With 2 people in front of me, naturally, I picked up a magazine and started to read the articles. (Something about Valerie Bertinelli not liking publicity. Uh -huh. Because if I don't like publicity, the first thing I always do is pose for a weight loss company in my bathing suit. - but anyway...)
After reading the whole article, it occurred to me that the line hadn't moved once the whole time I'd been reading. Not even a little bit.
And as I began to watch the cashier, I determined that she was - and I SWEAR to you this is true - sorting through the belt-full of purchases, and scanning things in a particular order. She would sift through the items, moving things around to find what she wanted, then pick up one item to scan, bag it, and start moving things around on the belt to sort through and find the box or bag she felt needed to be next across the scanner.
I have never seen anything like it. She wasn't trying to bag all the produce together, or anything like that. She acted like she wasn't really sure what she was looking for - picking up something to scan, then deciding against it, setting it down, and moving things around to find the very best item to scan next.
I looked at the woman who had been standing at the paying station for the past, I don't know, 10 minutes? And she was open mouthed and sort of glassy-eyed, watching the cashier. So was #2 lady in line. #2 lady couldn't even unload the things from her cart, because the belt was not moving. See, there were about 10 Koolaid packets at the front of the belt, that for whatever reason had been deemed unworthy to scan - so far. So there they sat, forcing everything else to stay in it's same place.
Finally the Koolaid packets got their turn, so lady #2 was able to start unloading. She threw me several - "can you believe this?" looks. and I was so fascinated trying to figure out the puzzle of Why Things Were Being Chosen, that I couldn't do anything but shrug.
I think it had something to do with size, but also color. Because there were many items that were purple that were passed over as the cashier would strain to reach the items farther away from her. I noticed that even after she finally decided to scan the Koolaid, the purple packets went decisively last.
And so it went with lady #2.
I was #3.
While I watched this worker do the exact same procedure to scan lady #2's purchases, I went through this whole parade of emotions.
A little Thrill!
Because it occurred to me what a great blog post this would be. I spent the next 10 minutes watching the cashier sort and scan - picking up one thing to scan, rejecting it back to the pile, and then finding something else - and the whole time I was writing and rewriting my blog post. It was all I could think about. You know, about being obsessed and everything.
I'm still not sure I have this post the way I want it, but dangit, that lady finished checking my stuff out before I was done with all the rewrites in my head.
SO I put some final touches on it as I drove home and rewrote the first few lines again as I unpacked my bags, carefully sorted by item size and color. (I think.)
... I just can't imagine being that obsessed with something.