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.
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