grocery line etiquette

I don't like to make judgments about people based on a person's age. But I also can't argue with facts.

Quite often while I am paying for my groceries, I am crowded at the grocery store check-out. I think most people understand the unspoken rule about giving people space while they punch in secret codes and sign their John Hancock. But there are a few who fail to see the invisible line that exists between the conveyor belt and the credit card machine... a social line that you must not cross until the person has successfully paid for their groceries and has exited the isle. Failure to do so, in my opinion, earns you the title of "lurker". And over the years, I have noticed that "lurkers", without fail, fit within the following age brackets: 80+ years... and 16-18 years.

Recently, while I was loading my groceries into the cart, about 6 teenage boys had encroached past the invisible line. While I was trying to swipe my card, I could actually identify 3 different colognes that were attempting to mask the stale cigarette smoke, a hint of B.O. ... and I felt the guy's long hair brush up against my arm as he tossed it over his shoulder. When I motioned to them and suggested they "back up a bit", they seemed confused until I asked them if they would like to purchase my $300 grocery bill for me. They immediately stepped back... and I think the one wearing the skinny jeans did a courtly bow.

Another time, a little granny was so far forward, her walker was practically nestled right under my heiny!

And yet another time, a grandma and grandpa duo were so close that the grandma kindly brushed off some goldfish crumbs that were on my shoulder.

Although, I'm flattered that people don't find me disgusting enough to keep their distance, the thought has occurred to me that they are actually trying to pick my pockets or something, and so it does make me a little uncomfortable. Maybe next time I won't consider it as much of a priority to shower and put on deodorant before going to Walmart.


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