I did some shopping in a large retail store tonight (rhymes with mall fart) preparing for the weekend (see tomorrow’s post) when I had the following exchange with my cashier.

Walmartcheckout Her (remarking on the pack of Special Dark bars): Wow, I love those.

Me: Yeah, they are pretty fabulous.

Her: Yeah, they stopped selling them in the break room vending machine so I can’t get them for fifty cents anymore.

Me: Well, I guess there is the large pack option but then that means a lot of self discipline to not eat them all at once, which I certainly don’t have.

Her: Yeah, but I can’t afford the pack though. I’ve just got this dollar in change on me. I’ve had like four crackers today so I’m famished right now. My house has no food in it. I have mac and cheese but no milk, cereal but no milk again… (I’m making her sound like she’s talking a lot but this was a lot of back and forth conversation and no one was behind me in line to be pushing the transaction to end).

Me: Try apples, they’re not too expensive and really good for you. (oblivious to the fact there are no apples, or anything fresh really in this particular store)

Her: I just wish I had a rich grandfather or something, you know? Wouldn’t that be great?

This whole conversation took place in a matter of fact tone, that normal tone you would use to tell a coworker a story of something that happened to you. She was not feeling sorry for herself, or at least not any more so then anyone else I know.

So I’m standing there, in my cute graphic print dress from work, buying about $100 worth of stuff. Talk about perpective. I may have to budget and save but I’m not existing on four crackers a day, going to work hungry.

I asked her if I could slip her a Special Dark bar without getting her in trouble. She let me. I wished I could have slipped her something more nutritious or adopted her on the spot.

Hopefully, she got to buy an apple with that dollar in her pocket. I certainly got some much needed perspective in that transaction.

Photo from http://mike.creuzer.com.

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