There was congestion in Walmart today, especially in the dairy aisle at the back of the store. A gallon of 2% milk was in my view, but there were three or four carts ahead of me… and a little elderly lady barely able to drag a skim gallon from the case. So I patiently waited and smiled…. like I want people to do to me when I’m elderly and my arms shake when I carry a gallon! But there was a gentleman behind me who was a tad on the grouchy side. He swore at me and blasted through the crowd without the greatest of ease. I heard him mutter something sarcastic to the effect of, “Standing in the middle of the aisle is a GREAT idea, #@%&*@#$!” Off he stormed as I grabbed my milk and began inspecting eggs.
After gathering safety pins and garage sale pricing stickers, I eventually made it to the check out and was second in line behind a man from another country. He had to get his ID checked because he was purchasing some wine. The cashier couldn’t find his birthdate on the European (I’m guessing) ID so they went back and forth about it. The cashier started talking louder, because we all know that helps people with English as their second (or third) language. Like their hearing doesn’t work, or something. Anywhoooo, I learned the guy was born in 1979. I would have guessed 1990. Then I watched as the guy somewhat nervously counted cash and change from his wallet. I thought he might not have enough money. But no, he had given the cashier $4. 75 too much. Ahhhhh. Realization hit: He’s not used to our currency. And then realization hit again: That will be me in a couple of months in Colombia… fumbling with funny colored money and probably paying too much.
My groceries were scanned, bagged, paid for and I was on my way to the door. But there were some people in the way and I had to pause and say, “Excuse me,” so I could get by. Low and behold…. it was some gentlemen chatting about football. And it was the SAME gentleman from the crowded dairy aisle. His line of swear words and his sarcastic line were still fresh in my memory, but I just smiled and thanked them for moving.
Another nice-neighbor moment brought to you by Walmart.