This week has had a couple of shopping expeditions for me and some very interesting encounters with outright repulsive people and people I’ll never forget.
We’re a funny old species aren’t we?!
I took myself off to HomeGoods to get some sugar free flavoured coffee syrups. I wanted raspberry and vanilla and before you can say yuk!! – I mix two teaspoons vanilla and one raspberry with Coke Zero. It tastes just like those drumstick lollies I loved when I still lived in England so it’s a quick homesick fix!
So naturally, I was having a little wander around as you never know what treasures you’ll find there. I was meandering around by the throws when I heard an English accent! I turned around to see a woman horrified at the price of a cushion ($16.99 I looked!!)
I smiled and said “It’s nice to hear another English accent!”
And then this BITCH looked at me and said (in her nasty nasal cockney accent) “That’s as maybe but I didn’t move over here to mix with people I could have met in England”
………. Oh you all know me too well! I was NOT taking that so I said “Oh I doubt if we would have met, I was never one for Salvation Army type stores. There’s one at the top of the hill if the prices are too high for you here” I walked off not giving her a chance to reply – snooty rancid old bag!
It amused the sales assistant who she was berating over the cushion though, she told me I “totally owned” her!
Why be so miserable? I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t want to limit myself to only mix with other Brits here in the US but this insufferable old bat wasn’t making any effort to be nice to Americans either.
Then I met her polar opposite. I was back in town to see an endocrinologist so I bought a few things while I was there to save another trip. I decided I was going to walk up the hill to the Five Guys burger place and treat myself to lunch. It was a lovely day again and you know I love being out in the sun.
There was a homeless guy sat outside an empty shop. He wasn’t begging, just sat there… so on impulse I asked if he was hungry. He was stunned so I asked again if he’d like some lunch. He stammered Yes please so I gestured to Five Guys and said come on!
He said that place is expensive, you can get me McDonalds that’s okay. I’m crying again writing that. That anyone can think they’re not worth a nicer burger..
We went in and I got him a burger and fries and I had the same. I asked if he’d like a milkshake and he just beamed and said yes please! He wasn’t very old, maybe 28 or so. I could just about have been his mum.
Again he was stunned when I wanted him to sit with me to eat. This was breaking my heart in about a million pieces. We were chatting and he was a vet. He came home from a years deployment to find his wife with a new baby, obviously not his so he left and basically ran away from his life.
I told him that was what we called a Grudge Pregnancy in England. He said ‘A what???’ So I told him it was someone else had it in for you!
He burst out laughing, he really found that funny bless him. We kept talking and he mentioned his mum. I asked if he missed his family and he said yes so I handed him my phone and said “Call her”
That was the first thing I said he didn’t question! He called his mum. They were both crying. He’s from Ohio so his mum was going to drive and pick him up and take him home.
I’d gone through two packets of Kleenex by this time!
She was going to take 5-6 hours to get to him so I got him a couple of bottles of soda and some peanuts for while he was waiting. Honestly, I would have stayed but I thought he needed time to think and adjust. He has my phone number and he said he’d call when he got home. (He did)
Before I left him he asked if he could give me a hug and said ‘Thank you for treating me like a normal person’
I can’t even type that again without getting a huge lump in my throat and getting leaky. It cost me less than $20 to change someone’s life. I’m not telling this for praise because this should be normal. It shouldn’t be ‘amazing’ or a ‘wow’ story and none of you know me in real life so it stays anonymous. It’s very special to me and I don’t want to ruin it by telling my family or friends. It’s mine.
It’s not the big things in life that matter, it’s the little things. Those little things can be momentous in their own way. You won’t get rich or famous, you won’t change the world.. or will you?
Changing the world is easy – it happens one person at a time.