Wednesday, September 5, 2012


When I was younger, I didn't really give a whole lot of thought to being old.  I thought I would be forever young.  Getting older was for all those sad conformists.

Somewhere in the time/space continuum, my thoughts about getting older changed.  I noticed that I began feeling like my time here on earth was numbered, like my life was slowly being drained from my body and there was NOTHING I could do about it.

I swear I could hear the hands of time tick... tick... ticking away.  Getting louder and louder.

I tried to take my thoughts elsewhere.  I tried to think "happy thoughts" to make the feelings of doom go away.  "Visualize, just visualize", I told myself.  Visualize a better state of mind.  A timeless state... yeah...

It didn't really work, though.  The images that formed in my failed visualizations were like those time-lapse videos that show vibrant plants drooping, wilting, browning, drying up, blowing away.  Dust to dust.

Drat, if only I could go back to those carefree moments when I was younger and wasn't under these suffocating thoughts of my pending demise.  What was it that had changed?  Where had I gotten this negative attitude?  Where had I lost control?  I'd go back to that point and make better decisions.

I would go back and decide to, instead, go to cashier number 9 instead of cashier number 7.  Yet cashier number 7 had looked so promising, so I forgave myself for the bad choice I'd made.

As it turned out, cashier 7 was a gaping time-sucking abyss.

Cashier 7 with only one other customer.  One other customer who had a boat load of groceries.  A boat load of groceries that he tried to pay for with some sort of mystery card.  Some sort of mystery card that required a photo ID.  A photo ID he didn't have,  that matched the information on the mystery card... mystery card... mystery card... (*echoes from the time-sucking abyss*)

A manager was called, the problem cleared up.  All the while, my life was slowly draining.  I was getting older.

Finally, I shuffled my old lady self to cashier 7.  Cashier 7 rang up my must-have-passed-the-expiration-dates-by-now foodstuffs.

"OH, hold on", cashier 7 commanded. "I'm out of receipt tape..."

I wanted so badly to go back about 15 minutes to when I was younger.

Mama’s Losin’ It

From this week's Mama Kat's writing prompt:

"Write something that begins and ends with the words "When I was younger"


ShadowRun300 said...

This same thing happened to me a couple of days ago! I was on my way to work, needed to stop at the store for just a FEW objects, and quickly be on my way. I scanned all the lanes, not necessarily looking for the shortest line, but looking for the most adept cashier. I chose my lane, then waited HOURS - not because of the cashier, but because of the shopper. (Slow payers drive me more insane than slow checkers). When it was finally my turn, one of my items didn't have a price, so I had to wait for a slow runner to go get the numbers for her. I honestly did feel like my life was being sucked away and wanted to go back to my "younger" days and pick a different lane.
Whew. Thanks for giving me a venue for my rant. I needed that. :)

Abby said...

Oh trust me, you are not alone. This happens to me way more often than the average shopper, I'm sure of it. It's like the high-maintenance payers seek me out and somehow know which lane I'll pick - like Grocery Store Minority Report with their psychics sitting in a tank of water and telling them where I'll be!

ShadowRun300 said...

Ohhh... so THAT'S how they know. I've come to love the self-checkout lanes at a certain grocery store. Sometimes I just can't be bothered by other people. Ya know?

agg79 said...

I thought that only happens to me. No matter which line I pick, it will turn into something like the post office. Of course I always wind up behind someone with 20 coupons and pays by check. That's why I prefer the self-check out lanes most of the time. What makes it really bad is when you are standing there for so long, you actually start reading the tabloids for amusement.

Abby said...

Oh yes, the tabloids. Hillary's womanizing, John Travolta's manizing, Brangelina and their brood... not that I ever stoop so low as to read such headlines.

CiCi said...

This is a good one. I try to tell myself that now I am not working, I am not in a hurry. Yet, when I go to pay for things I walk back and forth to find the shortest line and the most alert checker. I like the way you describe this situation. If someone came around with ice cream or small sodas when we get stuck for-ever in a line, it might help.

Jerralea said...

No matter which cashier I choose, it always ends up like your post did - me, wondering why I have to spend so much time in line while the minutes of my life keep ticking by ...

Good job!

May said...

Oh, my gosh! Yes! This is me. Why? Other people seem to get in and get out,but not me. No, I too age in the check out line!

Carol said...

How clever! You write like I think. Waiting in lines. Time ticking away. Life dwindling away. I've seen both sides. With mom as the slow payee (requires tons of patience) and slow checkers. I don't know what's worse. I try to shop early in the mornings to avoid the anxiety of waiting in lines. And, I know one day, sooner than I want, I will probably be one of those slow payees! Sigh.....

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes. Happens all the time...and I'm silly enough to think if I get in the line next to me that's shorter that it will help...but then it happens all over again! Fun post. :)