Is it OK to put more than the 10 items or less in the express lane at the grocery store?

Dear Liz,
Can you help us settle a debate? My husband and I have been arguing all week about this. He thinks it is no big deal to toss a few extra items in the 10 items or less express lane at the grocery store, but I say that that wastes time for others and breaks the rules. Who is right?
– Express Lane Conundrum

Dear Express Lane Conundrum,

I was at the grocery store the other day picking up a couple of things. I think I had like two lemons and a loaf of bread, nothing that even needed a basket. I went to get into line for the express lane because the other lanes were all queued up with people pushing full carts and there was a line at the self-checkout that looked a bit dicey. You know who was in front of me? Some dude with FAR MORE THAN 10 ITEMS AND OMG IT WAS THE MOST ANNOYING THING EVER.

Grocery stores have a way of making people come unhinged. Like right there, in that first paragraph when I started yelling? Yeah, like that. You get your garden-variety annoying people who don’t seem to have any idea what common courtesy is when it comes to grocery shopping.

So let me lay down some basic grocery shopping etiquette…just to set the record straight.

  1. Yes, it is rude to throw a few extra items on the belt when the sign clearly says ’10 Items or Less’. Sure, sometimes people miss count and honestly, do three lemons count as 1 item or as 3 items since they are weighed together? I get it, there are nuances, but we’re talking about general rule-following-showing-respect kind of behavior here.
  2. Don’t leave your cart in the middle of the dang parking lot, walk the extra 15 feet and put it away like you’re supposed to. There is a reason why those cart carousels are all over the parking lot, they are literally making it stupidly easy for people to put their carts away. And yet.
  3. Do not be that inconsiderate person who stops dead in the middle of the aisle to look at something or strike up a convo with another shopper. Um, HELLO! There are people trying to get around you. This is a grocery store, not social hour.
  4. If you are going to whip out 57 coupons and pay by check then that is totally fine, but can you at least have the decency to organize your coupons first and maybe fill out as much of the check as you can BEFORE you get into line and hold everyone up?
  5. To those of you paying for all your grocery with just pocket change. Please. Don’t do that. Get paper money first, or put the change in actual rolls. Just don’t hold up a line while you count out $10.34 worth of nickels and pennies.
  6. To those of you who are impatient jerks trying to rush a line, simmer down. SIMMER. DOWN. Or use the self-checkout and may the universe cause yours to break and blink that light that asks for a manager to come over and take their sweet slow time trying to figure out what is wrong. #Karma

Anyhoo. Your husband is wrong. He shouldn’t be putting in more items than the sign says is the maximum.

Good luck!

~ Liz