Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Target Checkout Anxiety and Other Topics of No Importance

Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Today, I went to Target and was faced with the same dilemma I always face when I have to check out there. How to avoid the check-out people that just make me uncomfortable without being obvious about it. (Like anyone notices what I do, but still.)

Who are these odious people, you might ask? Well, first and worst, there is a woman - at least I think it is a woman - who looks like a homely version of Chris Cooper (pictured here) in not-very-fashion-forward drag. He/She is tall and has a homely Chris Cooper face - who is himself not so great looking to begin with, albeit a gifted actor of the highest degree- topped with a boufante hair-do and large seventies-style ugly glasses. He/she wears the red Target empolyee shirt tucked into jeans a tad bit too tight (note fat roll hanging over) belted with a belt that might look mod or retro on another more fortunate being but here just looks awful. I know I have spent some effort here describing Mr/Ms. Homely Chris Cooper's appearance, but that isn't the only thing that makes me take pause. It is his/her southern accent and gracious speech. "Y'all find everythin' ya need, hon?" He/she might say. She looks you straight in the eye and is as pleasant as you could imagine. For some reason, I just can't take it. If she is a natural born woman who was burdened with those looks, I just plain feel sorry for her. If he's a man who chooses to dress as a woman or who has had sex change surgery, I just plain feel sorry for him/her as well. After all, if one is going to suffer through that kind of surgery and pay that kind of money for it, one should at least become an attractive member of the sex to which one aspired. And in this case, that sure didn't happen.

The other checkout person who bothers me for some reason is a seemingly nice Indian man who is always pushing for his customers to save 10% on today's purchase by signing up for the Target Visa Card. He even suggests this when you are buying something very small, say toothpaste for less than $5.00. He never looks you in the eye when he suggests it but his tone says that you are his dearest friend. I don't know why he bothers me, but I always avoid him, too.

In my avoidance of these two clerks, I often end up in long lines or wrong lines ("10 Items or Less" when I have so many more than 10). Today, I ended up in the line of a middle aged-woman with post chemo baby fuzz hair on her head and lots of distracting growths on her face and skull. She was very pleasant and for some reason mentioned having to move a lot because of her husband's job and her cancer. I think it was my purchase of a new baking pan that inspired her comments. Politeness almost demanded that I ask about her cancer since she so forwardly brought it up but I am ashamed to say, loyal readers, that I just did have the energy. I was too wrapped up in my own shallow problems of gaining five pounds and of being a lousy writer. So, I thanked the poor woman and went on my way without so much as a sympathetic look to acknowledge her suffering.

A few more of these checkout clerks and I might have to start shopping at Kmart instead of Target.

Which brings up the question on everyone's lips. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, BLOOMINGTONGIRL???

And, loyal readers, I must be honest. I have no idea what is wrong with me. I believe I might be going through a mini-self-image-crisis due to Jack now being officially in school full time and due to me gaining just enough weight to not fit in my favorite clothes. If I could just go ahead and throw myself a pity-party and wallow in my depression, I might be able to get beyond it faster. Unfortunately, I know that I have nothing - and I mean NOTHING - to complain about compared to most people. Still, for some reason, this week I just feel plain old blue and discouraged. There, I said it.

And having said it, I must advise my loyal readers not to worry. I will bounce back soon, I am sure.

In other news, I am going to plant some mums tomorrow in our large planters out front so on the off chance anyone comes to look at our house, they won't suspect how little we care about that kind of stuff.


Anne said...
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Anonymous said...

I just got myself caught up on your "blahg" since the OCD piece and am myself feeling anxiety lately at the check out stand. Not so much by the checkers but by their insistance on asking me for my fucking zip code. "Screw you" I want to shout. I just paid $234.85 at your store on clothes and shoes for my family and I just gave you my credit card with stellar fucking credit on it and now you want to fucking know where I live? No. Just plain no. I refuse to give it out anymore and I of course get mixed reactions. But not just from the checker, but from the people behind me. Not vocal comments but people stop talking behind me when they hear the checker say: Ah, you don't know your zip code? No, I just don't want to give it out. Oh she says. As I'm sure the people behind me wonder who this nut is that won't give out her zip code. "It's becuase I don't want another fucking department store nearer to my house!" "And I don't want to be part of some market research that is going to show just exactly how far people come to shop at the XYZ store." I want to resist. I like resisting and questioning and saying no if it doesn't make sense. There...I feel better.
Can you tell I went to see Lewis Black last night live? Yes, saying and writing the word fuck is fun and it helps release pent up consumer frustrations!
Love ya gal. And I know you still love me even though I vent like a crazy person sometimes!
P.S. I made the summer squash soup and blended cooked beets in it, too. It turned the color to a beautiful raspberry color. YUM!

BloomingtonGirl said...

Right on Soul Sistah! I have stopped giving my phone number at the checkout because they ask for that as well. This collecting of as much information as possible during every transaction is incredibly annoying. It annoys me like having to sit through advertisements at a movie theatre. I mean, you PAY to see a movie and have to watch a Pepsi ad first.

My father--in-law has a great idea on a related annoyance. You know those inserts that are put into Magazines...the postage paid post cards to subscribe to the magazine you are reading? You turn a page and a million of them fall out? Well, his idea is to mail each and every one of them back, blank. The company has to pay the postage for them and if everyone mailed them back blank, they might reconsider whether it was working for them financially...

Anonymous said...

Hello sweet Bloomington Girl. I have finally visited you here, to be thrilled that you're my friend, and to hope that you'll deal with the fact that I am SWAMPED with work at the moment. Hope to share another botella de vino with you soon. Cheers- Jenny N-K