Look at that platter of yumminess! (via myrecipes.com)
About ten years ago, my parents decided to have a cookout with lots of people on Memorial Day. My mom being the worrier she is, kept thinking we may not have have enough food. So, as my father kept adding guests, my mom kept going back to the grocery store. As her trips increased, so did her frustration with my father and this "stupid" cookout.
About her third trip in, which was on the day of the cookout, she was rushing through the grocery store to get more hotdogs, buns, etc. When she arrived at the register, while waiting, she immediately became frustrated that my father continued to invite people and she had to come back to the grocery once again. And that my father has no idea what it takes to have all these people over, blah, blah, blah. You know the deal.
Then she looked up while standing in line and the man in front of her is buying the cheapest pack of hotdogs (no buns) and an off-brand coke. He then begins to pay for this very cheap meal with pennies. As the cashier patiently counts this man's pennies, it hits my mother.
It's at that moment she realized this man was deaf and was probably paying with pennies because it was near the end of the month, and his meager social security check is gone. While she stands there with all of her food, that pack of cheap hotdogs and cheap coke will be his holiday meal. He stuck his two pennies that were left into his breath mint tin, he carried as a wallet, and walked home. After he left, my mom praised the cashier for her patience with him. The cashier went on to explain that he came in there often and since she had been nice, he always went to her, no matter how long her line.
My mom is humbled to say the least! There she stood frustrated at having to come back to the grocery for the third time to get more food because my dad kept asking more people over, while this man barely had enough money to pay for his hotdogs and coke.
Moral of the story: Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives- the doing, thinking, planning- we forget to focus on the things that really matter. So as this holiday season kicks off, I hope that you can remember this story when you feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Oh and a pearl of wisdom. If you decide to go shopping tomorrow, be kind to your sales associate and the people they are having to help. While you are shopping with your family/friends having fun, they are working 10-12 hours shifts with 30 minute lunches dealing with all kinds. Remember to be patient and be kind- it'll go far.
As always, hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!