I changed “Buy Coffee” to “Buy Something” for someone I don’t know. All because of my encounter at the grocery store.
I was at the grocery store buying flowers for the house. Something I am doing every month. It’s on “The List”. While waiting at the check out, a young boy behind me was patiently waiting for his turn to cash through. He must have been about 10. He had his bike helmet on, the cutest dimpled cheeks and a warm smile.
I asked him, “are you buying an after school snack?” He replied, “no”. “Then it’s just a snack?” He shrugged his shoulders. The cashier informed me it was Pro-D day so no school, hence his response that it was not an after school snack. “Your Mom told you not to speak to strangers, right?” He nodded yes. I went on asking questions while at the same time talking to the cashier. “Are you buying your snack with your money?” I asked. He nodded again, feeling a bit awkward that he wasn’t using words. I looked at the cashier and she was smiling. I quietly told her I would pay for his purchase. There was something about his demeanor, politeness or was it what he was buying? So she scanned my flowers, his pop and chips. I see this as the equivalent of an adult order of coffee and muffin.
Meanwhile, the boy was counting his money, oblivious to the conversation the cashier and I were having. Turns out she knew him very well as he and her son are best of friends. She handed him his bag and before he could say how much, “no charge and pointed at me”. He was stunned at first and then his face came alive with the biggest grin and those dimples disappearing in his smile. “Thank you so much, you are very kind. I can’t wait to tell my friend”.
As I left the store, I realized it was what he was buying that triggered my reaction. When I was that age, 25¢ in my pocket bought me quite a lot. I would head up to “Garage Comeau et Savoie” and buy an orange crush for 10¢ then run down to “Au Royaume du Cadeaux”, better known as “Chez Junior”, and buy a chocolate bar for 10¢ and a bag of chips for 5¢. Crazy! what 25¢ bought in those days!
I was wondering how this item on my list was going to play out. I wasn’t looking for it, it just happened spontaneously. It felt gratifying to have done such a small act of kindness that brought joy to both of us.