I was standing in line at the grocery store, a middle aged woman before me, chatting with the checker as her order was tallied. A younger woman, college aged, stood juggling items behind me as I put my own selections down to be scanned.
It was that bewitching hour of half past four. The time of day when shoppers are on their way home from work, going to work on a later shift, picking up forgotten ingredients to make treats for the park district baseball game, or in need a medication at the in-store pharmacy that was finally filled.
I was placing my items on the belt, mentally tallying the damage to my wallet, when the younger woman quietly queried when Mother’s Day was.
“This coming Sunday.”
A relieved look came to her face. I could see several greeting cards in her hand. “You still have time” I prompted, as she audibly sighed. “Are you doing something with your mother this weekend?”.
She shook her head and said “No, my mother is in Italy“. She then proceeded to tell me her mom was on a vacation with friends, having a very good time in Italy. My items rolled closer to purchase.
“The problem is, I don’t know what to get her.”
Hmmm? While she could conceivably go online and send her mom something that would arrive by Sunday, I imagined a rather exorbitant price to pay in delivery, especially for someone who looked to be on a Ramen noodle diet.
“Does your mom have access to the internet?”
“Why don’t you have a friend take a picture and send it to her, wishing her a Happy Mother’s Day?”
A hug followed, right there in the line of the grocery story. The middle-aged woman ahead of me and the cashier smiled, kindred spirits, it seemed, as someone’s daughter, behind me in line, told me her siblings would be with her at their grandmother’s house on Mother’s Day and she would send them all, via the internet, to her mom, in Italy just as I made my purchase.
Amazing the conversations that occur while standing in line. Have you had any interesting ones lately? What would you have told the young woman?