Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Meijer and the little act of kindness

I feel horrible. I see now it was a thoughtless, no--dangerous thing for me to do.

picture it, I'm walking through the meat section of Meijer which is the perimeter of the wine/beer area. I'm searching for the sale on ball park turkey franks and seeing if there are any deals on the oscar meyer lunchables, with the drink pouch and candy dessert. no luck on the latter. I consider asking a Meijer "meat associate" if there is a limit on the hot dogs, but only see the "liquor associate" unloading boxes in the aisle next to me.

I turn back to my cart and start pushing toward the frozen food section when I see her. a very lovely, tall-willowy elderly woman walking toward me. she is the epitome of class, style exudes from her. I wistfully hope that when I reach that age, I too will look as confident and lovely.

she sees me admiring her, I quickly smile and let my eyes flash my admiration of her style. she walks a bit closer to me also smiling when suddenly her smile turns to surprise then panic. the next thing I see are the bottom of her lovely designer loafers (no old-lady comfortable shoes for her).

I watch in horror as she falls, first hitting her backside then her head! a muffled scream of "oh my gosh!" bursts from me as I rush to help her. as I'm lifting and repeatedly asking her if she's okay, I realize that mr. "liquor associate" hasn't even turned to look at the scene, much less offer his much stronger arm.

the poor lovely woman is muttering, "it's slippery, my dear be careful it's very slippery." upon hearing this, mr. Meijer man turns and says, "the "caution slippery when wet sign" is up right there," like this somehow absolved him of showing any concern for the poor woman.

the woman is upright now, she sees the yellow tent-like sign with a graphic of a person in mid-fall. very softly I hear her say, "I didn't even notice, I was looking at her smil...," she cut-off and repeated, "it's very splippery, I didn't even notice." I helped her collect the bits and pieces that fell out of her purse, silently cursing my guilty role in her fiasco. what's the old saying? "no good deed goes unpunished?"

I'm seriously considering not smiling in public again. perhaps that is the true act of kindness.

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