So I’m walking through the supermarket, with my incredibly uncomfortable basket dangling from my arm, and I finally decide that the part of the process where I gather my goods is done with and that it’s time to go and pay for all of it. I’m one of those weird people that actually enjoy going to the market, looking at food and walking around. I specially enjoy going with a friend because then I’ll make jokes like suddenly grabbing as many tampon boxes as I can carry, then asking my friend to hold them for me and then waiting to see how long it takes before he asks me about it. Give it a try (of course, the joke only works if you’re a guy, because if you’re a girl then, well… your friend will just assume you’re having a really bad month).

In any case, this time I was alone and I find my solitaire trips to the market relaxing. So I arrive at the place where all the cashiers are, and I scan the area to see which one is the shortest line. I find it, go to it and proceed to stand behind a couple of people. Well, not exactly.

The lady paying was one of the incredibly annoying women that insist on paying for everything with exact change, supposedly because they want to get rid of some little coins that are cluttering their purse. Of course, these little coins are not placed in a coin purse or in the compartment most wallets have for such a purpose. No. Most women just seem to throw coins in their purse to get lost within the inferno that is the contents of the average female’s bag. So she’s there rummaging through her things looking for the elusive coin she could’ve sworn she had in there, somewhere.

Seriously, there have been be plenty of times when I grab coins from my pocket and had over what the lady needed just to get things moving. “See this, lady? This is a called a POCKET. We men use it to keep things we might need in a hurry. Perhaps if you women weren’t so busy trying to make your own pockets so incredibly tiny that you can’t even shove a finger into them then maybe you’d be able to keep stuff in there. But wait! Those pockets seem just about the right size for… what? A COIN!”

Behind her there are a couple of old ladies standing in line, each one with a basket so ridiculously full that you just had to wonder why they both didn’t just push a cart. My guess is that they do it to feel like they’re not actually spending that much, perhaps some technique they saw on TV about how the could save money at the supermarket. I can imagine it now: “when at the supermarket, always carry a basket instead of a cart. This way, you won’t be able to hold as many things and you’ll see the basket full with much less, thus feeling like you’ve already got enough stuff”. Some thing like that. This reminds me of my grandmother when the doctor put her on a diet and told her that if she was hungry that she could just eat some healthy snacks. My grandmother took his advice to heart and so every time she feels like it she proceeds to sit down and eat the entire bag.

But those people are not what this text is about, and beside, they were nothing compared with the mystery that now lay before me. On the floor, right there, was a basket with a pair of socks in them. Just that. Of course, I just assumed that somebody had been paying for their stuff, taking them from the basket then placing them on that fun-looking moving band cashiers got (I want to sit on one of those someday) and eventually decided that they didn’t really need a pair of socks. Maybe they were just forgotten. But then, why was it right on the floor in the middle of the line?

I decided to just leave it where it was (you never know, maybe they were tainted socks, which would explain why they were left behind) and continued to stand in line, listening to my music and minding my business. But the answer to this riddle arrived in the form of an old lady that came rushing from within the supermarket with a single piece of underwear in her hand. I concluded that she must have forgotten that she needed those and didn’t want to miss her place in line, so she left in a hurry to get them (coin lady still hasn’t found her coin). No harm done, just pay more attention next time, because that little stunt is actually rather annoying.

But no. She just threw the panties into the basket and hurried away, only to come back a minute later with a can of beans, dump it in the basket again and hurry away once more. This old lady somehow believes she found a loophole in the system of long, annoying supermarket lines. Well guess what, old lady? THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS! Sure enough, I’ve seen people go with somebody else, leave the other person standing in line and then hurry around the supermarket grabbing what they needed, probably because they didn’t need more than a couple of things and were in a hurry.

But that’s a person. And actual human being. Heck, I’d be OK with it if you left your dog there. I might even play with it. BUT A BASKET DOES NOT REPRESENT YOU! Do you really think so little of yourself that a pair of socks, some panties and a can of beans are all it takes to save your spot in line? Next time why don’t you just spit on the floor, point to it and proclaim “I CALL THAT SPOT!”

And besides, a can of beans, panties and socks? What kind of person just buys that combination of items? Do you plan to eat the beans and try to see how long you can go without going to the bathroom? Is that what the new panties are for? Are the socks there to keep you warm during the process?

After a couple more trips, the coin lady and the basket ladies had already paid. I figured that if her turn came up and she wasn’t there then I’d just step over her basket and pay for my stuff. But here’s the best part: as soon as the couple of basket ladies paid, she came rushing with a last item (a box of facial tissues… the plot thickens), picked up her basket from the floor and paid for her stuff. I strongly believe that she didn’t even get all she need, she probably just does this until her turn in the line comes up, then proceeding to pay regardless of how complete her shopping might actually be.

Seriously? Is this the way you normally shop? I should add that besides rushing from her basket to the market lanes the old lady really didn’t seem to be in that much of a hurry. She took her time paying up and even rummaged through her purse looking for coins. In the end, she even abandoned the socks (I guess she figured the beans would keep her warm enough).

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t say anything. At all. I was too busy trying to figure it all out and besides, I wasn’t about to start an argument over a spot in a supermarket line. But aside from the noisy children you find in there or the people that feel like it’s perfectly acceptable to run your over with their shopping carts, that was probably the person that has annoyed me them most, ever, in a supermarket.

And so I thought I’d share my irate story with you.