I was standing in the check-out line at the drug store to purchase one item. Given that it was February 13, I’ll give you one guess as to what it might have been. Yeah, it’s a man thing, but what are you gonna do about it? Plus, this article is about a woman thing, not a man thing. So there were three women in front of me making purchases, and one behind me. The largest purchase was comprised of five items, maybe four. The cashier was a fine young thing who definitely had her head in the game.
The first woman in line placed her items on the counter. Fine Young Thing scanned them, and announced the total. At that point, after the total was announced, the first woman in line placed her purse on the counter, unzipped it, opened it, started digging through it, found her wallet, removed it from her purse, unfastened the clasp, opened the wallet, looked for cash, didn’t find any, flipped through her credit cards, got one out, and handed it to Fine Young Thing. I was waiting for it. I just knew it would happen … but the purchase was approved, so I was wrong. We all stood there while the credit card machine did its thing. She put the credit card back in her wallet, closed it, put it in her purse, closed the purse, zipped it, picked it up, gathered her items, and exited the store. You think it was a chore to read all that? Believe me, it was making me tired just watching her do it!
The second woman in line placed her items on the counter. Fine Young Thing scanned them, and announced the total. At that point, after the total was announced, the second woman in line placed her purse on the counter, unzipped it, opened it, started digging blah, blah, blah … you guessed it. It was the same damned thing as the first. This time though, she had cash. In fact, after she spilled her change all over the counter, she managed to produce exact change. Bless her heart. She took her receipt and walked toward the door. “Ma’am, don’t forget your bag!” “OH!” she exclaimed. She took four steps back to collect her things, and exited the store.
By now, in addition to my one item, I was holding in my hand an amount of cash that was more than the listed price of that item. It was four dollars. (I was buying an addition to the Valentine gift I had already purchased, so stop thinking I am a tight wad!) Taking cash or my debit card out of my wallet is beyond second nature. I do it instinctively in what appears to be one smooth motion. Most everything I need to make the day progress in an orderly fashion is in my wallet, perhaps the most important of which is cash, running neck and neck with the debit card. My employee I.D. is required to enter the building and other facilities throughout the utility, so that’s the next most important thing in my wallet. There’s more, but it’s mostly unimportant, even the drivers’ license, which I only need when it is necessary to prove that I am who I say that I am.
The third woman in line placed her items on the counter. Fine Young Thing scanned them, and announced the total. At that point, after the total was announced—for cryin’ out loud—would you believe it!? Same thing. Plus, this lady paid with a check. Now she knows which store she is shopping in, and she knows its February 13. Do you think maybe she could have at least written the store name and date on the check before she was to produce it for payment? Nah—that’s expecting too much. And, of course, she wrote it like she was writing a love letter. We stood there watching her write. I envisioned her spelling her name “Cyndi” in her best calligraphy with a little heart in place of the dot on top of the lower-case I, because it was, after all, practically Valentine’s Day. With the transaction completed (finally) she collected her things and left the store.
FYT scanned my single item and announced the price. “Three dollars.” She had such a cute smile, I just had to ask, “Do you know one big difference between men and women?” She giggled real cute-like. I held up exactly three dollars between my thumb and forefinger, and in a voice loud enough for the lady behind me to hear, I said “Cash in hand, ready to go.” I handed her the money; she handed me the receipt. Five seconds later, maybe ten, and it was done!
My special request is pretty simple, but it extends from a general request that I would like to make of the entire world population: Folks, whoever you are, man or woman, could you please contribute more to a solution and less to a problem? Specifically ladies, I have this request of you: When you know you are going to purchase something in a store, could you be better prepared to pay for the purchase before the total is announced? We men would be ever so grateful.
I took my receipt from FYT, collected my item, and got out of the way to allow the lady behind me to begin her transaction. I purposely fumbled with my one item, the receipt, my wallet, my keys, my fly, and made a few more goo-goo eyes at FYT. I was stalling because I really wanted to see what the lady behind me was going to do.
The woman in line behind me placed her items on the counter. Fine Young Thing scanned the items, and announced the total … and wouldn’t you know it?