Returning from vacation means two things:  a mountain of dirty laundry and an empty pantry and fridge.  By yesterday, the laundry pile was reduced to a molehill, so it was time to head to Wal-Mart for groceries. 

I don’t know about where you live, but here, Wal-Mart is a gathering place; as gargantuan as the store is, regardless of the time of day, chances are I’ll run into someone I know.  Forget to brush my hair, fail to put on make-up, or walk out the door with a coffee-stained shirt?  Those chances are tripled. 

After running into a few familiar faces and filling my shopping cart along the way, it was time to check out.  There were a half-dozen "20 items or less" aisles open, so I shuffled to one of the three that had no limit; the "short" line with only two women in front of me.

{insert hysterical laugh}  Who was I kidding?  "Short" line means NOTHING once I choose it! 

I picked up People Magazine and read the entire issue–I know more about Anne Hathaway’s former Italian lover/conman/jailbird and Chris Evert’s and Greg Norman’s wedding than I really care to.  MAINLY BECAUSE I HAD ICE CREAM AND FROZEN PIZZAS THAT NEEDED TO GET HOME BEFORE THEY THAWED AND MELTED!

I was stuck, two people had wedged in behind me.  OF COURSE a line opened up to the left!  The lady behind me took advantage but I was still boxed in (and for the record, after 20 minutes–I’M NOT EXAGGERATING!–the cashier was still ringing the first lady’s groceries!). 

It was my good fortune that I knew the lady behind her–Chef Melanie from Fresh Market cooking demos :).  Since I stalk her take advantage of these free mini-classes as often as possible, she recognized me.  We were enjoying a nice little chat when I heard the cashier calling out to us, "Honey, I’m going on break when I’m done with these two…" and I noticed her light was off (it hadn’t been before), and I involuntarily whined "BUT WE’VE BEEN IN LINE HALF AN HOUR!".  Seriously…I sounded like a three-year old; I wasn’t proud, it just self-blurted.

She VERY nicely replied, "Oh, I didn’t realize…I’ll finish with y’all…" and that’s when Melanie noticed an aisle to our right opening.  She directed me to go in front of her, and because MY ICE CREAM WAS NOW A MILK SHAKE AND THE PIZZAS WERE ALMOST READY TO EAT, I didn’t protest.  Much.  Grocery Karma was in her favor, though, and ANOTHER line opened and she hopped in front.

Unbelievable, and bless her heart, but my stash was bagged before the original cashier had finished with those other two ladies.  Yes, bless her heart. 

Oh, dear…there’s a "Part Two" to the black cloud that followed me yesterday, think I’ll make that another post…I DO SO have that knack for s t r e t c h i n g out a story, huh?

To be continued….

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