Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
Dorothy Harris

Shopping sometimes is a good workout


Published:

My daughter wanted to go for an early run on Saturday. The dog and I are rehabbing injuries, so we opted for a short shuffle. Thankfully mosquitoes weren't bad because we are in no condition to out run them. Heading home, I figured I'd make breakfast as a surprise for Mr. Harris, who might still be sleeping if our friendly Jehovah Witnesses hadn't dropped by.

Still getting comfortable behind the wheel of her dad's big truck, my daughter parked far out at Wal-Mart while I ran in. As I entered the store, I immediately realized my error. Moving across the big box at a snail's pace behind folks who apparently didn't need to be home until at least afternoon tea time, I cursed my choice of stores. Why was I trying to save instead of shopping with pleasure?

Finally reaching the food side, I moved as quickly as my aching IT band allowed, grabbing eggs, juice and bagels. Heading to checkout, I saw the typical Saturday backup. A light bulb then went off over my head. No really, it did, distracting me for a moment and allowing me to notice the self-checkout. I had observed my friend use this once and she made it seem so easy.

It's simple with the exception of having no place to put items after you scan them. Once I figured how to manage this, I got a pretty good rhythm going. Then I hit a snafu; I had bought three donuts. With my panicked look, one might have thought I had stolen something. Here I was with an almost illegal nutritional purchase, and no barcode. Reading the directions, I was able to play cashier, looking up the code with simplicity and ease. They had thought of everything.

Apparently I, however, had not. I reached into my purse to grab my wallet and froze. I had locked it away when we went exercising and forgotten to bring it. Standing there with no way to check out, I thumped myself on the head. When that didn't miraculously make money appear, I remembered the incredibly expensive device in my hand and texted my kid. Unfortunately, my phone edited me and sent, "I've forgotten my Wal-Mart!"

I sent a second text asking her to bring my wallet. Then I remembered the dog was with us. Since she couldn't bring the dog inside the store, I texted she should just bring my wallet to the grocery entrance and I'd meet her there.

I abandoned my transaction in mid-pay and went to wait. When she didn't come, I phoned her, but everyone knows teens do not answer their phones. I was getting desperate. I waited some more and tried to phone her again. When she didn't pick up, I hung up, realizing if she was driving over, she wouldn't answer her phone anyway.

I wandered the parking lot looking for a black Ford truck. When I found her, she was listening to the radio and hadn't noticed any of my messages. Flustered from my stupidity and the near hundred degree weather, I grabbed my wallet and quickly explained what was up.

When I made it back, I was relieved and thankful Ms. Aimee, a Wal-Mart associate, had kept my register open during my absence- so much for self-checkout. Arriving home, I could only laugh when Mr. Harris asked how my exercising had gone. Only I could make a quick trip for breakfast items into such a work out.

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