Yesterday was a new experience for me. I have sometimes given a stranger $10 or $20 to help them to get home, or pay some bill off. I do not make it a habit, I haven't that much money. It is a 'sometimes' thing. I weigh their need and my need to the extra amount in my wallet and act acordingly. I didn't save their life and didn't sacrifice my own. It is no big deal.
Yesterday a the grocery store I was watching my bill register more and more on the cash register and I only had $15.00 t0 spend. My bill was already at 24.33 and I still had 5 pounds of potatoes to ring up. I aplogized to the check out clerk and said don't ring this up. and take out the mayonaise and the pack of grapes. and the cake mix. Something had cost me a lot more money than I had expected. Still not quite enough and I had them take out the half gallon of juice I had put in the cart. That should be enough. Yep, $14.67 that will do it. But the clerk shook her head and started putting the things back in my bag that I had originally ordered. "Wait." but she indicated the lady behind me. A nice asian woman. She had her credit card out and was agreeing to pay my final bill.
I did not know what to say. "Sorry. Christmas just cost me more than I expected and my cards are maxed out. I have to be real careful until January starts,"
"It's alright. I'm glad to help out. Please don't refuse. It is something I need to do."
I didn't know what to say. I have just never been in that position before. I tried to think how I would have liked some of my charity recipients to act with me. "I just got caught unaware that I was too near out of food at home."
"Please don't worry about it," she said.
"Well I really don't need all the things I have in the basket. the cake mix was just a whim and I'm sure i could do without the mayonaise." The poor cashier clerk was taking things back out of my bags again. I was really getting confused. Then the asian lady said. "He paid for it before I give the clerk my card. It's already paid for. Not me. HIM.'
I saw anothe man about as old as I am but obviously well heeled. He tipped his imaginary hat. Now what could I say. The clerk was putting things back in my bag. I ended with profuse thanks all around and got out of the store fast. I just didn't know what else to do.