I dislike being in a grocery checkout line behind a little old lady — especially when I am in a hurry.  Why don’t they have their money ready to pay for their groceries?  They know that they have to pay for their groceries, don’t they?

I am in a checkout line.  In front of me is a little old lady.  Several people are in front of her.  The little old lady has lots of time to take her change pouch out of her purse, but she does not do so.  The little old lady, like all little old ladies, waits until the cashier has totaled the groceries.

“How much is it?” asks the little old lady.  The cashier tells her.  “How much?” she asks again.  The cashier tells her again.  Then then the little old lady brings her purse up on the counter, and rummages through it to find her change pouch.  Once she finds it, she takes the time to count out the exact amount of money needed for her bill.   During this process, the little old lady may ask again, “How much is it?” and ask again and again with the cashier telling her each time.  After a decade, or two, the little old lady will find the exact amount and pay her bill.

I have yet to see anyone else pay for his or her groceries this way.  Is this behavior only taught at The School for Little Old Ladies?


About Gary Johnston

I am an imaginary number -- a symbol used to count and measure. As Senior Imaginary Number at Einstein Equations Incorporated, I facilitate the calculation of the impossible.

Posted on January 29, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. hey, this happened to me yesterday. I felt the same way…. WHY JUST PULLING OUT YOUR PURSE NOW!!!!!

    Then I realized that “little old ladies” are usually a bit on the frail side (physically or maybe even mentally) which generally leaves them feeling vulnerable. That vulnerability I’m certain impacts behaviour…like keeping things, especially their money, safely tucked away until absolutely necessary for exposure (they could get it stolen or they might lose it inadvertently if they take it out too soon). In addition to which, some (not all) really the DO count the pennies probably because they actually need to and/or have grown up with a respect for the concept of: ” a penny saved is a penny earned”.

    I’m hoping that once I get to that stage someone will give me a little leeway under circumstances I might find stressful.


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