Tuesday, October 02, 2007

On Honeycrisps and Self Check Out

Last night I ran to Kroger to grab a couple things.

I'm a die hard HEB fan, so just walking into the place, I felt like a traitor.

One of the things on my very short list was...

more apples

This time of year, my kids and I are absolutely addicted to Honeycrisp apples.

It's such an expensive dependency.

These apples are around $2.99 a pound!

And, I bet they weigh about a pound a piece.

That makes them right about the price of a "hit" of crack.

This is a fact I did not know when I lived in the suburbs.

I can't believe I'm spending this much money on apples.

And there are lots of people in my house. If we only eat one a day...that's four apples gone...I say four because Aaron's system would go into compete freak out mode if something this healthy made it inside his body. His digestive system would have to call in Jack Bauer to assess and eliminate the terrorist apple's attack.

If my kids were asking me for anything else...any other snack or food item that cost this much money I would say "go sell lemonade"...but these are apples. All logic breaks down inside of me when my kids ask me ALL DAY if I will please go to the store and get them some more apples to eat.

"We love apples mom. These are so good. I could eat these all day. And apples are so healthy mom, aren't they."


Who can say no to that?

Not me, obviously.

These apples only come out at certain times of the year...they are available a few weeks...and then they are gone, leaving only ugly, mushy, not-as-sweet apples to take their place. Can you imagine how those "other" apples must feel? They don't even come close to comparing to Honeycrisps. The Honeycrisps get their own display in the front of the store.  I'm sure the other apples hate their sweet, juicy, crunchy guts. Honeycrisps are the Paris Hiltons of the produce department...and I'm sure all the other apples know it. When I finally walk past the other apples that get hidden in the back when the Honeycrisps arrive...I push my grocery basket right past them, glance over in their direction, shake my head and think...."sad."

What I normally do is go to HEB, get about six of them...and then, not weigh them. Since I can't do math at all, I just make sure that when I get to the check out counter, I purposely divert my eyes from the cash register screen when the apples are getting rung up.

Until yesterday, after several years of buying these apples, I have had NO IDEA how much I was paying for them.

My system has worked flawlessly...and it had to if these apples would continue to find a place in my basket week after week...because what's the point of buying this pricey snack if I'm going to feel nauseous eating them, sick about how much I spent ON AN APPLE? It's kind of like the old, "If a tree falls in the forest" deal...you know, "If you paid a lot for apples, but you didn't know it, does it really matter?" I think the only thing worse than buying these expensive apples would be buying them and then throwing them up because I felt so sick about paying so much for them. So...I choose to bag them and then stay thoroughly distracted while I'm checking out.

Yesterday I got caught.

At Kroger, I was forced to do the self-check out.

ALL the lines were so long...and moving slowly.

NO ONE was at the self check out.

I wasn't about to go over there though.

Those things terrify me.

Just seeing them makes me perspire and become instantly nervous.

But a young boy...who works for Kroger...who was annoyingly oh so perceptive, saw I only had a few things in my hands, and yet I was standing in a long line...he looked up and said, "The self-checkout is open."

He thought he was being helpful. But he wasn't. I wanted to kick him in the shins.

For a brief moment I thought possibly, I could get out of this if I acted like I was deaf, or didn't speak English.

But quickly, I realized, even I could not keep up the deafness or language barrier all the way through my check out experience.

If I didn't speak English, what did I speak?

I don't know enough of any other language to even say, I don't speak English in it.

If I played it deaf, what if they brought someone over to interpret for the cash register person?

My sign language only consists of a few signs - No, stop, orange juice? Jump on the trampoline? Bandaid? These are hardly the signs I'd need to help me check out at Kroger.

I looked over at the empty, ghoulish self-check out stands and my plastic apple bag almost slipped out of my hands that had immediately become SWEATY.

Everything in me wanted to just stand there and casually say, "I'll wait. Those things scare me to death."

But really....sometimes, I have to think to myself..."Be normal, Heather...for the love...be normal."

I moved over to the self check out, to spare myself from announcing to many people in line that I'd rather wait here behind their full baskets, with four things in my hands because the self check out makes me have nightmares.

I really have had two bad dreams about the self check out.

This is a deep rooted fear.

Why can't they at least have online tutorials?

I could practice!

I would!


It stresses me out that once I've checked out an item that awful computer lady starts YELLING at me, over and over..."Put the item in the bag. Put the item in the bag. Put the item in the bag." How do you put a huge family sized package of toilet paper in the bag? You just don't, lady, you can't...but you don't know that...because you can't see me...and you can't hear me...and yet...I'm talking to you. I'm talking to you! What is wrong with me? A computer lady is making me shaky. I'm scared of a fake lady...a souped up, female equivalent of the speak and spell.

So every single time, the "special real-life, human helpers" have to come down off their throne, intervene and help me figure out why I'm such a self-check out loser. There they stand, behind the grocery store, self-check out pulpit ready to pass judgment on me whenever I can't figure out how to ring up cilantro. The computer lady is repeating herself over and over and over again...and finally, it's like the self-check out pastor slams down her gavel declaring me..."LOSER. You lose. Go back to full service, lady. Your soul has been eternally dammed to the full service lines. This is for A-team grocery store shoppers...go back, you B-teamer. You can't hang in the self-checkout. Do not pass Go. Do not collect your bags filled with expensive apples...just leave...and come back when you quit being a moron."

It's so humiliating.

And that's when I'm standing there alone, no one waiting behind me.

If someone comes up behind me, waiting to check out groceries...I don't know what happens to me...I turn into panicked, sweaty, wants to cry lady. I have actually thought about leaving everything there and running out of the store. I'm not kidding. If the slightest thing goes wrong while I'm in self-check out lines AND someone is waiting behind me...I just want to walk right out of the door, get in my car and bawl. And that seems perfectly logical and understandable to me in the moment. It takes everything in me to fight the urge to bolt.

What is wrong with me?

So the point of this post is...

self-check outs scare me

computer ladies intimidate me

so do the Big Brother grocery store employees who watch over all the self-check out stations

It would be a dream of mine...like if there was a show where you could submit a wish, and you weren't dying, and that show would still want to make your dreams come true...mine would be to go to a grocery store, AFTER HOURS...all alone and figure out the self check out...become a pro...a master self-checkouter.

and...since I actually made it through the self check out test of fire last night...I now know that I spent almost $7 on these apples.

$7 for apples.

I've been doing this for several years.

And I've been PEELING them for Ashton and Hayden...I feel sick...I bet I was throwing away about 75 cents worth of apple every time, just because they say they don't want the "crust" on their apples.

They may have to start eating the "crust"...

and the core

Good thing these apples are only out for a minuscule window of time every year.

Or we would go broke.

But since an apple a day keeps the doctor away, maybe we could cancel our health insurance to be able to afford to eat these apples year round.

That's what we'd have to do in order to support this habit.

You should try these.

At least once.

I won't tell anyone.

They are so good.


The Kramer Family said...

Thanks for the reminder! I'm about to head to HEB right now for groceries.

I figure that since I bypass the chip, snack, & cereal isles this frees up at least $7 to spend on Honeycrisp Apples. Right?

They are so yummy.

Kirby said...

I am not even going to tell you how much I spent on 10 honeycrisp apples yesterday...my husband almost fell over...but he got over it b/c he asked me to cut him one immediately.

Carrie said...

I hate self check out to. I went to the grocery store this morning at 5:30. Dumb I know. But I go before my house is awake and I'm back with groceries put up before they are awake to. Works for us. Any who..... I had to do self check out this morning because that was the only line open. I spent 20 minutes there. A lady had to help me six times! The stupid machine kept freezing up. AHHHHH - I like humans better.

Kristy said...

From a faithful North Carolina blog reader...Hilarious...I particularly liked the mental image I got of Adam and Eve banging on the gates of the garden of Eden screaming HONEYCRISPS!!! My roommate and I were just talking about these apples the other day and how good they are. But I think you can find them at the farmers market here in Raleigh and I'm almost positive they are cheaper than the regular store. Do you guys have a farmers market nearby?

The Houstons said...

I have to let you know, I freak out at the thought of self check-out too, except it's ten times worse when both you AND your husband are standing there when the electronic lady voice starts repeating herself and the guy has to come over and see what the fuss is about, that two people cannot figure it out. I HATE it, I DREAD it. I would rather sit and sweat, yes sweat, because that seems to be the thing I do best since I've been pregnant, in a long line than take a gulp and plunge into the self-check out. I hate them! As for the apples, I have to say, I have never tried them, but I am oh so curious now, especially since I pack one apple for Jon everyday in his lunch. I cannot begin to imagine the sort of delight that would come across his face if he were to bite into such a delicious apple. Jon does not discriminate against any apple really, he loves them, and always says the apple is the best part of his lunch. So, I cannot imagine if I were to sneak a Honeycrisp into his lunch...I must, I have to, I think he deserves to taste it! I have never been so excited to go buy an apple before...just as long as I don't have to go through the self check-out on my way out. ;)

Hendrick Family said...

Go Angela!!!

He will LOVE you...probably call you and tell you it's the best apple he's ever eaten.

Maybe we need to form a self-check out support group.

We could pair up people who are pros at self-check outs and we could shadow them for a while...watch them in action.

I know there are a ton of self check out super stars out there who think we're all insane right now for even thinking twice about these awful machines.

We need to be mentored by them!! ha!


Valerie said...

I think I might have to go to HEB tonight to get some of those honeycrisp apples, I have never had one. Or maybe I shouldn't because then I will want more.

Self-checkouts are so much quicker than waiting for a full-service line, but I hate that talking computer, I would much rather talk to a real person.

Hendrick Family said...

Yes...be forewarned...these apples will RUIN you for other apples.

This post was written by someone who only eats apples when Honeycrisps are in the stores. Other times of the year...NO WAY for me.

I love them so much that I woke up this morning...and found an email from Kirby telling me that Honeycrisps are back in the stores.

She knows me WAY too well.

I think part of our mentoring/friendship relationship has always included confessing to each other how much we are spending on Honeycrisps...I've never known...but last year, I SPECIFICALLY remember Kirby telling me one night that she spent $14 on apples.

I don't think we prayed...but if I was a better mentor...I probably should have! ha!


the lewisi female said...

At least you have HEB!!! Only wholefoods has the good apples here.. and they are ridiculously priced.. I am pretty sure they charge us just to walk into Whole Foods, especially if they see you drive an SUV! You should try the Pink Ladies too... they are really good in season! We both eat an apple a day and joke that we have a seperate place in our budget for "apples".

The Mosiers said...

I saw the honeycrisps in HEB last night, but my frugal husband would not let me purchase them because of the price. However, as we walked by them he said, "Those are the kind of apples Heather likes." I stood there looking longingly wanting to taste those crispy apples, wondering why I brought Matt to the store with me. He always makes me put the good expensive stuff back on the shelf

Heslip Twins said...

Honeycrisps are good, but my favorites are Pink Ladies. They are really sweet and yummy and are usually about $1.49 a pound. That's still expensive but a little cheaper. I had a coworker in Sugar Land bring a lot of different types of apples, cut them up, and we had a taste and name that apple contest. It was great, and I was able to taste some apples I had never heard of.

I think I've gotten the hang of self checkouts. If I go to Wal-Mart (which isn't very often...go Target!!), that's the only place guaranteed to get you out of the store quickly. I even use coupons at the self checkout!


Lindsay said...

I'm so curious to try a honeycrisp apple...I hope they have them in Nashville. Are they good with Peanut Butter, or will that ruin it? I might have to wait until our next payday so I can budget accordingly! When do they go out of season?

The Kramer Family said...

If you eat a Honeycrisp and Peanut Butter watch out! Seriously. I love the combo so much that my husband banned all peanut butter making it past the doorstep into our home!

Just by themselves they are amazing, but with the two together it is like amazing!

Sarah Shalley said...

I've never had a honeycrisp apple before...I've never even heard of them! AND I LOVE APPLES! I've never met you (I'm a friend of Lynsey's), but this post has me laughing out loud as I read this. My husband probably thinks that I'm crazy for laughing hysterically about a story about apples. I love your blog!

Halei said...

I thought there were only two types of apples...lol, where have I been!?

The Houstons said...

I did it, I took the challenge...I got honeycrisp apples today...I sort of felt like an apple snob...then I came home and shared one with Jon...Heavenly Honeycrisps, where have you been all my life! DELICIOUS!

Hendrick Family said...

Yay Angela!

I want to hear if other people ate them and loved them.

Apple testimonies.


Bev Brandon said...

Do they have Honeycrisp Apples in Benbrook? I don't think so. All we have is green apples and red apples in Benbrook...I'll have to go to Dallas, they have everything...I bet Babette's feast had honeycrisp apples...

How's self check-out working for you? NOT AT ALL...I cry on demand if I go to the store way too early or way too late and self-check is all that is open at Albertson's and I pretty please plead with the checker to help me as tears roll down my cheeks...true confessions here...

Palermos said...


I know you are not a Kroger fan, but I ran in there yesterday to pick up some veggies and the first thing I saw were Honeycrisps! I never had one before so I had to get some. They were $1.99 a pound!! Plus, if you have a Kroger Plus card you can get an add'l 85 cents off.

These apples are GREAT and TASTY!

-Leigh Ann

Katy said...

You think that you are paying alot for Honeycrisps. I just had to try one so my Mom and I went to Target to get some stuff and we paid 2.29/lb for some Honeycrisp apples. But I do have to say that it was totally worth it!!

Anonymous said...


I will die without my Honeycrisp every day

Double Ahem, the self checkout doesn't know what kind of apple that really is, just sayin. Kinda looks like a Gala to me