Monday is my grocery shopping day.
I've often remarked that my job is just like being at home, cooking cleaning, laundry and a shit load of rotten azz children to look after.
My Monday workday starts when I get my cash advance check for items needed, hit the bank, then the grocery.
I normally shop at my favorite (NOT) grocery store Kroger.
I try not to give my business to the Kroger near my house (they have a management problem) so I hit the store near my work building.
I picked out a huge amount of groceries for the week.
While searching for a checkout line my work cell rang.
I slumped against the cart, my chest low on the bar helping my one arm to steer as I answered, then held the phone against my face using my shoulder and my other hand to carry on a conversation...(you know exactly how I looked).
I found a lane with only two people ahead of me, their baskets not too full and managed to maneuver my full basket into it.
I placed 100 2 liter soda pops, 10 bottles of poupon mustard, 10,000 boxes of crunchy taco shells, 3 large bottles of bleach, a couple of gallons of milk, an unbagged group of (uncooperative) lemons, a bag of tomatoes, (assorted varieties with different "scan codes") and another hundred or so items on the belt
I then grabbed for the divider to add a few items I'd gotten for myself (an impulse buy or seven and an orange).
Just as I was putting my second order on the belt a lady came up behind me.
I noticed (out of the corner of my eye) that she had two or three things in her hands.
Ohh brother, I thought, I hate it when that happens.
Will I be mr nice guy and let her go ahead?
Sometimes I will...
But, not this day... I was too wrapped up in my convo and feeling a bit in the bitchy mindset of " Lady, we all have to wait our turn, and if I were you sister I would have gone to the u scan or chosen a 15 or fewer lane. I would not stand in line behind a gabby woman with a cart full of crap and hope to invoke a merciful, kind gesture from said woman in front.
I vowed NOT to make eye contact.
I won't even begin to notice her and her two items waiting patiently (*not really, I'm sure she was just hoping I would allow her to jump in front of me so she could get her business done and over with and be on her way).
I had her number and I wasn't biting.
Having ended my conversation and beginning to feel a bit of guilt at not letting the woman go ahead of me I began to help bag my cartload of groceries.
When it was time to pay I couldn't find my envelope of money.
While I dug through my messy purse my phone got tossed overboard and hit the ground.
The battery came off the back.
And the back hit the ground and slid under the metal lane.
The lady behind me bent over and dug the paper thin phone back out from under where it had slipped and handed it to me.
"Here you go dear" she said.
The cashier then began my other order.
As the cashier finished bagging my stuff, I searched for my debit card to pay.
I looked high and low in my purse.
Eventually I found it, hidden inside my coupon folder.
I was so flustered I entered the wrong code (three times).
On the fourth try I had success and glanced behind me and mouthed an apologetic "sorry".
It was then that I looked up and noticed that I was in the 15 items or less aisle.
THE 15 (FIFTEEN ITEMS) items OR LESS lane....
I wished right then and there that a huge crack would appear in the middle of the grocery store floor and swallow me whole.
I did the only thing I could think to do...
I blamed the cashier
"Why didn't you holler at me when I started to unload?" I asked
"Let me know I was in the wrong lane?.." I continued
I looked at the woman behind me, she smiled at me.
Not a smirk or a painful grimace.
She hadn't clicked her teeth,
or loudly sighed.
She didn't say.. "she musta slept through first grade" (out loud so I could hear).
All the things I probably would have said and done if it were me in the same situation.
"I'm not in a hurry" the nice, smiling lady said to me.
"It's no big deal, really, it could happen to anyone" she went on sincerely.
I thanked her for her kindness and apologized (probably ad nauseam) for my blunder.
I promised to pay her lovely attitude forward.
No teeth clicking, no loud sighs, no eye rolled curtly delivered accusations of "lumpy mashed potatoes for brains"...
Kindness, it appears, is contagious.