Today at the grocery store

Today, when shopping at the grocery store, I ended up standing in a very long line at the register. You probably all know the feeling of being extremely bored and impatient for the line to move quicker. Anyway, I was standing there waiting, when I noticed this bad sour smell around me. I looked around and realized it was coming from an old man standing right in front of me in the line. He looked like he was in his late sixties, maybe early seventies, with white thin hair and a big black down jacket on. He was smelling quite badly and looked, well, a little shabby. It wasn’t very bad, but just enough that I took notice.

I finally got to the register, and the man very, very slowly empties his basket. In it he has oranges, cucumbers and some other things, but what I primarily notices is that he also had many beers. And not only the beer, he also asks the cashier for a rum behind the counter.

Now, let’s not pretend anything else; I am standing there judging this man very hardly. I am observing everything he is doing and judging it all, which I must sadly admit I am way too often guilty of doing.

The cashier says they unfortunately don’t have the rum he’s asking for and taps in some numbers so he can pay. But before paying, he stops to say something. Because last week he had brought this marzipan for Christmas, and he had noticed a mistake on the receipt, which he wanted to fix. He shows the cashier a receipt, and explains that the marzipan hadn’t been registered and he therefore hadn’t payed for it at all. He was very, very sorry he hadn’t noticed it before, but he would like to pay for it now.

I walked out of the store with the biggest smile on my lips. People are better than I often assume them to be, and I needed that reminder to keep believing in it.

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