Thursday, September 4, 2008


So, I tend to be a little obsessive compulsive when I grocery shop. I make a list which I think is fairly normal - at least it should be. I usually go through my list and mark down what sections each item is in - produce, dairy, meat, etc. This may go beyond most other lists, but it works for me. I shop the same route through the store each time and could just KICK myself if I miss an aisle and have to back-track.

Really though, the OCD kicks in during check out and bagging. To the point that on the rare occasions when Mike accompanies me on the grocery outings, he basically just backs off at the checkout counter and lets me do my thing. I've actually seen cashiers look at him like he's a schmuck husband not willing to help his poor wife with the groceries. In reality he's just trying to stay out of war.

So, the process for me starts with unloading the cart. First I unload all the boxes and jars/cans that are put in the bottom of bags. Next go the cold or frozen items. If it happens to be a boxed item that's also cold, it goes with the cold stuff. Next is any meat (excluding deli) and finally the produce that has to be weighed. I figure this is easiest on the cashier because they can do it all at once rather than stopping and starting throughout the process, thus slowing them down. The other great part of this system is that the cashiers go straight through in the order I've unpacked so that all the heavy stuff is at the front and doesn't get smashed by the moving stuff behind it, and I can easily grab it for the bottom of the bags. All the cold stuff is together so I can pack it all in one bag and keep it cold. The produce is usually the lightest and I can easily toss it on top of whatever is left! AND I have this down to such a science that I really can unpack my cart quickly, despite how painful it sounds.

I know....I KNOW!!

Okay - so I grocery shopped earlier this week and I had a CART FULL of items. So, I started on my normal routine. I unpacked the cereal boxes across the belt first - I had 5 boxes, but they all lined up neatly. Then it was everything else. By the time I got to the frozen boxed stuff, and the meat, there wasn't much room left on the belt due to the person in front of me still getting checked out. So, I piled things on top of one another. This is the beauty of my organizational skills...boxes on boxes pile easily and steadily provided you only go a couple high. Meat doesn't fall off if it's solidly packed. So, in the span of less than 4 feet I managed to unpack my entire cart.

So it finally becomes my turn and the lady moves the belt a half-inch and one of the five boxes of cereal topples over and the cashier catches it. Now, this was completely not my fault. Anyone could see that it was a pretty crappy box to begin with and not that stable. But the cashier looked at it, and at the rest of the belt and said,

"That must have been a man. Only a man would unpack it like this."

I just pressed my lips together and looked around - where she had seen a man, I don't know. But hey - who was I to argue with her when there's a slight chance I'm the one who would look like an idiot when obviously I have the best system in the world.

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