneyNut, or Chocolate of course. I got that cereal shelf well stocked with the kids. I’ve had my share of Carton deception where you think you have eggs but all you find is the Carton of lies. But my most urgent kitchen emergency of course was when I baked my pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and decided to take out my freshly whipped cream out of the fridge and like a car crash that couldn’t be stopped dropped the bowl and had an epic explosion of fluffiness all over the kitchen floor and fridge door. I was like duuuuuuuuuuude. Thanksgiving Day… going to the market… It was a baking emergency, or a pumpkin pie eating one 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • It is a constant evolution. And unlike McNulty, I ain’t drinking every night any longer. 😉 But yeah, he would definitely be considerate like that.

          Cheerios Old School style, and then the two you listed, excepting for the chocolate. I dig it!

          It IS a carton of lies, isn’t it? Ugh!

          Whoa sistah, that there is a story that must be told. With tunes involved. I’d read it.


  7. Enjoyed this well written snippet and as usual – I love the little societal extras
    Like this
    “just spent an afternoon in Costco.”
    My hubs just was there this week and noted how some folks drop almost a thousand folks with their full Carts /
    – and cheers to letting her go ahead and that vibe of connecting – it truly is where so much beauty can be found
    And side note – a long time ago I was scolded by someone who assumed I had too many items – I didn’t – but what the heck ?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Huh!
    I’m also a counter of items……. other people’s. I don’t cheat in those line-ups.
    However, I’ve always wondered if my bag of 6 oranges counts as 1 bag, or 6 items.
    I don’t like using another plastic bag, but if I don’t put them in a bag, then I think it could be 6 items.

    I am a firm believer that a dozen eggs is 1 item.
    I might be overthinking.
    Neat article, thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

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