Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Checkout Line

Do you or do you not allow your children to shake the plastic tubes of mini M&Ms like maracas in a mariachi band when you wait in the checkout line? I do. My children shake and sometimes even dance a little. Maybe I’ve lost control of my children, or maybe I’m justified in allowing this behavior.

First, Mars Inc. is to blame. They package tiny low-quality chocolate candies in colorful plastic tubes to market them to children. And jack up the price for the tubed minis, at that. My kids are getting their thrills from Mars’s packaging without having to consume the cheap chocolate or pay a dime.

Second, the grocery store is to blame. Grocery stores never have no-candy lanes anymore, or at least those lanes aren’t open when we shop. Which is the same time all moms with young children shop. The stores place the tubed M&Ms at hand-level to tempt my kids and then take forever to check me out. What do they expect?

Third, we cannot afford the local $15/hour corny kid’s group music classes right now, but we do greatly value music in our household. My kids are learning the basics of rhythm and sound at the grocery store. It’s all part of our “lifestyle of learning” like the homeschoolers talk about.

And lastly, I shouldn’t overlook the fact that we’re bringing good cheer and entertainment to all the other grocery store patrons in line with us. My Von Trapp kids just can’t understand why most of them look so agitated by the performance.


Kate E. said...

Hilarious...you have failed to mention that the "No-Candy" lane does not mean it is not filled with EVEN more expensive treats that my child wants like the latest book from some Disney movie which I am vehemently opposed to on numerous levels, the least of which is I came to buy milk and nothing else.

I now hit the candy lanes because fortunately my 2 year old is still oblivious about candy (but not books and other toys)---however candy that poses as a toy---irresistible indeed.

Katherine said...

I'm certainly sympathetic. Our store does have a no candy/no tabloids lane and it is usually open and we usually use it. Last time it wasn't, so we couldn't and Cecilia kept trying to play with these push-pop type things. It is frustrating and difficult to stop when trying to juggle paying for groceries, coupons, paying, and making sure the potatoes don't end up on top of the bread.

On the other hand though, whether or not the chocolate is cheap, it is a product that you have not purchased and shaking the container may break the candy inside. So by permitting your children to shake the container, you allow them to possibly vandalize someone else's property. Even if you despise the product, I would feel bad for the poor mom who lets her child get one as a treat only to discover inside is only broken little pieces and crumbs of chocolate and tiny chips of chocolate shells, disappointing the child and making a bigger mess for mom.

Katherine said...

Also, as far as the chocolate being low-quality, many people probably can't afford to be buying expensive chocolate. Most people onnly spend money on Hershey's and Mars' chocolates. Personally, I like Lindt but I also enjoy M&Ms, low-quality or not.

Right Said Red said...


Hysterical! We have this problem every time we go to the grocery store. I have asked my kids not to shake, but I can't always control their decision to "rearrange." By rearranging, it creates more work for the store employees. I've seen so many kids do this, but it's obviously not enough for them to change the setup!

I totally sympathize with your frustration!!!

Oh--and yes Kate E., the book isle is even worse!

FurElise said...

Hi --

I wanted to post in regards to the discussion of NFP a few days earlier, although I see that the opportunity was disabled; I hope this is okay to take up space here (although I thoroughly enjoyed the story of the musical aisle)!

Thought I only have an M.A. in Theology, I wanted to just make sure a distinction was made in citing magisterial teaching and papal pronouncements. First of all let me preface by saying I am a single, Catholic woman and one who is joyfully looking forward to the use of NFP in her marriage (many thanks to all of you for witnessing to this).

One must note that the faithful are required to give a lesser degree of assent to any papal pronouncement that is not proclaimed ex cathedra by the magisterium; therefore, all of the documents, Humane Vitae included, are still not considered infallible documents. Even papal considerations in audiences such as the Theology of the Body (and especially pre-papal musings like Love and Responsibility) or even declarations on end-of-life/artificial hydration and nutrition, are still considered the private contemplation of the pope and the teaching of the Magisterium which is subject to tweaks and changes. Of course they are to be met with deference and assent; they are just not binding and infallible. Therefore, we faithful are still permitted to be analytical and critical of all the documents that have been cited in the current discussion so far. Just something to note when considering our Mother Church's teachings and documents. It's always best to look at the whole discussion, and never just one piece of writing...kudos to those who are also looking at Catholic social teaching to consider their participation in responsible parenthood!

N.B. Your discussion is the fruit of Vatican II and one that our Holy Father would be proud of. In addition to living out your "feminine genius," as thinking women and mothers, you are also tapping into the sensus fidelium, or the sense of the faithful, which is the laity's charism to proclaim and teach the teaching of the church which is in communion (and sometimes corrective) of magisterial teaching. So keep on musing, ladies!

I have been a Floridian for 38 years and when you move here my retirement house will be paid for ha ha said...

Huh... I am an adult... I like the candy.

I have and will have a solution and we will use it at our house next year should I foster to adopt: MAKE YOUR HUSBAND GO OUT THERE WITH A LIST FOR THE GROCERIES. My hubby insists he spends less than I do or will. Or better yet: make him go there with the kids.

Jeanne Stark said...

Huh... I am an adult... I like the candy.

I have and will have a solution and we will use it at our house next year should I foster to adopt: MAKE YOUR HUSBAND GO OUT THERE WITH A LIST FOR THE GROCERIES. My hubby insists he spends less than I do or will. Or better yet: make him go there with the kids.