Yesterday I was in line at Trader Joe’s. If you live in a large city, you know that the line of TJ’s is always long enough that you should bring another task to complete while waiting. (Ideas: Christmas cards, knitting projects, expense report prep, etc.)
Whoever conceived of TJs’ store layout is brilliant, because the final stage of the line functions sort of like the “finishing chute” from the Tour de France. But instead of simply corralling riders (or in this case, shoppers) into a neat sequence for the finish line, at TJ’s, this line snakes right past all the wine and beer displays.
By that point, even if you’re not a drinker, a bottle of SOMETHING seems like it’s not a terrible idea.
As a result, you often see people momentarily abandon their carts to wander over and grab a bottle of the shelf. Yesterday was no exception. The couple in line behind me did a quick run-down of the list of items they’d needed to procure for their dinner party that night. Then the wife said, “Go grab two mixed six packs from the shelf over there,” pointing at the beer.
The husband did as requested. The wife said, “Maybe you should grab another cheap six, just to be safe?”
Husband: “Safe for what?”
Wife: “So we don’t run out?”
Husband: “Don’t you think they’ll bring something too?”
Husband: “So we’re covered.”
Wife: “Not necessarily. I mean, Janet asked what she could bring and I said, ‘Nothing! We’re good!’ but she’ll probably bring a bottle of wine.”
Husband: “But you told her to bring nothing.”
Wife: “But women know it’s tacky to arrive empty-handed.”
Husband: “But you TOLD HER we were good.”
Wife: “You don’t understand how it works. Just grab an extra six-pack to be safe.”
Then the husband – under his breath, while going to grab the six-pack – said, “Maybe YOU don’t understand how it works…”