Every horror story has it’s setting. Dark and scary houses, a ship alone at sea, a graveyard during a storm, sitting for a test you know you have not studied for.
Mine is a bit different. My horror story has lots and lots of people, all going in the same direction. In fact, they are all untied for one single purpose, to check out. Yes, my horror story is being stuck in line with my kiddos at a large discount retailer or some other store where the cashier is REALLY taking their time on this particular day.
Parents, we have all been there before. If you haven’t, please reach out and comment below. I want to meet you and pick your brain. Really, there are few things that I fear more. Spiders, heights, speaking in public. I’m usually OK with those. Well, maybe roaches in the bathroom when I have bare feet. But I HATE being stuck in a slow line at a major retailer with all of my kids. They all want something. They all need something. And the listening ears that they had and prided themselves for possessing when we walked through those magical doors, are gone. They are completely and utterly nonexistent.
And some people in this place of horrors look at me as if they have never seen a child or don’t believe children can act this way. There is the woman picking her teeth with her fingernail, or the man scratching his belly, hoping no one will notice. Yes sir, I notice, and I also notice how you are glowering at my children. Yes ma’am, I see you picking your teeth, discarding the contents on your jeans.
And then the dredded sound, the one that I have nightmares about inside of my nightmares. The cashier, who is acting with absolutely no immediacy, has a question for their supervisor, and activities the buzzer. The light on their station glows, and all of us in the line collectively grown. Our sentence has grown just a bit more. My children could not be happier. I want to stomp my foot. Belly Scratcher and Tooth Picker don’t seem phased by this new turn of events.
Finally, the line starts moving again, although it seems more slowly this time, and eventually we reach our destination, the van, which will eventually lead us to our main destination, home. We survived, but I feel like years have been taken off of my life. I have nothing left in me, and it is only 12:01pm, on a Monday.