For a very long time I have wanted to have enough money to help a random stranger in the supermarket line who is unable to pay for their groceries.
For whatever reason we’ve all been there, in the line with stuff we need and our card doesn’t work, try another and another. Sometimes you get lucky and can pay for everything you want, sometimes you have to put some things back, you feel the hostility from behind you, Mr Huff and Puff shifting around and now you’re taking forever because you have to decide what not to buy.
You’re embarrassed, deeply . It’s a horrible feeling, sometimes you just walk out because you just have no money to buy what you need.
I’ve been there. Last week actually!
Luckily for me that 3rd card worked. (what is that 3rd time lucky thing) This week we’re back in the black. That’s the joy of being married to an entrepreneur. There’s never a steady flow, it’s feast or famine… but that’s ok. I’m still one of the lucky ones.
The neighbourhood I live in is full of people struggling to make ends meet every day, without respite. No feast or famine, just famine. I seem to always be behind someone these days who can’t pay. The economy is toughest on those who have the least.
Tuesday night, I happened to be 2nd behind a lady trying to buy her groceries, she was furiously swiping, nothing, try again, nope, different card, nada. She made a phone call to get a transfer or find out why or whatever. I couldn’t really hear and I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop. She said ‘Please hold these, I’ll fix it’ and moved out of the line. My heart skipped a beat, the man in front of me went through with his purchase. Then it was my turn, I asked discreetly how much her total was, the cashier offered the information and doing a quick calculation in my head (I can do this!), the next words out of my mouth were ‘I’ll pay for her groceries’.
It took a minute for the cashier to ring up my stuff then work out how to put hers onto my amount.
We got through it, I paid with my shiny new Disney 101 Dalmations credit card, recently cashed up and then the cashier asked if I wanted to give it to her, she was still standing away a bit on the phone trying to solve her problem. I declined saying ‘no you just give it to her.’ I was trying to just get out of the store anonymously but they told her, as I was leaving and she thanked me but I think she was too shocked to understand what had just happened.
I wished her a Merry Christmas, with a lump in my throat ( I’m holding back tears now) and walked out of the store.
I have finally been able to help someone in a way I have always dreamed of, given up some of my money to help a person in need on a very personal and immediate level. It felt awesome. I was on a high as I walked into Taekwondo to collect Miss Gremlin. I have no idea who she was but I like to think my actions saved her, even if only this time.
It’s always good to give…. but I feel like the lucky one.
A long time wish was fulfilled for the princely sum of $3.12.