I worked yesterday, and it was freight day. We got two trucks in, building up stock for our Christmas 'rush'. We all worked like crazy, and we stopped for supper, eating together instead of one or two at a time. We shared stories. I told how it came to pass that I was 'thrown out' (in the very nicest way) of a Wegman's supermarket. I had five children with me. I was there to buy specifically some sales items. The juiceboxes were on sale, the pallet was empty. There was another pallet 'top stocked' on the huge wire rack above the shelf. So a young man in a store vest was walking by. I said, "Could you call somebody to get that pallet of juiceboxes down. I wanted to get a case of them while they were on sale." And the young punk said, "Well, if you can't reach them, I guess they're not on sale," and grinned big and kept on walking. I hesitated only a moment before scaling the shelves and helping myself to a case of juiceboxes. Store vests came from all directions. I could see them from my 'eye in the sky'. I climbed back down, was escorted through the store as I looked up my kids (who had fled in embarrassment save for one lone nephew who loyally stood by). I picked up a few more items, and gathered my chicks, and then, still escorted by the manager, who was very friendly (and also got the name of the young boy who'd been so flip) I headed for the register, where the manager said, in a jolly way, "Well, why don't I give you those juiceboxes. And we're going to give you your bag of dog food too..." and one of the nephews said, "Gees, Aunt Debby, if you'd have fallen and broken your neck, they'd have given you the whole store." (that comment got us a pot roast). We were then escorted to the door where the manager stood smiling and waving (and probably praying to God that he never saw the likes of us again). And as I told my story, people laughed, because I'm not the sort that you expect to be pulling stunts like that. Jeremy told the story about how he was coming on to the store floor, and a small child leapt out, screaming and making horrible faces. "Scared the crap out of me," he admitted. They both stood there staring at each other in shock. And the little girl looked up at him and said, "I thought you were my sister." And we laughed some more. By the time that meal was done, we all were wiping our eyes. That was fun.
Today, Alan came into the store. He walked up to me and said, "Ma'am, I have a question about your cracked corn back there?" and I said, "Yes sir..." and he said, "Did Jimmy crack it and does he truly care about his product?" and I said, "I cannot speak for Jimmy, but me, personally? I truly could not care less." And we laughed at each other. He's truly one of the nicest people ever. He is always himself, no matter what. His nature is unchanging. He is quiet and wise and funny. I also know that he is having hard times in his life, but he still moves in this world, quietly, wisely, and good naturedly. I respect that. I gave him a hug as we parted. "Alan," I said, "if I never said this before, I want to say it to you now. I'm truly glad to know that there are people like you in this world. Truly glad." He looked surprised to hear it, but glad too. As if it never occurred to him that he was extraordinary before.
As I worked on, opening boxes and getting stuff on the shelf, I made up my mind. I don't have a lot of time right now. I'm busier than a one armed paperhanger. But I will make sure that my friends know that they are special to me. That simple thing makes a difference.
You all, out there? Thank you. Thank you for reading and commenting or even not commenting, but thinking nice thoughts. Thank you all. I appreciate it more than I can say. You're great!