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...
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!
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.