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Christmas Kindness

I debated writing about this, but what the hell. Here goes.

We don’t have very much money. This isn’t a lament or an accusation, just a fact. My family lives without a lot of the things that other people have (car, home, cell phones, cable TV, etc) and that’s largely a conscious choice. We homeschool. We write and paint. We are at home a lot and together, eating meals at the table and spending time together, not eating in our car as we drive from one thing to another.

Still, even though these are the choices we’ve made, sometimes they’re still tough. Very tough. Case in point: grocery shopping. For the last six or seven years, we have pulled a child’s red wagon the eight blocks or so from our apartment to the supermarket, locked it to a bike rack, shopped, then put the bags in the wagon and pulled it home.

It’s not an activity that ever made me feel like an up-and-comer, let me tell you. Worse was when the cheap plastic tread on the wheels split and fell apart, leaving the wagon to rattle on its white “rims”.

So when my wife announced that she was going to take over the shopping, I was glad and embarrassed. If I were more successful, we’d have more fun money for a car or something.[1]

And I started to learn about the staff at the supermarket. I’m not really one for talking to strangers, but she’s an extrovert and will talk to just about anyone willing chat back. So I heard about the staff and what they’re doing, and I had a few conversations with them when I’d stop in for something quick. “Where’s your wife? Tell her this tell her that tell her I said hello.” She even told them about my new book, something I would have never done.

What I’m saying is, she’s the nicest person I’ve ever known, and she’s very comfortable connecting with people.

To get to the point of this story, when she was shopping on Christmas Eve, the supermarket staff were unusually attentive, checking in with her and asking if she was ready to check out. When she went to check out, she was doing her usual thing, facing the register and chatting while she sorted the food.

Then she realized the whole staff had gathered around, and they invited her to turn around, and she realized they had all chipped in and bought her a gift.

IMG_3201

And assembled it, too.

It really meant a lot to her, that gesture of kindness from people who had no reason to offer it except that it was Christmas and they wanted to make her happy. And they did.

It’s been a subdued holiday season with a few big distractions[2] but this was a moment that really made things special.

[1] Yeah, I know about Uber, Flexcar, and the rest. I’m not looking for advice on how we could spend our money better.

[2] Which means I have a new book out.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
mizkit
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
I am now suspiciously bright-eyed and sniffly. That's a genuinely wonderful story and a wonderful gesture from the staff, and I am so glad you shared it.

Happy New Year, Harry. I'm glad I know you. :)
burger_eater
Jan. 1st, 2015 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
queenoftheskies
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:37 pm (UTC)
There really are a lot of good people in the world.
blairmacg
Dec. 31st, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
That's a most wonderful acts of caring. (Tearing up, I am. Just a little. Y'know.)
sartorias
Dec. 31st, 2014 06:05 pm (UTC)
What a totally awesome, generous gift!
martianmooncrab
Dec. 31st, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
can you say what grocery store it was? Because places like that deserve my patronage. (if its a chain store, cuz I am down here in Oregon)

You should never have to apologize for not having a car or a lot of the material things that supposedly make us "happy"... and frankly, I wouldnt have a cell phone if it wasnt the way the rest of my family communicates (and my health care providers) if I wanted to stay in touch. You would be amazed at the amount of grief I get because I am not on Facebook or the other popular social media sites.

Enjoy your life choices.. they sound peaceful.
burger_eater
Jan. 1st, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
It's QFC. And thank you.
martianmooncrab
Jan. 1st, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC)
I like QFC, there isnt one in Oregon City, but, I do like the chain when I can get to one.
paragraphs
Jan. 1st, 2015 03:25 am (UTC)
This is just the best. Seriously. Brought tears to my eyes. May you both log many miles on your wagon!
rosefox
Jan. 1st, 2015 03:45 am (UTC)
Awwwwwwwww!
cainle_bean
Jan. 2nd, 2015 01:17 pm (UTC)
That is totally cool. And a cute wagon too.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )