There are things in life I prefer to avoid whenever possible. Driving Houston freeways during rush hour is one. Listening to political commentators who raise my blood pressure is another. Above all, I try never to stop by the grocery at 6 p.m. to “pick up a few things for dinner”, although circumstance or my own lack of planning occasionally force me into the heart of the pre-suppertime pandemonium.
The night I made a pass through our local supermarket intending to get only milk, lettuce, broccoli and some kitty treats, lack of organization was the issue. As usual, shopping without a list meant I ended up with far more than I’d intended. By the time I reached the checkout line I’d thrown in some celery and carrots, English muffins, two pounds of sale-priced Peet’s French Roast, some assorted canned goods, yogurt and a totally unnecessary pint of key lime gelato.
Plunking down the little plastic bar meant to divide one customer’s purchases from the next I began unloading my cart, then suddenly remembered Ritz crackers. My mother’s quite fond of them, and she’d asked if I’d pick up a box the next time I was in the store.
I pondered the cart belonging to the people ahead of me in line – apparently a mother and two lovely daughters. They’d done some heavy shopping and still were unloading their own items onto the conveyor.
“Excuse me,” I said to checker. “I forgot something. I’ll run and get it, and be right back.” “No problem,” she said, glancing at the girls. “You’ve got time”.
Off I ran. The crackers were two aisles over and halfway to the meat department, but I knew Ritz were on the bottom shelf and I found them quickly. When I got back to my cart, the checker still was busy with the group ahead of me, and she was grinning. “Well,” I thought to myself. “She’s a pleasant one.” Continue reading