The kindness of strangers . . . and in Walmart no less!

I’ll admit it.

I’m a snob!

It is no big secret amongst my friends and family that I am not a huge fan of Wally World.  I only go in that store when I absolutely have to because . . . well . . . the lights in there just mess with my eyes, it’s always far too busy and I inevitably end up purchasing more than I originally enter said store for. 

Our family optician recently joined the practice that is inside one of the local Walmarts in our town so I now have to frequent it more than ever.

Yesterday, I had to stop in to pick up my oldest son’s contact lenses and make a quickie return with all three boys in tow.

So, it was pouring down when I arrived at said Walmart, but we all darted in managing not to get too wet.  I was forced to visit the little man who stands guard by the door just waiting to use his machine to affix a return sticker.  Today, his machine was not working and as he tried to figure it out, my littlest one started squirming and whining in the shopping cart.  I tried to sigh loudly yet politely to give this man the cue that he needed to hurry it on up unless he wanted to see a full blown toddler meltdown before his very eyes.  His associate sauntered on over and rescued me so I was able to get that shopping cart moving and my little one pacified.

We headed straight on over to pick up the contact lenses which was done effortlessly, unless you call telling my middle son a few million times to please not touch the glasses or the glass cases or any thing else in there.  He still came bounding over to present me with eye glass cleaner which he decided I needed to purchase.  I told him to put it back at which time, he grabbed his crotch and told me he needed the bathroom.  Great!  No big deal though.  His big brother took him in to the gents with instructions to stick together no matter what while I headed to returns which was just next door to the bathrooms.

The line at customer service was horrendous and to be quite honest, I couldn’t be arsed with it all, so as soon as the older boys got out of the loo, I told them it was time to hit the road.  Reminded that we needed batteries and seeing that it was still raining, I reluctantly headed in to the back of the store for said item.  We grabbed them and I thought to myself, let’s see what they have here in the way of uniform shorts.  So, we all trudged to the other end of the store to look in the boys’ section and found 4 pairs of my middle son’s size and I stuck those in the shopping cart to purchase.  Now, by this time the little munchkin was fit to be tied.  He had had enough and wanted out.  Now!  And, being the ever adventurous mother  I thought what the hell.  Let’s give him a run around and let me get a work out at the same time!

And, boy was that fun!  For about FIVE minutes!  Then it got really old and I wanted him back in that shopping cart!

We headed to the check outs where I usually opt for the easier self check out aisle, but I realised with horror as I looked at the huge lines of people with mammoth sized mounds of shopping that I was in the one blooming Walmart that didn’t have them!  Aargh, the look of frenzy  must have been written all over my face as I tried to corral the older kids and placate my little one with a granola bar because it was dinner time ye know.  I was actually cursing the place and muttering under my breath that this would never be the scene if I were in my beloved Tarjay when a kindly older woman came over to me and asked if I wanted to go ahead of her.

I was floored with her generosity.  She had about the same amount of items in her shopping cart as I and with one person ahead of her, I am sure she was just as anxious to get out of there as I was.  She confided to me that she had had 7 kids and knew what it was like to have to take them all shopping!  Our eyes locked and I knew that she got me!  And, I only had three!  By this time, the two older boys were begging me for some newly gross flavour of chewing gum and the little one was doing his best to arch his back so he could escape from the vice grip I had on him. 

Not one to argue, I thanked her for her kindness, made my boys do the same and pushed ahead of her.  Then, as the shopper ahead of us was taking longer than could feasibly be possible, this dear old lady asked my boys if they wanted to see a magic trick.  Intrigued, we said YES!  And, she did just that!  Showed them a couple of different tricks which my boys just ate up!  And, before we knew it, we were all checked out and ready to go.  I turned around to tell her thank you one more time, but she was already engaged in conversation with the check out guy and then I could tell that she was just one of those souls who seem to touch other people with their kindness wherever they are. 

If only the world were made up of more like her . . .  it would be a much better place.  Yesterday also taught me a little lesson in humility.   Wally world ain’t such a bad place.  So, thank you dear stranger for your kindness.  I will try and do the same in return next time I’m out and see a fellow frazzled momma in the check out line and I hope you’, dear reader, will do the same!

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5 thoughts on “The kindness of strangers . . . and in Walmart no less!

  1. what a great and humbling story…can’t remember the last time i let someone go ahead of me in the check out line…

    BUT i helped a blind woman off the train and to a taxi last week. that was quite a good deed i think because i put her ahead of me running for a train. i think we all should be a little more considerate of others!

  2. Wow – let’s hopev we can all be as kind as said woman once all our kiddos are off…..and not like those snooty middle aged women who look at you like you are the worst mum in the world and in their day……..y’know the ones I mean, right?

  3. Wally world probably is such a bad place, you’re just taken by the nice lady now. You can almost guarantee that the next time you go there it’ll be bad again.

  4. In Texas we refer to that place as “Fall Apart” Everything you buy there falls apart! I actually get an anxiety attack when I have to go there and that is even without kids!
    There are more good people in this world than bad!

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