I made my weekly trek to the grocery stores to load up on goodies that will become wholesome meals and snack for us for the week. I left the house earlier than usual and was pleasantly surprised by how this small adjustment in my routine allowed for a much more mellow shopping experience. There were far less people on the roads and in the stores at 10:30 am on a Sunday than there are when I usually arrive there at about 1:30.
People seemed to be in a better mood too. Perhaps I had gotten to the stores in time to sneak a peek and enjoy the company of "the morning people"? It sure seemed that way.
My checker at Trader Joe's was as happy as a lark, telling me about how he'd been up since 6 am and how his 2 dogs were shaking him on his bed to let him know that it was time for them to go outside. At Safeway, I decided to pick up some flowers for a new friend for her birthday. I picked some out and, since the clerk behind the counter was busy with another customer, I asked if she'd kindly wrap them while I made the rounds and shopped. She agreed.
I was a bit annoyed when I returned to the floral counter to see a different clerk and my flowers still sitting up on the counter. The new clerk was helping two gentlemen who were buying many flower arrangements. "Excuse me," I said, "where is the clerk who was here earlier? I asked her to please wrap these while I was shopping." "She got busy," the woman with kind eyes replied, "I will wrap them for you." Something about the kindness in her eyes softened my heart, and I couldn't be irritated anymore. I decided to wait right there, though, just to make sure I wasn't forgotten again.
Then, unexpectedly, one of the two gentlemen began joking with me and the clerks. He smelled a little bit of alcohol, which triggered a "judge him" moment for me...then I remembered that only this morning I had suggested to my Sulilo Facebook friends that we release all judgment, for we do not know what someone has gone through or what they are currently going through.
I waited while the new clerk (and the one from earlier, who reappeared), completed the order for these gentlemen. All the while, the boos breath guy was making me, the other customers, and the clerks behind the floral counter laugh with one witty joke after the other. It was an unexpected delight - one I never would have enjoyed and shared with the others around me had I put my nose in the air and walked away in impatience, anger, or judgment. The senior clerk asked the man for his Safeway Club Card number (his phone number), and after he announced it to her, he nudged me and said, "Now, I hope you didn't write that down. I'm a happily married man, and I can't deal with having any stalkers." We all giggled. It was one comment like this after another.
When I left the store with my groceries and flowers, I was glad that I had gotten up earlier this Sunday morning...glad that I arrived at the store just when I had...and glad that there was a delay in getting my flowers wrapped. It is amazing how sharing unexpected laughter, with someone who is so at ease with bringing smiles and giggles to others' hearts, can set your day up for gratitude and joy. And, it is a beautiful thing when you get to practice what you preach.
Thank you guy.
Debbie aka Sulilo