I’ve learned something about myself since my daughter Angela began working as a cashier at a local grocery store.
I realize how much I miss the normal rhythms of life.
When Angela is working, I think about her in a way that I simply don’t when she is on the couch attending Zoom classes. I notice the clock more and wonder how she is doing. Is she hungry? Is she getting tired? Are customers being rude to her?
I find myself looking forward to her return home. And it motivates me to fold that last load of laundry or start the dishwasher. Last night, after her shift, we sat for about an hour and visited. In the middle of our conversation, it dawned on me.
I miss missing her.
That sounds strange and I realize that I am blessed to have every reasonable expectation that she will return home after each shift. While I am happy to have her home, it isn’t the norm and it is hard to relate to a new norm. And there isn’t much rhythm to this groundhog day existence.
One wonderful things about home is leaving and returning to it. It becomes a sanctuary. It doesn’t feel quite the same when you are living in that sanctuary 24/7.
And now we shift gears…
Although Angela isn’t studying Psychology in college, she is getting a good dose of it at the supermarket. A few observations from my cashier psychologist.
- Men and women converse differently.
- Women tend to talk at her. About their cats. Or their opinions on the current situation. Or both.
- Men talk with her. There is more back and forth. She said it is the men who ask her questions like where does she go to school or what is she studying.
- Women, particularly older women, are notorious about getting into the Express Lane with more than 15 items. And they often preemptively confess it, “I may be a few over.” And they are actually way over. Like 50 items isn’t even close to 15. Angela said next time she may just scan 15 items, stop, and say, “Look honey. That’s 15 items. And you still have a full cart. Not even in the ballpark.”
- People are buying copious amounts of alcohol. As Angela isn’t 21 yet, she has to call someone over to scan every bottle or 6-pack. So she keeps pretty good track.
- Finally, when you buy a whole bunch of beer and 1 package of blueberries, you aren’t fooling anyone. You are not having a smoothie for dinner.
Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow. Angela says taco fixings and tequila are hot buys.