Dilapidated brown bag in hand, the Publix bagger flatly told me that they can’t all be winners. I literally laughed out loud; at him, the bag, the time (9 p.m.), the array of pathetic purchases I had made that evening (coffee, cotton balls, bread), and all of it.

You can tell a great deal about a person by what they are buying at a grocery store. For instance, the man right after me in line was buying some sort of nasal spray, a single can of Foster’s, and Triscuits (low sodium). The bro who had just finished an extremely intense work out prior to arriving at the grocery store (so intense that he had no time to either shower or put on a shirt with sleeves) was purchasing milk (2%), a frozen pizza, a Yoo-Hoo (which I thought disappeared off the face of the planet in like, 2000-they’re still around in case you were wondering), some scotch tape, and multivitamins. And a bunch of bananas.

I’d like to amend the “being able to tell a great deal about a person” bit by saying that this only applies to people in the “10 items or less” line. Mom of 16 buying groceries for what appears to be a trek across the Oregon Trail, which is actually just a week’s worth of sustenance for her clan, does not reveal anything about her personality by purchasing countless cartons of chicken nuggets. Unless, of course, she throws in the occasional Bella Sera Chardonnay (because it was on sale).

Making my way out of the store, I thought about what I left behind me and the motley crew of late night grocery enthusiasts. My own purchases were by no means anything to speak of, but if you think about it, it was just what I needed at that moment. And maybe a Yoo-Hoo was just what The Hulk needed, at that very moment.

As the paper bag containing all my items ripped in half and splayed its intriguing contents across the parking lot, I thought about what the bag boy had said. Even though he had thought he was thwarting a potentially inconvenient circumstance for me by giving me a non-dilapidated bag, mine had still ripped. Who knows-maybe if the two crappy bags had combined, together they may have made one solid, non-crappy bag. Or maybe they would have just been crappy together. At that moment, gathering my purchases up off the asphalt, I was definitely not a winner. We can’t all be.