I stopped in to Target last Thursday to grab nylons for a dinner on Friday.
I of course grabbed a few other things, and I headed to the line to check out. There was a shorter line with a man as a cashier, and a longer line with a woman. I stopped and waited in the longer line. There were two women in front of me with overflowing carriages, and me with 6 items. As I stepped up, the woman in front of me was unloading her carriage, but offered to let me step in front of her.
It was sweet.
Strange as it is, I enjoy waiting. It teaches me patience and gives me a moment to just be.
She almost insisted, and I again declined. We had a brief conversation about life (as you do in line at Target) and I expected her to turn away and put her things on the belt.
She did,for a moment. Then, like we were long lost college roommates, we kept talking. Other people came to the line. Calls for more cashiers rang out. A few offered to help me. I declined, and asked the person behind me to go ahead.
People think I am strange when I do this.
My comment was, ” Thank you, but she and I have a relationship now. I can’t abandon her!” Laughter from the cashier now too.
She was in our tribe now.
The conversation continued
saying “Yes” to too many things this time of year
How next year we will RSVP “NO” to everything we are invited to.
How I always forget to use Cartwheel
How she is worried about getting everything in with a sleeping family at home
How she has 1% left on her phone
We cheered as the cashier completed the order before her phone died so she could get her Cartwheel points, and then, she packed up.
I said happy Holidays
And she was gone
Never before met
Never to meet again
But for a moment
Two moms at Target had a moment to laugh, and relate, and realize we all do this. not a one of us stands alone in this motherhood game. working, stay at home, separated, divorced. we all are moms, and we all will be at the store at 10:45 to get whatever is needed because well, that is what moms do. Our lives were parallel. In that moment we realized: We are not alone.
It was 10:45 at night, and truthfully, I felt bad she was going home to a house of sleeping family. Lugging the carriage full of gifts and necessities into the house alone. I wished I could help, but that was not the plan.
I am most grateful for this moment of laughter with a stranger in the checkout line because it reminded me to pause, be still, and listen!
Too often in life we are in a hurry. We want the fastest check out. The least distraction from our day. The easiest path. But how often do we miss the moments to laugh with the PERSON in front of us in line because we both are buying control top pantyhose or push up bras? How often do we miss the chance to lament our children’s wants, that they list as needs? How often do we make the cashier feel rushed to finish our shopping, forgetting that that same cashier will do their shopping from what is left over because it is so hard to shop when you work retail?
In this season of hustle and bustle it is all too easy to rush. To make haste. To be aggravated with humanity instead of enthralled with the season of wonder and love.
What moments have you had this holiday season that have reminded you to pause?