I feel like I'm always traveling on Friday. Last Friday, I took Mama Virgo to IKEA and she repaid me by taking me to The Cheesecake Factory...and Trader Joe's. Today, I am leaving town and heading back to base, just in time to run my Race for the Cure in Macon tomorrow morning with the Air Force Posse. But I wanted to post something for Champagne Friday as I've been a little hit-or-miss lately.
So, to celebrate, let me tell you about Michael's yesterday.
Usually, everyone is in a big hurry in craft stores. I'm not sure why. I try to go when I have several hours to kill. I plan my trips to Michael's and Hobby Lobby like I plan my trips to Goodwill...lots of time to dig through everything, mix and match ideas, and try it all on for size. But, I will admit, there are times when I just need one thing and I know exactly what it is. And then, I think I could probably be classified as someone who is in a hurry. Most of the time, the cashiers are very pleasant...it's the customers that make me wonder what is wrong with the world. If one cashier suddenly opens her register, instead of the next person in line stepping over, it's a rush of carts...with children left behind to fend for themselves and a trail of body parts...the limbs of those who couldn't move fast enough. This is only a slight exaggeration. You would think the cashier was handing out winning lottery tickets to each customer in her line.
Sometimes, mothers have pushed a child's patience with beading and scrapbooking just a bit too far and it is in the check-out line when he/she finally melts down to a puddle of goo and tears. This usually comes justafter they have asked for the candybar/PopRocks/pen with a pom-pom lid and silly face/a spool of ribbon with puppy paw prints. "No" is the answer...and then it starts. I generally try to let that woman go ahead of me...for the sake of all of our sanity. It is pretty rare that I actually have a completely pleasant experience in the craft store.
I just needed one thing and I knew exactly what it was and where it was. And I needed to get out of there so I could check that off my to-do list and haul ass and Mustang across town. As I stood in the ever-growing line, silently wishing I had one of their coveted 40% off coupons, I overheard the woman at the register telling the woman in front of me about how she really needed to organize her purse, but hadn't had time because her son had been sick...blah...blah...blah. I almost always tune someone out who starts telling me their life story at the check-out line. Mostly it's because I don't want to get stuck in the parking lot being their sympathetic ear. I have just enough of Mama Virgo's Therapist gene in me to entice someone to just let it all out.
Let me stop here and say that I realize this is not Christian-like. We are put on this earth to take care of one another, whatever those needs are. I am working on this attitude of mine. If the woman in front of me at Target needs to tell someone about her mother with cancer, I absolutely should stop and listen because there is a reason that I'm with her, in that time and place. So, I'm working on it. Like my life, it's a work in progress.
Anyway, the woman in front of me, being more Christian-like and kind, listened and sympathized. The cashier told the lady she could only use 1 of her 3 40% off coupons each day. So, instead of putting the other 2 items back and using her coupons later, she turned to the 2 of us and said, "Would you like a coupon?" HELLZ YES! And then I felt like a big slab of crap. I had totally tuned her out and she turned around and gave me what I wanted the very most in that moment. I thanked her and mentioned how I was just thinking "Darn! I REALLY wish I had a coupon right now."
The next cashier over opened up his line and the woman in front me, with her arms overloaded, turned to me and said, "you go on. I have a lot and you just have that one thing." There was so much nice going on, I thought my heart would explode. So, I walked up to the cashier and paid for my one item with my 40% off coupon and practically skipped out the door.
I keep thinking about the experience and the idea of paying forward a kindness. As I go through the weekend, where I'm bound to stand in lines, sit in traffic, and talk to many people, I hope to find a way to share this stranger's kindness repeatedly.
Happy Champagne Friday, lovahs! Cheers!