So I admit it. I love a good sale. When I see the words “Clearance,” it automatically means it’s permissible to buy, because it’s on sale. So when I went to the new Meijer Supercenter with my 3-year-old nephew, I went straight to the clearance items near the pet department in the back. As other customers buzzard over the items, I strutted around, carelessly doing my first glance of what they had to offer. Then I saw them. Four grey boxes of Trojan condoms. I don’t know why, but every.single.time I see sketch items on sale, I have a weird fetish that I must buy them — they’re mine to buy. But I had just came into the store and the only thing in the cart was my baby nephew. I added the condoms to my mental checklist as I continued to look at the other items on clearance. As I finished my initial run, the only thing I decided to buy were Crest White strips despite knowing I have some at home I have yet to use from 2 years ago. I bought 2 packs.
Now I desperately wanted to buy the condoms. I knew I wouldn’t use them in the traditional sense, since my boyfriend I’m committed to lives in Wales, but it’s always nice to have some condoms for some reason. For that reason, and that I’m a shopaholic. But I didn’t want to grab the condoms hastily after a cute male worker had just rearranged the boxes and I didn’t want to look so vulgar in front of the mothers and children scouting out the clearance aisle with me. And I didn’t want to continue my grocery shopping with only Crest White strips and condoms in my cart with my baby nephew. So to avoid the embarrassment, I left them– for now.
After loading up my cart with a few plastic bags full of greens and Hot Wheels cars for my nephews, I hastily went back to grab the boxes of condoms. I tried concealing them with the plastic produce bags at the bottom of the cart and trotted away, heading to the checkouts.
Now usually, I talk up the cashier. I ask them things like “How’re you today?”, “Are you keeping warm?”, “Do you like working here?” and “Are you always working? I see you here every time!” I engage them in conversation to distract them for when I ask for a price match (4 12-pack soda cans for $10 is a steal!), when I feel bad about having too much (shopping while hungry) or when I need to purchase something quite embarrassing (porn, sex toys, condoms and/or lube, respectively). But when I can, I avoid cashiers altogether.
I knew that this time, I wouldn’t have to make conversation or eye contact. Meijer had rows of Self-Checkout lanes and I was in the clear. My nephew was asleep, holding his Hot Wheels cars and I just had to scan and pay for my items and be on my way. I went up to the “No Limit” Self-Checkout lane and scanned the condoms first. Then the screen read “Assistance Needed.” FML, I thought in my head. I joked innocently with my sleeping nephew while waiting for a young troll worker to come over, press in her code and took the condom box to the end of the lane. I could see her walk back to her post next to her other equally trollish female coworker, presumably talking about me. But I held my head up high as I scanned another box of $1.50 clearance condoms and have them roll down 5 feet of conveyor belt to slide down and join it’s twin. I hastily tried to scan other items — any items– to cover up the condoms from any passerby’s judging eyes. After finishing my groceries, I bagged the items myself and played it off as nothing happened.
I smiled at the greeter as I cuddled my sleeping baby nephew in the cart, trying to maintain the appearance of some innocence as I headed out to my car. But God had other plans. Just as I was leaving, the anti-theft alarm beeps on me.
I turned the heavy cart around, get out my receipt and innocently said, “Oh, I don’t know what it could be!”
“Oh, let me see what it could be,” said the girl who reminded me of the overweight nun in Sister Act. After glancing through my receipt, her eyes widened as she said, “Oh, maybe… These…” as she pointed at the condoms. She went to her radio to call someone over, but nobody came as she looked over a couple of times to the Customer Service desk. She looked at the receipt again and said that maybe they were the Crest White strips. I handed her the bag with the strips in them and she checked it through the scanner and sure enough, it was the strips.
After exiting the store with my still sleeping nephew, I immediately texted my friends this story. The best reply was from my best friend Tinker, saying, “OMG I use those!” I’m glad I have friends that appreciate my embarrassing so-called life.
I might’ve gotten a lot of judging shade from a bunch of Meijer trolls, but I got my clearance condoms.