Thursday, October 1, 2009

my favorite check-out lady

i have been avoiding my favorite grocery store check-out lady.

she is one of those people who just radiate kindness, and i was afraid that when she asked me how i was, i would blurt out "i have breast cancer!"

but yesterday i was feeling good. i hardly noticed the muzak, i did not stand overwhelmed by the choices in the cereal aisle. i was purposeful, grabbed what i needed and headed to the check-out lanes.

with two lanes open, the line was shortest in my favorite check-out lady's lane. i could do it; it was a good day. when it was my turn, she smiled and asked, "how are you today?" "i'm just fine!" and smiled back. all right, good job.

when she finished ringing up my stuff, she asked "would you like to make a donation to help fight breast cancer?"

"I'm sorry--what did you say?"

"would you like to make a donation to help fight breast cancer?"

shit. "Um, sure, ok."

"how much?"

shit. everything in our checking account? that seemed a little extreme, given my $13.97 purchase. "five dollars?"  five f*&!%ing dollars? i will rot in hell.

"thank you for your donation," and she smiled at me.

"no, uh, thank you, and thank everyone, and well actually i was just diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago..." shit.

"oh, i'm so sorry." she reached out and touched my hand. "if you ever need anyone to talk to, anyone just to listen, i'm here."

she is the best check-out lady ever.

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