Never A Stranger

This happened:

I spent all of yesterday blogging and engaging in activism in support of trying to reunite 2,300 immigrant children with their families. I got nothing else done.  I didn’t eat much, or read, or look for jobs.

Today I cleaned leftovers out of my refrigerator, took the trash and recycling to the bins, and headed to the grocery store.  I fished two plastic bags out of the pile of stuff in the back of the RAV and grabbed a cart.  A young man nearly slammed into me.  We fell over ourselves apologizing for being in each other’s way.  Then I told him the cart weighed more than I do, and general hilarity ensued at the thought of me driving a motorized shopping cart and running over small children.  He cited the laws of physics and I lamented my poor eye sight.  Each of us continued to our shopping lighter for the exchange.

When I had put back several items, kept the $12/pound locally roasted coffee, and forced myself to add celery to my modest pile, I made a dash for one of the two open registers.  I stood waiting for the woman in front of me to finish paying.  In the interval, a lovely lady with a single item queued behind me.

“Please, go on ahead of me,” I insisted.  She demurred, but I played my Ace:  “My mother would roll over in her grave if I didn’t let you go first, and she needs her rest.”

After she had paid, she turned to thank me far more copiously than the situation warranted.  Then she said, “Do you mind if I give you a hug?”  I assured her that I didn’t, and we embraced.  She urged me to have a good evening, thanked me twice more, and left.

The clerk asked if I knew her.  I shook my head.  “You about made her day, I think,” she said, grinning.  No doubt.  I’m sure she made mine.

I paid for my groceries and went out to the car, thinking to myself that shopping had never been quite this rewarding.

It’s the twentieth day of the fifty-fourth month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.


4 thoughts on “Never A Stranger

  1. Sylvia Potharst

    Well you needed that after all the work you did….that are the best encouters: just the passers-by who can make your day.

      1. ccorleyjd365 Post author

        I find that the biggest reward for a random act of kindness is how it makes me feel to undertake the act itself. I try to do several anonymously every day.


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