Friday, December 22, 2006

Help, the sugarplums got me!

OK so here I am getting last minute cooking items in the grocery store, which is crammed cheek to jowl with shoppers. The lines are long. The tempers are shorter.

Let me point out that something magical happens to me in moments like this, or in heavy traffic. I have learned how to surrender. I cannot change my circumstances. It is going to take longer than I like, and I can either make it long and miserable or just long. It's all up to me. OK so this is one stress thing I do well. There are plenty others that I am lousy at. But this one, I get. So after a few moments I am serene, and waiting for a woman who seems obsessed with celery. She is in the way of my reaching the Boston lettuce, so I just wait.

She is now shaking a stalk of celery. The auto-mister in the vegetable section must have just spritzed it.

"It's wet," she said.

I nod my head affirmatively. "Yep. Seems so."

"I don't LIKE wet celery. It doesn't keep as long."

"You could dry it at home," I suggest.

"I shouldn't have to," she snaps at me. She pauses. "I mean doesn't that piss you off, too?"

At this point I feel a little like the ghost of Holier Than Thou bit my leg. But I said, smiling, "You know, I was watching a show about world hunger last night. I think millions of dying children would be happy to have that celery. So, I just figure we are pretty damned lucky, all things considered, you know"?

She looked at me as though I had hit her with a wet fish, and stomped off. I don't blame her. I was a little, as my Mom would say, "high falootin'". I had a point to make, but I pretty much broadsided the woman with self-righteousness. Mea culpa for real.

I finished my shopping and got in line. The lines kind of wrapped around each other and it was occasionally hard to tell who was behind whom. I played conductor in a kidding type of way, and got all the ladies in my line to know who was in front of whom. We were all smiling by now.

Then a rich, white-haired lady in a fur jacket and expensive jewelry came up to me. (Why me??) She said "I have had enough! I am leaving! They do not have enough cashiers at these registers!"

I called out in a happy tone, "We'll miss you when you go! Please stay!............ Cling to hope!" People around me chuckled. I looked at the line behind me and said -- "We just can't let this get to us, you know? Life is just tooooo important, too short. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah everyone!"

People greeted me back, smiled, started chatting with each other. The cashier grinned at me. It was a good moment. I walked away whistling.


Blogger Ginger said...

Hah! My husband and I chuckled and giggled our way through this as I just read it aloud to him. Yay for you, Mata! I loved the whole thing.

8:06 PM  
Blogger samtzmom said...

You have such a gift, friend. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall!

7:55 AM  
Blogger beth said...

And that's why we love you! What a great post!

I hope all of your Christmas plans went well, and that your 'good cry' came and went with good manners. Merry Christmas!

2:15 PM  

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