Shopping in the Supermarket of Life

Traffic was slow on the way to the supermarket. I had plenty of time to think about my breathing and clear my mind, and when I arrived, I felt refreshed and happy. There was a shopping cart waiting just for me, the last one! One of the wheels would not turn, so using it was a challenge. I laughed as I wrestled it through the automatic doors. The thing was crazy. It was like resistance training, but funner!

One woman argued with a store clerk about environmentally friendly cleaning agents in the detergent aisle as I jockeyed my wayward cart around them to pick up some dishwashing detergent. The woman’s jaw was set in anger, yet I could see beyond the anger there was an attractive person. The store clerk had erected a wall to keep her out, but it was ineffective. Perhaps he will learn that being understanding is much more effective than being disinterested, I thought as I continued my shopping.

At the end of the aisle, two men postured for fisticuffs over the last can of propane. So silly to be greedy, I thought. Can’t one of them wait to have propane? I would wait to have propane. What is so bad about having to make other plans?

There was a spill in Aisle 12, I noticed as I searched for a can of black beans. It looked like it had been a jar of pickles. A store clerk angrily wheeled a squeaky-wheeled mop bucket to the scene and splashed my brand new shoes as she slapped the floor with the mop. I guess I’ll find out now if these shoes are really waterproof, I thought.

“Thanks for cleaning that up,” I said.

“Did you make this mess?” she demanded.

“No,” I said, gently. “But I’m glad you’re here to make sure I don’t slip on it and hurt myself.”

I saw the tension fall out of her shoulders. “Oh, yeah,” she said. “No problem, sir.”

“Thanks again,” I said, smiled and turned to negotiate my semi-functional shopping cart back into reluctant motion.

They were out of my favorite cheese, Jarlsberg light. I thought, well, what a great opportunity to try something different! I had a wonderful time discovering all the different kinds of cheeses there are. Cheese is like a world unto itself. I actually found a light Brie cheese that contained only slightly more fat than the Jarlsberg. I probably need a little more fat in my diet, I thought.

In line at the checkout counter, just as it was my turn, the cashiers executed a change of shift. The woman behind me became impatient and nudged me with her cart.

“Hi,” I said, smiling.

“Oh, excuse me,” she said.

“Are you in a hurry?” I asked. “Do you want to go ahead of me?”

“Oh, no,” she said. “I’m really in no rush. I just thought I got such a good line and now this.”

“It’s my fault,” I said. “They do this every time I get in a checkout line.”

She smiled. “Me, too,” she said.

“Well, it’s good that that cashier is done for the day, isn’t it?” I said. “He’s all done with his work. Now he can go home.”

“Yes,” she said, thoughtfully. “They should be able to go home right away when they’re done.”

“Not that it’s such a bad place,” I said. “But it’s nice to go home.”

Once the change of cashiers was complete – just a minute or two - I paid for my groceries and took the bag to my car.

It is nice to go home, I thought, as I started the engine. I smiled as I thought of my wife and daughter and the things they say, and the places I like to sit and the things I love to do in my home. How wonderful life is!

Putting the car in gear, I proceeded in a new direction.

More by this Author

Comments 15 comments

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

This was really enjoyable to read, Tom. It never ceases to amaze me how attitude can make such a difference, and how a little kindness can go soooo far, in making someone else day better.

Thanks for sharing this.

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thanks so much, Iorwen! It's really our choice whether we want to have a bad time or a good time. :)

rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 7 years ago from Tampa Bay

what a refreshing bit of reading on a sunday afternoon. I wish there were more people in the world like you. kudos to you for helping to make this crazy world a better place.

it's about perspective, isn't it? a great life lesson your hub provides. :)

profile image

poetlorraine 7 years ago

yeah that is true actually, we can have a good time all the time, is that what you do.....

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

It is about perspective, Rebekah. I always thought so, but lately I've come to realize what a tremendous difference it can make in a person's life.

Poet, I know that I am equally responsible for my good times and my bad times. When I am negative, I know I have the choice to be positive. Being positive is so much more pleasant.

Thank you

juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

Food for thought as well as the cart. Nice writing.

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

I like your thinking, Juneaukid!

Unbroken Stone profile image

Unbroken Stone 7 years ago

Patience in training, I love it. Thanks

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thanks. I like your initials. :)

Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

Tom, this is brilliant! I like the upbeat mood very much.

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Much more pleasant to be upbeat. Thank you, Amanda!

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

'...a soft answer turneth away wrath' - how much nicer to be nice. What a wonderful, uplifting hub, Tom - thanks!

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Shalini. Absolutely.

Affirmation Man 7 years ago

Hey Tom, I enjoyed this. Positive vibrations make all the difference.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States Author

Love that screen name, Steve! Thank you

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article