Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chivalry (or perhaps Pity) is not dead.

Last week I went grocery shopping on a Sunday night.  Anyone in my local area will tell you Sunday night at Market Basket is the worst idea ever (even worse than the Commissary on the first of the month!).  I was actually pretty excited about it because I scored an evening shopping with only one child, while Ryan kept Chester home to get ready for bed. 

The grocery closes at 7pm on Sunday nights.  I arrived at 5:30pm with a short shopping list, including some turkey and cheese from the deli.  Pete pulled a deli number for me- number 52.  I checked and saw they were only on 15.  Seriously.  15.  The deli was mobbed, as expected, with everyone who packs a lunch for work or school every day.  I finished my shopping, checking back often to make sure I didn't miss my number.  After finishing my entire list they were on 31.  So Pete and I settled in to wait for our number, and I mentally prepared myself for a tantrum or meltdown.  We compared his number (that's five-two for the three-year old crowd) to the deli number and I chatted him up about school, and what letters he learned this week (J and K), and what starts with letter K (kite, kitten, kangaroo). 

Either we were the most annoying cart in the deli area, or this older gentleman was truly an angel because he walked over and told me he had pulled a number, and his wife had also pulled a number, so would I like number 37?  I can't exactly jump for joy, and in would be inappropriate to kiss a total stranger in the grocery store, so instead I just thanked him earnestly and accepted his extra number.  Even Pete must have been relieved because he also said "thank you sir" (I seriously love this kid, I can't claim I've been the best mom, but he is the best three year old I know!) and started comparing his new number to the deli numbers.  "Mom, we're three-seven, and that says three-two, are we next?" 

Less than ten minutes later I ordered our turkey and cheese and we headed for the checkout.  Checking the clock as we left, I realized that without that gentleman's kind offer of his extra number, we wouldn't have gotten our deli order before the store closed. 

So thank you, kind man at the deli counter, you made our week.  Or at least our sandwiches this week.

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