Did You Know? Chocolate at the Checkout has Its Own Category

The Scarlet A of the receipt

When you last purchased a chocolate bar, was it a premeditated item already on your grocery list, or was it an impulse purchase at the check out stand?

If you’ve been telling yourself that it was your reasoning mind and not your chocolate-loving, reptilian brain that impulsively made the purchase (while the real food was riding down the conveyor belt), the gig is up. Just look on your receipt.

Wal-Mart, master of data and distribution, distinguishes your “Checkout Chocolate,” presumably so they can reload for the next time you come in. And while we deny the kids their Skittles and M&Ms at the checkout, every mommy’s dirty little secret is that she occasionally feels entitled herself.

It’s a thrill to pocket the candy directly into your purse and practically run the cart to the car to devour your treat. But then, chocolate-faced, you uncrumple the receipt and see, in dot-matrix print, the humiliating of proof that the checkout beast finally got the better of you. 

In our defense, we are usually vigilant in the checkout line. We’ve trained our ears to ignore whining and demonstrate control in the face of temptation. We’ve denied the pleas with the reasoning that candy would ruin their supper.  

Either own up to your hypocracy, plead medicinal purposes (PMS), or go subversive and have the clerk ring your Checkout Chocolate separately.

What mom doesn’t have to skim a little off the grocery trip for herself? A chocolate bar may be the most dignified option. I was once starving during a grocery run while my kid was at a music lesson. I decided the Cheerios would make a decent snack and was wolfing down handfulls as I waited in the car for my son.

Wouldn’t you know, the instructor wanted to speak with me that day. He came out to the car and found me with a fist inside a bright yellow, family size box of Cheerios that the scattered everywhere as I hurriedly pulled my hand out…awwwkward.