At the grocery store last night (as interesting as my shopping expeditions always seem to be!)
I do my grocery shopping after our fairly late dinnertime, and I typically go to three or four different stores, some of them a 20-30 minute drive from my home. With several stops plus drive time, it makes for a marathon 3-4 hour trip. This places my shopping time at a later hour than your standard full-cart grocery-shopper. At that hour, most people are stopping in hurriedly for a few items. Not surprisingly, I guess, at ten or eleven at night, there seems to always be an interesting contingent of people about in the stores: shoppers and employees both. Historically, I have had so many odd interactions, that, now, as I leave our home, my hubby says, “And if anyone talks to you, just kick ’em.” I didn’t kick anyone last night. But, people did talk to me, and I to them.
Highlights from last night:
- Chatting with the produce guy at Sprouts: As I was selecting my red bell peppers (only $0.69 each, but on the small side. I bought three.), he was stocking the cucumbers ($0.49 each. I bought two.). Nosily, I inquired into the reason for a customer being irritated with him, a few minutes earlier. He said, “She asked me to pick out a good cantaloupe for her. There aren’t any. Yes, they’re only $1.25 each, but they all suck. None are worth buying. I can’t lie to my customers, so I told her not to buy any. She still wanted me to pick out the best one for her, and I wouldn’t.” I thanked him for his honesty, and told him I appreciate that sort of input, even if she doesn’t. He then said, “In that case, don’t buy the watermelons, either.” I laughed and walked away, thinking about how he called people “my customers.” Is that a good thing that a 22 year old guy (or whatever) is taking responsibility for shoppers like that? Or is it overstepping the realm of his authority? I don’t mean steering shoppers from bad melons. I mean, calling them “his customers.” Are they his customers? Is he the produce manager? I don’t think so. I don’t know. I thought it was funny, in any case: the fact that he considers those perusing the produce to be his customers, which would make me one of his customers, and I never considered myself as anything but a customer of the store itself. Hmmm…
- At Fry’s, the checkout guy, a Hispanic in his early 40s (at a guess) asked me, “What do you make with these?” “These” being a 60-count package of thin Arizona brand corn tortillas. “Tacos,” I replied. “I make a lot of tacos.” He then asked me about what sort of meats I use, what seasonings, how I prepare the tortillas (softened in very hot oil), etc. He was very impressed that I make shredded pork tacos, from scratch. I almost invited him over for dinner. (Not really.)
- On the way out, I touched another checker on the arm to say good-bye to him. He has frequently been my checkout guy at that store, and we always chat. He is 22. I know that, because he referred to himself as being 22. My heart always goes out to him, in a way that… makes me feel like God is placing him on my heart. I pray for him almost every night on the way home from shopping. We talked for a few, and then I said, “I always have to constrain myself from giving you a hug.” He said, “You can give me a hug any time you like.” I did. Don’t worry. He’s gay. I thought about it, out in the truck, on my way home, what my motivations are. Am I just trying to show someone God’s love? Actually, I’m not trying. I feel compelled. I guess I didn’t start out our not-really-a-relationship with any agenda. But, as a Christian, at some point, should I try to tell him about Jesus? Or not? I half don’t want Christianity to come into our conversation, ever, because I have a feeling, from previous asides and remarks, he’s not keen on Christianity. On the other hand, I half-hope that it does, because, if he’s had ill treatment at the hands of Christians before, it would be lovely for him to realize that there are there is someone, at least, who is a Christian and who will hug his flamin’ self, and maybe that would translate into him realizing that Jesus truly loves him, too. After giving it some consideration, I determined that, while my intentions aren’t specifically to proselytize, can I deny that I would want for him, what I have found for myself, in Jesus? I can’t deny that. His love, His power, His peace, His goodness… We’ll see. I hope, when the time comes, whatever the Father’s intentions are for me, in the life of that young man, if any… well, I hope I don’t miss it.