If you’ve followed along on here you likely know I run a program at the school for children in need. I run it off donations and it has really turned into a second full time job (without monetary pay, but happiness pay instead). I provide uniforms, coats, toiletries and supplies to kids or families that need them. Occasionally, I get a parent who needs a coat or something, and if I have it available, I will let them have it. Unfortunately, I don’t work with shoes because it would be overwhelming and I have space constraints. Today I noticed on of my parents I have worked with, who is lovely, was searching on Facebook for a pair of shoes as hers had ripped and she hadn’t started her new job. I had a gift card and knew I could get her a solid pair of new shoes with a portion of the money, so I headed off to one of my favorite stores, Costco.
You’d think it wouldn’t be too crowded on a weekday evening, right? Well, I can tell you that normally it’s not. I pop down during the week for items all the time (I just LOVE Costco), but stupid me forgot the proximity to Thanksgiving. Holy cow, it was CRAZY busy in there. I grabbed a cart, because I can never leave with just one item, and braced myself. Once inside, I navigated to where they had shoes. I was looking for the woman’s size when another woman tried to get passed, but couldn’t. I backed my cart up to allow her by. Well, she apparently didn’t navigate the corner well, and bumped the shoe display, causing numerous boxes to fall. She quickly started grabbing them and stacking them back up, her cart parked behind her. She was hustling to get the shoes back up, when an older lady stormed up with her cart. “I NEED TO GET THROUGH NOW!” she bellowed, and grabbed the poor woman’s cart and yanked it backwards. She demanded the woman move, and made some snarky remark.
Y’all, I couldn’t help myself.
“WOAH THERE!” I yelled, and proceeded to explain how we’ve all got stuff to do, but it’s just a dick move to be that entitled and that rude to people. The poor woman trying to put the shoes back looked at first panicked and then inherently grateful. People around us looked a bit surprised. One woman started grinning. The older woman turned and apologized to the woman with the shoes.
I swear, the holidays can pull out the very best of people, or the utter worst.
I grab 2 other items before realizing, horrified, that I had forgotten the gift card to pay for the shoes with out in my car. I mulled over leaving my cart, racing out to the car in the crowded parking lot filled with stressed people not paying proper attention, and decided that convenience overrode funds. I decided the shoes wouldn’t come from the closet project, they would come from me personally, and I would cover the cost myself. I headed up to the front where the registers were.
I have seen cows herded better than the horror show up at the front. I stood and sighed, knowing I’d be there for a while, although knowing Costco has great cashiers and I’d make it out sooner than I would at most other stores. I picked a line that seemed to have people holding their items in hand, figuring it was more of an “express lane” vibe and I’d be out pretty quick.
An older lady moved from her lane behind me, but almost next to me. “None of the lines seem great” she said with a smile, and the two of us chatted over how crazy it was in the store that day. I explained what I was doing, she told me she was getting her son a gift. She laughed and said “well, the line I was in moved faster than I thought, I could have been out by now!” I smiled and joked “but then you’d have missed meeting me!” It was a simple interaction, but I honestly enjoyed chatting with her. I let her go ahead of me. She resisted, but I told her I insisted. She put her items on the belt, and the woman in front of her turned and said something with a stern look on her face. I didn’t catch what was said. My new friend turned and told me the lady ahead had told her off for being “pushy” with her items on the belt. I guess those 4 little items the lady had got too close to stern lady’s brussel sprouts.
Really? This is the stuff people worry about? Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a pretty happy person. Maybe it’s the fact the reason I was at the store was because I know what it’s like to struggle and wanted to do something kind for another person. Look, I’m kind of an impatient person sometimes. I get grumpy too. But OOF people are testy as hell these days. A little kindness to each other would sure go a long way.
I cheered my new friend up and she smiled and waved as she walked out. I maneuvered through the parking lot (almost getting hit by a car as a woman tried to gun it through the busy lot) and was grateful to settle into the quiet of my own car.
Kindness. It’s important, folks. Try not to be a dick, eh?