Confessions of a Scale Slave: 9 Volts of Anguish

My scale looks so cute when it's alseep.
My scale looks so cute when it's alseep.

My scale’s on the fritz and I am freaking out.

It uses a 9-volt battery, and there aren’t any in the house, so I went to the corner store, and there weren’t any on the big battery thingie. WHY? How many people need 9-volt batteries? Those are for, like, Ice Age devices. I don’t know of any other appliance or gadget in my house that requires 9-volt batts.


Years ago, I would need one or two annually for the smoke detector. Maybe. Now, both the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are hard-wired, but the blinkie part requires the ever-popular AA batts. AAs are the LeBron James of batteries, while 9-volts are like Bill Gates, circa 1975: the socially awkward mayor of Nerd City.

Even our in-case-of-emergency stuff requires only C and D batteries. Flashlights, lanterns (which are like flashlights on steroids) radios, a small TV – I mean, we don’t even use 9-volts during a hurricane.

I have no idea how old my scale is. I just know it’s allegedly expensive, so expensive that I was supposed to feel really special when I received it as a gift from the person who, at the time, worked in that particular scale-making factory somewhere in Louisiana. Or Mississippi. Had to be at least 15 years ago. The woman was a friend of my mother’s, so Mom got one, first.

The brand is Soehnle, and Amazon has a bunch of them, all at prices I would never pay for a bathroom scale – which is probably why my mother and I both still have ours, and both still work just fine, so I am indeed grateful.

But right now I’m a little crunchy, because then entire Duracell display was devoid of 9-volts, and that means I have to go to East Hell to get one. It’s not that I despise my local Wal-Mart, it’s that no one should have to pack a lunch if all she wants to buy is a stupid, nerd battery. I was willing to pay too much at the corner store, but now I have to go further. I’d have to pass Wal-Mart to get to Kroger or Walgreens, where I most assuredly would end up paying nearly twice as much (but get out in one-tenth the time).

Worse, they removed all the self-checkout stations in East Hell because customers were too dense – hey, this is what all the cashiers told me – so I’ll have to stand in the 20-items-or-less line with my single battery behind the woman with 46 items in her basket, no matter what. And this is a Super Wal-Mart, which is being remodeled as we speak. Translation: Good luck finding batteries, because not only are they not where they used to be, but just like last week’s 20-minute search for bocconcini (fancy name for mozzarella balls), they’re not going to be where the Evil Store Associate says they are, either.


All that to say this: I am a chronic weigher (is that a word?). Everyone says not to do what I do, which is weigh myself every day. Given how women’s weight fluctuates with water retention issues, etc., it really isn’t the smartest thing to do, and I do not recommend it.

And yet, I must admit I’m a slave to my scale, which is why a dead battery makes me spastic. Geez. Isn’t admitting that you have a problem the first step of any 12-step program?


Hmmm. Weighers Anonymous . . .

The best measure of a man’s honesty isn’t his income tax return. It’s the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.  ~  Arthur C. Clarke


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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.