On teaching me to slow down

There’s this really lovely checker at our grocery store, an older man who has to take his time as he rings up every item in the cart, and by that I mean I once walked through his line with a magazine, a pack of gum, and a gallon of milk and by the time he handed me my receipt I was hunched over with osteoporosis.

I’m sorry, is that mean? Is making fun of calcium deficiencies off-limits now? I’m asking only because I just had the thought that someone might lecture me about how IT’S NOT JUST A CALCIUM DEFICIENCY, HEATHER. It’s so much more than that, I know, but seriously, by the time he scanned the milk my pelvic bone had snapped in two.

So I avoid his line like the plague now. Always on the lookout for another line, but yesterday his was the only one with no one in it. Maybe because everybody else is avoiding him, too. And I suddenly felt so sorry for him that I walked right up and started to set my things down on the conveyor belt, hopeful that maybe today he’d had a few cups of coffee or was experimenting with doses of Adderall.

Sadly, no. It was taking him several minutes to choose which item he wanted to scan first, and when he grabbed the bananas I was all OH CRAP. Because whenever he scans a vegetable or fruit, something that requires some sort of memorized numerical code to identify, he stops, breathes as if it is his last breath, looks over his right shoulder IN THE DIRECTION OF THE PRODUCE SECTION, and then closes his eyes for as long as it takes one of my bones to break.

As if the produce section is going to yell out the number. I’m not going to lie, it is the cutest thing I have ever seen.