Be Nice Or Leave

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Earlier this week, after dropping off the girls at school, Landis and I went to the grocery store for all of the random items I’ve been putting off getting over the holidays…families can only live without shampoo, conditioner, and body soap for so long.

It seems that today was the restocking/reshelving/reorganizing day at HEB. Which was fine, I only tripped over a few boxes and *almost* knocked down a few cardboard displays with my huge limo style shopping cart. But I mention this re-stocking thing because it seems that every available worker was assigned to this project, leaving only two check-out lanes available.

Which, again, is fine, I really was in no hurry to get home and work out for the first time in over two weeks. Ah, but I digress. So, I innocently chose one of the lanes, which doubles as a 15 or less lane, but I swear at this particular moment was a full-cart-everything-you-can-fit-on-the-conveyer-belt lane.

So once the slow line reached me, and I unloaded my 20 cans of beans and tomato sauce and all the tiny travel items needed for a trip we’re taking later this week, I looked up only to see the two ladies behind me literally snickering and complaining and eyeing all of my items. I was slightly confused so I looked at the lit up sign and, friends, it had changed to 15 Items or Less.

And then I was immediately Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail at that very uncomfortable moment when she’s in the wrong check out lane and everything that could go wrong does. I even wondered if I should remove all my fifty grocery items or just keep going. I just kept going. I figured I might as well be all in.

But I knew I was that person everyone hates. So I apologized and swore up and down that I didn’t know it was a 15 item lane and they rolled their eyes and said their “whatever”s and just watched me. Stared at me.

So then I apologized to the cashier and swore I had no idea it was a 15 item lane and she said, to my relief, “Oh no, I just now turned that light on. You’re fine.”

I tried to comment to the ladies behind me by saying, “The light wasn’t on yet” very kindly but the damage was done. The eye rolling continued, you know. And I couldn’t help being more than a little irritated, feeling like my reputation had been pulled through the mud. I was secretly wishing the cashier would make sure to let those women know it wasn’t my fault, but of course she could care less.

It’s so silly that this even bothered me! I think it was that feeling that I couldn’t explain myself or defend myself and the feeling of sort of being falsely accused. I know, it’s so ridiculous.

But there’s always a moral, so I’ll just hash it out so we can all learn something from this nonsense:

First. Be careful what you say, and how you snicker and carry on with others. It’s kind of hurtful even if it is as dumb as being in the wrong lane of the check out line.

Second. Don’t be so quick to make judgments! Usually there’s more to the story than meets the eye, right? So even with strangers, maybe try believing the best or having a little grace before you start griping at someone.

Finally. If the only thing you can find in common with another complete stranger is to whine about the third complete stranger, maybe just keep your mouth shut. Follow the old adage,

Be Nice, Or Leave.

And now my rant is over.

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