I ran into the grocery store yesterday to get just two things: paper towels and eggs.
I was standing in the 15-and-under-limit line, when the elderly woman in front of me turned
and said with a smile, "I can't help but laugh at what you're buying. Paper towels and
eggs. Does that mean you're going to get home and drop the eggs on the floor, so you need
the paper towels to clean them up?" I laughed and told her I hoped not. That it had happened to
me before and eggs were certainly no fun to clean up. She then went on to tell me that she
had been at a funeral the day before and in the room where the food was, a little boy ran into
his mother who was holding a cherry pie. The pie went "splat", face-down onto the floor.
Talk about a mess to clean up!
The cashier rang up the elderly woman's groceries and the total came to $21. The woman
handed the cashier two ten-dollar bills and frantically started digging into her purse and pockets
for the extra dollar. She came up with some coins, but not enough to equal a dollar. Red-faced,
she said to the cashier, "I guess I'm going to have to put something back." Now, mind you,
this woman wasn't buying anything like candy or chips. She had vegetables, bread, and
a package of meat. The cashier said, "Do you want me to take off the peas?" I reached into
my purse and handed the cashier a dollar. The cashier said to the elderly woman, "Never mind.
This lady here just gave me a dollar."
The elderly woman turned to me and said, "Oh no, you don't have to do that. I'm so embarrassed."
I said to her, "It's just a dollar. It's no big deal. You shouldn't have to put some food back."
The elderly woman mumbled, "If I ever see you in public again, I'll pay you back..."
I told her to just pay it forward.
I am not bragging or patting myself on the back. "Strangers" talk to me in public all the time,
especially old ladies. My husband says I have "talk to me" stamped on my forehead. Others have told
me it's because I have a kind face. I don't know. Maybe it's just because I just have the basic
philosophy that we should all be kind to one another. A self-serving attitude or anger at the world
don't get you anywhere. We should all be in this world to help each other with whatever means
we have available to us. It doesn't have to be something big, like a check written to a charity or helping out at a homeless shelter. A smile to a stranger, a kind word, a card sent in the mail, shoveling a neighbor's driveway, taking a meal to someone who's housebound. These are the little things that
we're all capable of. For me, it was just a dollar. To the elderly woman, it might've meant the world.
Linking to Sunny Simple Life