I’m a pretty genial gal. My step-mom always says I’ve never met a stranger. I’ll agree with that statement. And generally, I can find the upside to anything.
Wednesday, as a whole, was quite good. There was a brief hiccup that threw me for such a loop, after maybe 2 minutes of talking to this woman, I was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane. She called me a bitch and I said thanks for playing, try again later. A brief stroll around the floor and several deep breathes and I was back in the game. Day ended well.
It’s gorgeous out and in anticipation of having the girls over for our Thursday drink-a-thon, I stopped by the store to pick up a rotisserie chicken. Don’t give me that look. I know that I can roast an even better chicken, but not for $5 and not in 5 minutes. While standing in a line that seemed to be growing faster than a Mormon family, the woman in front of me turns to me, with an eye on the employee talking into the walkie-talkie, and says “is that line going to open?” The employee gets off his phone and walks away. My response to her is “that’s a pretty resounding NO.”
A minute later, he says to the man in front of us, we can get you over here and she and I both get in the new line. Which really didn’t net us squat. We had a good giggle.
Me: you just have to find the humor in this.
Her: I have 5 kids, I can find the humor in anything.
Me: Oh sure, this is an opportunity for you to savor the silence. Unless you miss them and I’ll pester you. I need this and this and this.
her: (laughing) you don’t need any more than what’s in your basket. That’s all you came in for and that’s what you’ll get.
I don’t recall how the conversation moved to where it did, but she had been bitten in the arse by a good deed of helping a stray, who peed in her car. So, she was there buying stuff to get the smell out. I told her about my rude person.
Her: you don’t seem like a bitch.
Me: nah, not most of the time. sorry you had to wait an hour and a half, but clearly everyone else is trying to get through with the same problem. I’m happy to help until you curse me out.
we were laughing and when it got to be her time in line she told the guy to ring up my chicken.
Me: what, no! don’t do that.
her: yes, do it. oh look, it’s already on my bill. too late to take it off.
I thanked her profusely and gave her my card and encouraged her to come visit me some weekend at the distillery so I could treat her to a cocktail and a tasting. We continued our chatting out the door, commiserating about life customer service. I then said, actually I will be using part of this chicken for my dish tomorrow for the girls. Want to join us for cocktails and giggling? she’s going to check with the husband and see if she can swing it.
As my mutha says, I drove away from the grocery “thanking my lucky stars” that I had met her today. It’s wonderful when we meet people who reinforce the goodness you know is out there. To my new friend, Thank you.
2 thoughts on “the kindness of strangers”
Oh, Lula, it does my heart good to read this. You are so much like my dearly departed Mother, who usually knew the life history of everyone in the checkout line by the time she carried her groceries out. I can’t tell you how many strays she brought home for dinner. Always the life of the party! There are much worse ways to go through life, you know! She was well-loved as I know you must be.
Life’s too short to go through it grumpy and alone, so why not make friends along the way.