Tag Archives: Miley Cyrus

Am I A Sucker?

14 Nov

Am I A Sucker?

The other day I went to a nearby supermarket to buy strawberries, pineapple, kale, spinach and parsley for a smoothie I planned to make the following morning. The grocery store was busy for a Monday evening. I looked around and, of course, picked up a few knickknacks that were not on my shopping list—but what else is new. When I finally got to the checkout line, there were two people ahead of me (not bad).

I was caught up reading the latest gossip about Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus in the trashy magazines located in the racks conveniently placed near the register, when it dawned on me the line had not moved at all. The man at the head of the line took off, leaving all his groceries behind. The cashier pushed his groceries to one side and told the lady ahead of me to come forward. As she did, she asked what had happened. While the cashier explained, my ears were alert and focused (imagine a Chihuahua with its large ears standing at attention).

The man had forgotten his wallet at home, or so he claimed. As the cashier processed the groceries, her customer grimaced at the story, twisting her mouth and rolling her eyes. Then, as she was paying, the man suddenly returned. He explained to the cashier that he had misplaced his wallet and couldn’t find it. The customer sucked audibly on her teeth, shot him a dirty look, and walked away with her bags of groceries.

The man’s face wore an expression of complete humiliation. He continued to offer explanations to the woman behind the counter as she checked out my groceries. From the corner of my eye, I saw what he had come to get. There was no beer, whisky or cigarettes. As a matter of fact, his groceries consisted of staples: a pack of chicken drumsticks, milk, eggs, bread, a small bottle of vegetable oil, peanut butter, tomatoes and a package of American cheese.

I peeked at him and noticed his shoes were worn down to nothing. His pants were baggy and worn, as was his shirt. He had the look of a man going through hard times.

The cashier gave me my total. I paid. I left the supermarket.

As I walked away from the building, my heart grew heavy. I sat in my car. I’m not claiming to be Mother Teresa, but I couldn’t stand the thought of that man going hungry. I left my car and returned to the market. I ran to the checkout line. The man was no longer there, but his groceries still lay cramped in one corner. I asked the cashier where the man was, and she told me he had just walked out the door. I told the cashier I would pay for his groceries and then rushed to get him, but not before receiving a weird look from her.

I caught up to him at the corner and told him to come back to the store—that I would pay for his groceries. He refused. It took me quite a while to convince him to take my money. I finally told him he would be doing me a favor. The older man smiled faintly, took the money, and gave me his blessing. At that moment, I felt a weight lifted from me.

I’m not rich, and I know I’m no saint, but my gut told me this man really needed a break. He looked like he could be anyone’s dad. He was clean and did not smell of alcohol, and I could see anguish in his eyes. I was compelled to help him.

Some people I know tell me I’m a sucker. They say he went to the grocery store looking for a sucker to pay for his groceries. My answer to that is, maybe he did. Perhaps he was that hungry and that desperate.

So what do you think? Am I a sucker? Or did I do the right thing? What would you have done if you were in my shoes?

middle-aged-man_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

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