Only in America: Packing you own groceries

The other day I consciously noticed an extremely pleasant yet surprising appreciation of the person at the cash register at Whole Foods (and to be fair, it doesn't only happen there; it was only where my enlightenment came to life)... I have been definitely recognizing it before, but it finally hit me strong enough that I had an 'OMG' and 'it seriously just happened again' moment. Imagine this: the person at the register THANKED ME for bagging MY OWN groceries. Ha!, I thought, only in America that is even close to possible! Where else people, first of all, put your shopping items in a bag for you anymore (and for free, and including free bags, and not only that, they give you a choice of paper or plastic, if just doing it wasn't enough!), and second of all, if it happens that there is no bagging person, they appreciate you doing it for yourself... Wait, WHAT?!?!?!?! I mean, I've been bagging my own groceries my whole life, and no one has ever thanked me for that before -- and especially not a cash clerk (my parents, yes, but the store workers?!).

I know, I know, it only comes to show how un-American I am (and I don't mean it in a non-patriotic sense, rather, as in still not used to these wonderful American customs), and what a barbaric country I come from :-) Pack my own groceries? Now I can only do that knowing that I will either be relieved of this duty by a packing person or... thanked by the store personnel... Otherwise, what's the point? ;-)