And now for something completely different.
I went to Target last night to buy such exciting things as deodorant, razor blades, toilet cleaner, bikini line Nair, a light bulb, and tampons. When I’d gotten everything I needed, I headed toward the shortest line and began loading my stuff onto the conveyor belt while the person in front of me paid for her stuff.
I should have paid more attention to her interaction with the cashier, but I was too busy feeling self-congratulatory about the fact that I would be using a coupon to save a dollar on my giant box of tampons. I spent all my waiting line time thinking about how some women are really embarrassed about buying feminine hygiene products, but I, on the other hand, am so self-confident and down-to-earth about the fact that yes, I am a woman and I menstruate that I am buying a giant box of tampons with a BIG-ASS COUPON! A coupon that is in fact PINK! Something that will draw more attention to the fact that I just bought TAMPONS!
The woman in front of me finished and it was my turn with the cashier. As I approached the register, I noticed that my cashier was unusually bright-eyed and fresh-faced and cheerful. I also noticed that his name was New Team Member.
I try to be patient with cashiers named New Team Member, because I know they are still learning and are sometimes very nervous and/or shy about working a register. This New Team Member, however, seemed to have no problems whatsoever with nervousness or shyness, unless maybe he actually did and they happened to manifest themselves as CONSTANT EFFING CHATTER.
Living in Lynchburg can be dangerous for a surly heathen bitch like me. If I run into an overly cheerful, friendly, and fresh-faced young person, and that person really, really wants to chat with me, I begin to worry that the kid is a Liberty student who is drunk on the Good News and wants to convert me. It has happened before. Since Target is essentially across the street from Liberty University, there’s always a good chance that your cashier might be a Liberty student.
So this kid is chatty-chatty-chatty and it’s in a way that makes him look very dorky and oddly socialized. This is often also a hallmark of Liberty kids, because many Liberty kids come from extremely sheltered backgrounds, were often homeschooled, and behave like puppies on a highway when they get out in public.
I try to be polite. He goes on and on about how he’s afraid of my lightbulb and doesn’t know what to do with it. He sets it aside so he can “figure out what to do with it later.” I make some polite “mm-hmm” noises and start to write out my check, hoping that my intense concentration on the difficult business of check-writing will make him shut up and finish ringing up my stuff.
“Ahh, a southpaw!” he says. That is a direct quote. Evidently, New Team Member is also a lefty, and he wishes there were more of us in the world, and left-handed women are extremely rare and in fact I might be the first left-handed woman he’s ever met and I wish I were making this crap up at this point. He starts off on a thing about left-handed desks and right-handed desks and I finish writing the parts of the check I can write at this point and look up and see that he is using sweeping, giant hand motions to emphasize his story about left-handed desks.
In one of his hands is my giant box of tampons.
I realize that he has been waving the tampons around in the air since the moment he realized I was a lefty. The four people in line behind me have facial expressions that indicate that they’re annoyed by having to wait, but they are absolutely, positively mesmerized by my Playtex Gentle Glide Multi-Pack.
I have to snap him out of it. I suggest abruptly that he just put the light bulb in the bag with everything else, because it’s in cardboard and won’t break. He shakes his head a bit as if waking out of a sound sleep, looks down at the box of tampons in his hands, and promptly gets all flustered by the fact that he’s holding a box of items that will eventually spend time inside a woman’s vagina. It takes him approximately seventy-four tries to get them scanned. And then I have to give him the damn coupon.
And then I finally, finally get a total, scribble it on the check, hand it to New Team Member, and haul ass out of my beloved Target.