I didn’t expect to find it at the local Kroger, but there it was. A delectable chocolate confection wrapped in a cozy paper liner and topped with mint frosting. A half of a cookie was inserted into the top of the swirled green sweetness. It wasn’t typical supermarket cupcakery. I had to have it.
The bakery clerk packaged it up perfectly and I placed it in my cart. Throughout the rest of my shopping trip, I stared at the magnificence, eagerly awaiting the moment when I could surprise Rory with it.
Finally arriving at the checkout lane, I placed all my items onto the belt and smiled politely at the cashier. He was a young male, probably no more than sixteen, and he conversed with the similarly aged bagging clerk.
When the cupcake made it to the end of the belt, he picked it up and put it near the UPC scanner. “Wow, this looks awesome.”
“It does, doesn’t it?” I replied.
“I wouldn’t pay $1.20 for one cupcake though.”
For those of us in who partake in the gourmet cupcake subculture, we know a dollar twenty isn’t super expensive. “You have to treat yourself sometimes, though. Right?” I smiled as he stared at the cupcake.
Do I offer to buy him one? The amount of time between the cupcake reaching the end of the belt to it being placed in the bagging area became awkwardly long. I was starting to get uncomfortable.
“What do you want me to do with this?” he asked.
His question stunned me. I hadn’t considered any possibilities other than putting it in a bag. I felt like he was putting me on the spot, and my mind started racing. “I think I want you to put it in a bag.”
He stared at me.
Another impossible question. I felt my palms get sweaty and my chest get heavy. How can I pass this test? If I answer incorrectly, do I lose cupcake buying privileges at Kroger? The cupcakes at Marsh paled in comparison. I couldn’t rely on just them to satisfy my sweet tooth. “Sure.” I tried to answer nonchalantly. I didn’t want him to see my lack of confidence in my answer.
He handed it to the other clerk who grabbed a separate plastic bag and put the cupcake in it. Alone.
Had I passed? I don’t know, because I’ve been afraid to buy another cupcake since then. Wonder what they’d do if I bought a whole cake?