"whenever possible, be somewhat helpful."
yeeeaaah, it isn't exactly steeped in altruism (rarely requires anything like sacrifice or personal growth on my part), but it works for most of my grocery store interactions.
but on this fateful day, Meijer obliterated my carefully worded personal philosophy that I've mostly lived by for twenty years...
after several weeks of living la vida loca (aka, shopping the new supersize-superstore), I'm pretty confident that I've got the store map sorted out in my head. I whiz passed fresh produce (I've got canned pineapple chunks at home, who needs fresh?), maneuver through bakery (so many tables stacked with carbs!), pause to score the bacon sale(!) and head for the aisle of
I'm listening to a favorite Spotify playlist and concentrate on searching the 1000 (exaggeration to make you feel my pain) different water bottle labels because my kids despise the name brands and only drink the Meijer brand. so, I'm really focused. no, really focused that I ignore fellow Meijer shoppers around me, until I feel someone touch my arm.
I don't even have to side-glance to know that the papery-soft, thin-skinned hand that touched me is an elderly woman. I immediately pluck the earbud from my ear (respect!).
"excuse me, do you know where the tissues are? the new layout has me confused."
nearly beaming with Hermione pride (I know this answer!), I confidently and clearly point her to the back, far corner of the store, then revel in her sweet, "thank you, dear."
memories of the Bible's iconic Good Samaritan picture pops into my mind--but with my face photoshopped in as the Good Samaritan. my brain is great at photoshop.
with a kindness-begins-with-me glow, I continue in the opposite direction, searching for items on my list, when I pass an aisle and peripherally notice a Meijer associate stacking paper towels on a mostly empty shelf, a trolley behind him stacked with boxes of paper towels, napkins, toilet paper and... tissues!
I didn't screech to a sudden stop--my sandals aren't capable of such dramatic sound effects--but it was a halting stop as I realized in horror--"I sent Gram-Grams the wrong way!"
my brain rips my photoshopped face off the Good Samaritan character and slaps it onto a new character--the sinister Bad Samaritan who goes around changing road signs, forcing old people to wear out their hip replacements!
I mentally curse the supersize-superstore: they couldn't leave well enough alone. no! they just haaaaad to change things again and turn me into the bad guy! I went into overdrive, desperate to find Gram-Grams and make this right.
hindsight is 20/20 note: pretty sure all the people I barked at to get out of my way weren't hip to the vision of me reclaiming my good Samaritan status, but to H-E-🏒🏒 (← double hockey sticks) with 'em! I had to redeem myself at all costs!
I careen around the corner where the tissues were two weeks ago, and there she was-- accepting the last box of tissues that a kind, smiling (and was that a halo?) Meijer associate had removed from the top shelf.
in my mind, the Good Samaritan's face changed again.
like I said, my brain is great at photoshop.