Kindness and Empathy Are Still a Thing

I’ve decided I need to stop grocery shopping.
Every time I leave, I end up crying in the car.

Today’s shop was going to be quick and simple.
I only needed a few essentials (And by essentials I mean whipped cream, cape cod potato chips- reduced fat wavy sea salt brand, and shredded cheese; to name a few)

Store was relatively empty, people were appropriately masked and even the cashiers were wearing face shields.

I didn’t realize there were arrows on the ground; directing me which way to go, so I admit I had to turn around more than once to abide by the rules.

I am a rule follower (for the most part) so I did my best.

Grocery shopping is a necessity but things can go rogue. (Twenty20 @davep)

My eyes widened when I saw Scott’s toilet paper but then I practically became giddy when I saw my brand of Charmin AND paper towels.

Sun was shining, my kids were in shorts and paper products.
GLORY DAYS my friends.

The luck didn’t stop there.
ANTI BACTERIAL cleansers!

I danced my way to find the whipped cream (ok, no fat free but at this point we are all waddling out of this pandemic anyway) and I then stood on my designated 6 feet apart marker, awaiting my turn at the register. Trying my hardest not to touch my itchy eyes or mask that was falling off of me.

And this is when things went rogue.

The woman who was about to go off on the cashier went off on me for going down the wrong way in the bread aisle earlier.

Said woman (who is now in front of me in line) took the spray bottle at the register (used to clean the grocery belt, etc) and sprayed it on her gloved hands, before she dug her hands into her purse to grab wallet.

I get where she was going and for a quick second, was going to commend her.
Until…the cashier kindly said that the spray was a cleaner when rogue woman yelled back “mind your business. I know what it is. I am a nurse and am very worried about contaminating spaces. Please just mind your business.”

Mind your business-twice. (But you know, with a please so that makes it better)
Really NOT necessary rogue woman.

Kind cashier reached over to grab the Purell bottle and said, “Here, use this instead.”

Rogue woman quickly changed her tune and became all nicey nice and kudos to cashier who wiped down EVERYTHING in between customers (including the keypad and pen).

I get that we are all on edge.
I get that we are losing our shit and have reached our breaking points.
I get that life sucks right now.

But kindness and empathy are still in existence as far as I’m aware.
Decency and respect is still a thing.
The woman ringing up your bananas is really not to blame for any of this.

As I got into my car and ripped off the damn face mask and Purelled 6 times
and then wiped away my tears…I pulled out of the parking lot and waited at the red light.

And crossing in front of me was a young mom with two little girls in the stroller.
The older girl looked at my car and excitedly waved at me.
I excitedly waved back.

I wanted to roll down my window and tell young mom that her daughter had just made my entire day.
Possibly my entire week.

There, in front of me, was life at its best.

Young kids not caring about the virus-just happy to be on a walk with mom and sister.

Enjoying life.

Thank you for reaching out to me today, little girl.
I am going to do my damndest to follow your lead

smile
and wave.

More to Read

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Raising Teens Is Not for the Faint of Heart

Abby Stern is mom to two; married to one. Most proud of her kids and the art of perfecting the homemade chocolate chip cookie. Wants to be a writer when she grows up. You can follow her at eat the frosting first on Facebook (A lesson she lives by after battling cancer twice.)

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