Take Me Somewhere Else
Tim and I had to hit the grocery store this morning. The cupboards are bare. When we run out of the staples like eggs and milk, he (Tim) goes into panic mode. My alarms begin screaming when I run out of coke (a cola) and have nothing to prepare for dinner. Here at the House O’ Chuck I have to begin thinking about what to make for dinner before the morning coffee makes the pot whistle.
So off to the store we go with $35 to our name. I have to remind Tim that we can only afford certain things this trip because of the limited funds we have. Pay day isn’t until Tuesday, so we can definitely make it the next two days if he (and we) stick to the budget. He wants fried fish. Of course he does. In the past 20 years I think I have fried enough fish to occupy a small, modest ocean. Tim grabs the cart…I walk ahead of him. I’m not the cart pusherer. That’s his job. Why does he think I bring him on these trips?? He certainly doesn’t enjoy the grocery shopping experience. I’ve even changed the name of the journey to “hunting” so it’ll be a little more pleasing. “Come on. Tim. Let’s go hunting.” He’s sort of unofficially changed the term to “foraging”.
I can make the trip in under ten minutes. Flat. I know what I need, I know where it is, I know which lane I’m going to check out of. We got the fish, the oil, the breading, my coke (a cola), eggs, milk, aspirin (for the lack-of-caffeine headache doing jumping jacks in my noggin), coffee creamer (because Tim can’t drink coffee without it) and a loaf of bread. Off to the checkout register we go.
Tim disregards the “Under 10 items” express line sign. He always does. We had 13 items because I needed a COLD coke (a cola) for the ride home. Yet, he started loading up the conveyor belt with our items while I’m secretly hoping we don’t get arrested for blatantly having 13 items in the express lane, all the while hoping the items don’t add up to more than $35. I know it’ll be close. In my head I’ve added the items up to $33. Tax…tax!…I know something will have tax and hurl us over the $35 mark and we’ll have to be one of those people that will have to decide what to remove from our purchase. All the while I just KNOW the people behind us were casting silent curses in our direction. I could feel the invisible tasers being launched from their eyeballs into my shoulder blades.
There was a lady in front of us that had two coolers and a large umbrella in her cart in front of us. The four of us (the lady in front of us, the cashier, Tim and me) were joking how I just broke the rule “over 10 items” rule by slamming up that cold coke (a cola). I told the lady in front of us that I was going to follow her because her cart looked like there was a party going on somewhere. She said there was no party, she had been outside of the grocery store all day cooking meatballs for people to sample as they entered or left the store. She was heading home. She was tired. Tim lit up at the word “meatballs”. His tastedbuds and saliva glands sprang to life and started spreading the word that there may be some overtime ahead. But, nope. The lady said she was done and said that we were too late. She added that we were “a day late and a dollar short,” as she smiled and we said our goodbyes. Out the door she went while I was prying my eyeballs open at the total that lay before us….$33.81. We slid under our $35 mark! All is well. Tim will eat fried fish tonight!!
As we walked out of the automatic doors and stepped into the parking lot celebrating how frugal we were and how we weren’t going to starve tonight, the same lady who had been cooking meatballs called us over to her truck where she was unloading her groceries she just purchased. She pulled a bag out of her cooler and told us that she had some meatballs she had been cooking all day and were going to take them home. But she wanted us to have them instead. WHAT??? I asked her if she was sure. I didn’t want to take food away from her and I didn’t even have two dollars to give her. I am broke! But she said her freezer was full of them and she handed them to us and told us to enjoy them.
Stop right here. For those of you who don’t know Tim…he loves meatballs! I didn’t check, but I think he may have jizzed in his pants over this gift! I thanked her, Tim shook her hand. We took the meatballs home with us. They’re in our refrigerator right now. They won’t sit there long because I know for a fact Tim will devour them by the time day turns to night.
This lady (I can’t say her name because I promised I wouldn’t) didn’t have to do this. She could’ve just shut up, loaded her car, and drive away. She, instead, called us over and offered Tim his favorite meat. Little acts of kindness mean the world to us because NO ONE EVER just gives us anything without a price tag or conditions attached to the offering. (Except Tim’s sister and my brother-from-another-mother in Nevada. And Jojo.) This made his day.
In this era of bullying, racism, hatred and full blown bullshit….it was refreshing that someone was actually nice! And no one died. There was no blood shed. This is how the world SHOULD be. My world is always like this and I plan to pay the kindness forward. Because it’s the right thing to do.
Thank you, lady at the grocery store, for the meatballs. They’ll be the best thing Tim will eat all weekend. Even better than the fish I will cook him later. Trust this.