It was one of those days where everything was taking a ridiculously long time. There was a line at the drycleaners. A line at the supermarket. A line at the gas station. I was starting to think that everyone in the world had the same to-do list that I did; they were just one to-do ahead of me the whole day.
I finally made it to the last place on my list. I needed to pick up a couple of things at the department store. As I walked in, I was thrilled to see that for the first time all day, I was in a store that was mostly empty. I found what I needed in about five minutes flat, then I headed toward the checkout counter.
I was surprised to see that there were a couple of people waiting in line to check out, because there didn’t really seem to be that many people in the store. But since the whole day had been one long waiting game, I figured this was just par for the course. As I got in line behind two ladies who were waiting ahead of me. I started checking messages on my cell phone to pass the time.
After a while, I realized I had been waiting in the line for an unusually long time. I am typically not the most patient person, but this was excessive even by a normal patient person’s standards. Looking at my watch, I realized 10 minutes had passed since I’d gotten in line. I peered around the people ahead of me and noticed that some other customers were finishing at the cash registers but for some reason, the line I was in did not seem to be moving.
I started tapping my foot and making huffy noises. Then I looked around for a store employee to complain to.
Just when I thought my head would explode, I saw someone and waved her over.
“Are you waiting to check out?” she asked me cheerily.
“Yes!” I shouted in frustration.
“Well, the checkout line is over there,” she said gesturing to another line I hadn’t noticed directly behind the checkout counter. “YOU are standing in line behind mannequins.”
“Huh?” I said dumbly. At first I didn’t quite understand what she was saying. But then I looked closely at the heads of the two ladies standing in front of me and slowly realized their hair was made of plastic and they had no faces. My line wasn’t moving because I wasn’t IN a line. I was standing behind a clothing display next to the checkout area.
I walked around the mannequins and looked them up and down, just to convince myself that I really was that stupid.
“Oh boy. I am such an idiot,” I moaned to the store employee.
”It’s OK,” she laughed. “This actually happens a lot.”
“Really?” I said with some annoyance. “Then why don’t you move the mannequins further away from the checkout area?”
She grinned. “Because it’s really funny.”
— For more Lost in Suburbia, Follow Tracy on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage and Twitter @TracyBeckerman.