I have my special quarter that I keep in the car so that I can get a shopping cart (ka-ching), and saunter slowly through the grocery store gazing at the beautiful bargains. At my store, you have to bring your own bags, bag your own haul AND if you don’t want to pay the TOTALLY REFUNDABLE quarter for shopping comfort, you can just carry your treasures around and out the door ala carte style. Bazinga!
Today I joyously inserted my trusty cart quarter into the slot so that I could pick up some cheap wine and some other unimportant food items for those other people who live at my house. As usual, I was lured in by the discounts and deals, and was prepared with a cart for comfort! I literally needed and was only planning to pick up a handful of things, however fate intervened and I ended up with three handfuls. I never go shopping without my trusty shopping cart quarter. EVER.
As I approached the check out, I saw a lone casher, struggling through a long line of customers. He was the only employee in the store. I repeat - he was the only employee in the store. Poor fella was sweating like a whore in church. I wished I could help, however my only option was to join the other customers in a line that was no less than 50 feet long.
A distractingly GORGEOUS woman and her equally stunning daughter got in line behind me. They were sporting some pricey duds and bling. Beauty lady was trying to hold, and balance far too many items on her tiny yet heavily accessorized arms and hands. Mini-beauty was also buried in groceries and whining about how her arms hurt. Beauty lady was making those huffy noises that people make when they are pouting or feeling put out but want to be passive aggressive or boo-hooey about their plight. LOOK AT ME! ASK ME WHAT’S WRONG! Mini-beauty continued to whine. Huff. Whine. Louder harrumphing and whinier whining.
I was still in my softball jersey from the previous night and ratty shorts. I’m not sure if I had even brushed my teeth, but I had a cart! I was comfortably waiting in line thinking about why banana peppers are so delicious and the noise was really distracting me. While I loathe the whining of little girls, in this case it was warranted. She was a little peanut of a thing disguised as a game of Jenga. Why didn’t they have a cart? Would the huffing and whining ever stop? Banana peppers are so delicious.
After telling her daughter to “Shut up,” numerous times, threatening to “beat her ass,” and harrumphing at her for dropping things repeatedly, the woman asked me if she could go in front of me in line. At this point, it’s important that you know that there were no less than 5 customers ahead of me with full carts, and at least 5 behind us. Was Beauty-huffy lady going to pull this shit with everyone? Did she really believe that she was any different than the rest of us due to her cartlessness?
I gently pointed out that there were many other customers waiting in line both in front of and behind her, and that we were all just going to have to be patient. I volunteered to get her a cart. Her answer? “If I wanted a cart, I would have gotten one myself!” Yup, this is a real person with a real child in a real grocery store in the real world.
I had to make a decision. I could be the change that I want to see in the world OR a world class asshole. I REALLY wanted to be the latter, but instead I turned around without a reply and focused on the deliciousness of banana peppers. Beauty was actually a beast!
Beauty-huffy-beasty mumbled under her breath, “Asshole,” and “Fuck this shit,” as she put all of her groceries on the floor and encouraged her daughter to do the same. She then dragged her tiny daughter/whipping post out of the store, leaving a pile of groceries on the floor.
Me and a handful of other’s left our carts and picked up the groceries. The sweaty and overwhelmed teenage cashier thanked us as we all went back to our carts. I now had a new “neighbor” in line. I smiled at her and shrugged my shoulders and she said, “That poor little girl, huh? “
I almost wished my children were there to see such a magnificent real life example of how it doesn’t cost much to be a decent human being. In this example a quarter did the trick!
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